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Vienna International Diplomatic and Embassy News

Journalism Award “Writing for CEE 2015” Goes to Martin Leidenfrost

The EUR 5,000 Writing for CEE journalist prize has been awarded for the twelfth time. Journalists from all round Europe – including Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the CIS countries – have been invited to submit their works. The Austrian Journalist Martin Leidenfrost wins the “Writing for CEE 2015” award for his column "Expedition Europe". At the award ceremony writer and honorary guest Karl-Markus Gauß touched on the discovery of Europe and SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said, that Europe faces new boundaries and divisions.

November 18, 2015 · Updated: November 20, 2015; 19:00

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Linhart: “Foreign Policy Should Focus on Stabilization of Neighbouring Regions”

“The European foreign policy must focus more of its attention on the neighborhood, the stabