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Austria - International Political News

Vietnam to Strengthen Relations with Austria and the EU

The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc pays a visit to Vienna in the run-up to the Brussels ASEM Summit between the EU and Asian states.

Yesterday

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Vienna

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen during a stopover in Vienna. Bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East were discussed.

October 12, 2018

Criticism of the Treatment of Refugees - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sends Team to Vienna

Next week, experts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will visit Vienna to gather an impression of the human rights situation. The new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, had criticised Austria for not prioritising the return of migrants from Europe without ensuring that key international human rights obligations are met as a protective measure.

October 11, 2018

Enlargement Perspectives for the Western Balkans - The Role of Parliaments

During a panel discussion in the Austrian Parliament, the perspective of enlargement for the Western Balkans and, in this context, the role of parliaments were discussed. The future of the six candidate countries in the Western Balkans is within the EU. They need an honest perspective for this common future with the EU Member States. The EU must contribute to ensuring the stability of the democracies in these countries. The former President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, attended the discussion.

October 11, 2018

Made in Vienna: Immigration to Europe - Safe, Orderly and Regular

Against the background of socio-economic developments and persisting economic imbalances the demand for migration will increase. Europe’s demand for skilled labour will grow and skills shortages will be felt more strongly in EU Member States. Non-European countries will need even greater support in creating economic opportunities for their young and growing populations. Both the EU and its partner countries have an interest in functioning policies that create regular channels for labour mobility, steer migration away from its irregular forms, and help put an end to the human tragedies that migration is currently associated with..

October 3, 2018

Key Border Control Strategies Identified at UNODC's Annual Law Enforcement Experts Meeting

A working document on informal standards for border management and control was drafted and shared with participants at UNODC's annual Law Enforcement Advisors Meeting (LEA), held recently in Vienna. The annual meeting allowed for the exchange of best practices within UNODC and with partners.

October 2, 2018

Israel - Austria Relations: Lifting of Sanctions Against Kneissl is Nearing

According to information in the daily newspapers "Die Presse" and "Der Standard" on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Israel plans to lift its ban on contacts with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl. Netanyahu ordered Israeli authorities in December 2017 to refrain from contacts with FPÖ ministers. Although Kneissl is not a party member, she has been nominated by the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ. However, the official Israeli contact ban will continue to apply to FPÖ government members.

September 26, 2018

Macedonia's Name Dispute with Greece: Macedonians in Austria Cast Their Votes

The Macedonians will decide next Sunday on a bilateral agreement between Athens and Skopje, which can pave the way for the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia to NATO and EU membership. Greece, which claims the name Macedonia for its northern region, should be made satisfied with "Northern Macedonia". The Macedonian foreign voters can vote for the referendum at the diplomatic representations of their country (diplomatic representations in Austria see below). Voters will be asked "Do you support EU and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?"

September 26, 2018

Nuclear Controversy: Iran Seeking Austria's Support

Austria's EU Presidency, the future of the nuclear agreement and the desire to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural exchange were the focus of a visit by Iranian parliamentarians to the Austrian Parliament.

September 25, 2018

International Day of Peace 2018: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. This year's Peace Day celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Join with people from the international community in Vienna by observing the International Day of Peace!

September 20, 2018

Intercultural Achievement Award Fosters Dialogue Between Cultures

The Austrian Foreign Ministry presented the Intercultural Achievement Award (IAA) for the fifth time. The award honours inspiring projects in civil society that foster intercultural dialogue and coexistence. This time the award for sustainability went to a project from Mozambique. Ambassador Jörg Wojahn, the Representation of the European Commission in Vienna, and Secretary General of the OSCE Thomas Greminger used the dialogue-based work of their own institutions as a starting point and awarded prizes to projects from Ukraine and Tunisia.

September 14, 2018

Timothy Snyder Opens 3rd Vienna Humanities Festival "Power & Powerlessness"

From 27 to 30 September, the third Vienna Humanities Festival will once again bring together leading figures from science, art and culture in an "urban salon" lasting several days. Around 40 events will be held themed "Power & Powerlessness" to discuss the major issues of our time.

September 14, 2018

Review of the State Visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Austria

After the visit in March 2016, which was cancelled at short notice, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was on a state visit to Vienna this week, accompanied by massive anti-Iran protests. The aim of the visit was a joint commitment to the Iran nuclear deal after the deal was approved in Vienna three years ago. The visit was overshadowed by a diplomatic case involving an employee of the Iranian embassy in Vienna, who had been arrested last weekend by the German judicial authorities on the basis of a European arrest warrant on suspicion of terrorism.

July 5, 2018

Nuclear Deal: Iranian President Rouhani Lobbies for Austria

The Federal Chancellery has now officially confirmed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will come to Vienna on 4 July for an official visit. Of course, the visit is mainly about the nuclear deal. After the USA's exit, there is considerable pressure on Rouhani.

June 19, 2018

UNIDO: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Chemical Leasing

In 2004, with the support of the Government of Austria, UNIDO launched its Global Chemical Leasing Programme, promoting a business model that marks a paradigm shift from increasing the sales volume of chemicals toward a value-added approach. The fourth Global Chemical Leasing award ceremony will take place on 6 November 2018 in Vienna, Austria. It will be part of the Green Chemistry Conference 2018 within the Trio Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) programme, "Smart and Sustainable Europe", held during Austria's EU Presidency.

June 8, 2018

15th Anniversary of UN Convention Against Corruption: Tackling Corruption From the Top Down Essential

Corruption and complicity know no geographical boundaries, and it is society’s most vulnerable who get hurt the most, senior United Nations officials say, calling on Government leaders to fight the scourge, “from the top down”.

June 6, 2018

Vienna Energy Forum and the R20 Austrian World Summit 2018: Feedback of a Participant

At the Vienna Energy Forum and the R20 Austrian World Summit recently held in Vienna, Beatriz Mayor of IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis also participated, who shares her interesting insights as follows.

June 6, 2018

Environment Day: The World Must Unite to Beat Plastic Pollution

The world is being ‘swamped’ by harmful plastic waste says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, marking Environment Day. Microplastic particles in the ocean, now outnumber stars in our galaxy.

June 5, 2018

Austrian Military Investigation into the Golan Heights Ambush: Soldiers' Actions Correct

In September 2012, Austrian UN soldiers on the Golan did not prevent Syrian security forces from entering a deadly ambush. The disciplinary assessment concludes that the conduct of Austria's soldiers had been stressful, but correct, so that the soldiers do not need to be prosecuted.

June 5, 2018

Love, Respect and Solidarity: "Diplomats for Equality" and "Vindobona.org" Support Vienna Pride 2018

The festival "Vienna Pride" is a two-week event of the LGBTI community with the highlight of the Vienna Pride March (Rainbow Parade) on 16 June 2018 and intends to promote human rights for everybody and achieve equality for LGBTI persons. More than 30 Vienna-based embassies and diplomatic missions have come together under the banner "Diplomats for Equality" to support this initiative. Vindobona.org also supports a worldwide non-discriminatory society.

May 31, 2018

Hassan Rouhani Expected in Vienna in Early July

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (حسن روحانی) will meet his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna on 4 July according to media reports.

May 30, 2018

Flight Connection Kuwait-Vienna Carries Arab-Israeli Conflict to Austria

State-owned Kuwait Airways, which will resume operations between Kuwait and Vienna in early June for the summer months, does not carry Israeli citizens. The official reason is a Kuwaiti law from 1964, which bans all companies of the 3.5 million inhabitant oil state from doing business with Israelis.

May 29, 2018

Migration Policy Agency Celebrates 25th Anniversary and Welcomes New Members Malta and Turkey

With Malta and Turkey both joining Vienna based ICMPD in May, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development welcomes two new Member States. ICMPD has now 17 Member States all across Europe. In 2018 ICMPD is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding and is looking into the future to try to see what it may hold in terms of migration and mobility of people.

May 29, 2018

US Termination of the Iran Agreement: Major Effects on Austrian Exports Expected

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber fears that the Trump decision will have a massive negative impact on the Iran business of Austrian companies. It will probably be extraordinarily difficult in the future to establish the necessary payment channels for legitimate transactions.

May 17, 2018

Vienna Energy Forum 2018: Sustainable Energy Provision as a Key to Tackling Poverty

The sixth Vienna Energy Forum 2018 was held from 14 to 16 May, 2018, at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. It was attended by over 1,800 participants from 130 countries, including prime ministers, ministers, high-level government officials, permanent mission representatives, chairs of the regional groups, donors, as well as representatives of the EU, the private sector and development finance institutions.

May 16, 2018

Austria, the OSCE and the Asia Pacific - Effective Multilateralism in a Globalized World

The Austrian Foreign Ministry in the framework of its Chairmanship of the OSCE Asian Contact Group (Afghanistan, Australia, Korea, Japan and Thailand), is organizing a conference on “Effective Multilateralism in a globalized world - The case of Europe and Asia Pacific” at Palais Niederösterreich, Vienna. The conference will focus on multilateral security mechanisms in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, as well as on economic connectivity and co-operation.

May 14, 2018

The Hungarian Foreign Minister's Alleged Evidence of the Existence of the Soros Plan

The ridiculous discussion about the wave of European immigration allegedly steered by the Soros plan is widening as a result of a letter of evidence from the Hungarian Foreign Minister.

May 11, 2018

Iran-Deal Withdrawal: Consequences for Iran-Austrian Economics Relations

About 50 Austrian companies have branches in Iran. Austrian exports to Iran rose by 9.2 percent to 301 million euros in 2017; imports increased by 18.5 percent to 119 million euros. A JCPOA supported only by the EU, Russia, China and Iran is not sufficient in the medium and long term to create the necessary investments and renewals in Iran. Without the US on board, international banks and large companies will continue to shy away from activities in Iran. Secondary sanctions will contribute to this.

May 11, 2018

Trump's Iran Deal Withdrawal Increases Uncertainty for Austrian Companies

Austrian companies react in a wait-and-see manner. The withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran means in practice that the suspension of sanctions will no longer be extended. Considerations range from an immediate halt to activities in Iran to the longest possible active participation within the new sanctions framework. It is unlikely that Austria's exports will reach the 300 million euro mark of the previous year.

May 11, 2018

Iran-Deal - Austrian Oberbank Distances Itself from Framework Credit Agreement with Tehran

Only last year, the Upper Austrian Oberbank was the first European bank to sign a framework credit agreement with Iran. After the USA's withdrawal from the nuclear treaty, the bank is now under pressure and intends to wait and see. The bank says it could certainly take two weeks for a final solution to be found and officially agreed.

May 11, 2018

Update of Austria's Probe of UN Golan Troops Over Deaths of Syrians

According to media reports, the video, which shows the fatal incident in September 2012 on the Golan Heights, when Austrian blue helmet soldiers sent 9 Syrian security forces into a deadly ambush, was used as a "training film". In parallel with these reports, the former Defence Minister points out that the start of the Syrian Civil War has removed the basis of the UN mandate, which should focus exclusively on monitoring the ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

May 4, 2018

What does the Vienna-based ICMPD and its Director General Michael Spindelegger do?

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was founded in 1993 in Vienna on the initiative of Austria and Switzerland with the aim of making migration and mobility of people orderly, safe and regular, including through the implementation of planned and well managed migration policies. The aim is to counteract the often short-term thinking of governments so that sustainable solutions can be found and implemented in the medium and long term to combat and overcome the migration crisis. From this point of view, the tasks of the ICMPD have become extremely topical and important due to the refugee crisis.

April 26, 2018

Goals for Austria's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1 July 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Bulgaria. During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July to 31 December 2018), guided by the motto "A Europe that protects", Austria will focus on three key areas: security and the fight against illegal migration, retaining competitiveness through digitalisation, and stability in the neighbouring regions (particularly the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU).

April 25, 2018

Soros's Central European University is to Remain in Budapest

The Central European University (CEU) donated by US billionaire George Soros does not plan to move to Berlin or Vienna, but expects the Hungarian government to sign the agreement with the State of New York as soon as possible so that the CEU can remain in Budapest.

April 20, 2018 · Updated: April 20, 2018; 19:10

Top Energy Events Put Vienna in the Focus of the Global Clean Energy Economy

The Vienna Energy Forum 2018 in May in Vienna brings together a multitude of people and institutions to discuss and solve the key questions of the present on the topic of energy. Among them are heads of state, ministers, energy experts, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector. The PFAN Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum and the R20 Austria World Summit are also part of this huge event. This event, sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a high-level summit about leadership on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

April 19, 2018

David Goodhart at the IWM: Dilemmas of Post-Liberalism

David Goodhart, a British journalist, commentator, author and the director of the Demos thinktank discusses immigration and liberalism with Ivan Krastev at the IWM Institute of Human Sciences.

April 13, 2018

Money Laundering: RBI Is Fined EUR 2.7 Million

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has imposed the highest fine ever imposed by the FMA, i.e. a fine of EUR 2.748 million against Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

April 1, 2018

Harvard Government Professor Michael Sandel to Lecture Austrian Opposition How to Win Back Popular Support

The election of Donald Trump was an angry verdict on decades of rising inequality and a version of globalization that benefits those at the top but leaves ordinary people feeling disempowered. American political philosopher and a political philosophy professor at Harvard University Michael J. Sandel will give a lecture on "Is Democracy in Peril? - Politics in the Age of Trump".

March 29, 2018

Vienna - Moscow: Maintaining All Communication Channels Is Crucial

All the evidence suggests that Russia is to blame for the poison attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. To date, 19 EU countries and 7 non-EU countries have expelled more than 150 diplomats. By deciding not to expel Russian diplomats, Austria is opposing most of its partner countries.

March 27, 2018

Austrian Support for Peace and Security Programm in Horn of Africa Region

Vienna based ADA - Austrian Development Agency signs an agreement on peace and security in the Horn of Africa with EU and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development). The EUTF - EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa provides 40 million euros. 35 million of this will be made available to ADA and 5 million directly to IGAD. The ADA passes on one million euros to IGAD. The Swedish International Development Agency SIDA will also contribute one million euros..

March 26, 2018

Analysis: Vienna's 900 Years of Close Ties With Former Tax Haven Liechtenstein

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen visited the Principality of Liechtenstein during a state visit to Vaduz. After 14 months, he has finally visited the last of Austria's neighbouring countries. The state was known as a tax haven until November 2013. The Liechtenstein tax affair and offshore leaks have contributed to the neighbouring country signing an international agreement to prevent tax evasion.

March 22, 2018

80th Anniversary of Mexico’s Protest Against Anschluss of Austria to Hitler-Germany

On 19 March 1938 Mexico submitted a note of protest to the League of Nations against the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany (known as “Anschluss”). At that time Mexico was the only member of the League of Nations to issue a written protest.

March 21, 2018

Simplified Naturalisations in Austria for Families of Nazi Refugees

Austria plans to facilitate dual citizenship for the descendants of Nazi displaced persons.

March 15, 2018

Austrian Delegation Seeks to Improve Economic and Political Relations with Jordan

An official visit of President Van der Bellen to Jordan will take place from 17 April to 19 April 2018. The delegation to Amman will be accompanied by an economic mission headed by WKO Vice President Richard Schenz. The economic mission of the WKO is the response of an invitation issued some time ago by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Kingdom.

March 8, 2018

The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe Now More at Risk Than 10 Years Ago

In the Austrian National Defence Academy, the security issue "The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe restored?" was discussed in the form of a public panel discussion. At the invitation of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), the Karl-Renner-Institut, the Scientific Cluster for Polemology and Legal Ethics, the FES Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe (ROCPE), the Austrian National Defence Academy and the ISP Institute for Security Policy, Hannes Swoboda as moderator and the panelists Thomas Greminger, Fyodor Lukyanov, Stephanie Liechtenstein, Alena Kupchyna discussed the hoped-for security policy development of Europe and the OSCE.

March 7, 2018

Chancellor Kurz Visits President Putin: "The situation in Syria is dramatic"

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The focus of the trip was a working meeting with the Russian President, with whom Kurz discussed, among other things, the bilateral relations of both countries, the relationship between Russia and the EU, the Ukraine conflict and the current situation in Syria.

February 28, 2018

The Western Balkans Remain a Priority of Austrian Foreign Policy

Because of a common history and the tradition of political, cultural and economic relations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Western Balkans. The primary goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans area into a zone of stability. From the Austrian perspective there is only one option for the Western Balkans: a full European integration of the region. However, the political commitment from the regions' leaders is expected.

February 28, 2018

How do Russian Politicians and Oligarchs Withdraw their Money from Austria?

The Russian money nobility has begun to repatriate large amounts of its western-hoarded money back to Russia in order to deprive it of access by Western authorities. The countries of origin are above all Switzerland, but also Austria and Great Britain. Sberbank, Russia's largest and state-owned bank, speaks of an atypically high capital inflow to Russia. Within a few weeks, a tripling of such repatriation transactions took place compared to the same period of the previous year. The sum is hundreds of millions of dollars. The average transfer amount has increased within a year by 50% to 3 million dollars. This meets with the Kremlin's desire to repatriate Russian assets.

February 22, 2018

Meet Her Excellency Austria's New Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl

Karin Kneissl (53) was recently appointed Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. At present, she is busy touring Europe and introducing herself to her counterparts, or inviting them to the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in Vienna.

February 20, 2018

Goals of Austria's OSCE Chairmanship 2017

Germany will chair the OSCE until the end of December and will then hand over to Austria in 2017. Austria will promote greater security and stability as well as the preservation of common values within the OSCE region.

August 31, 2016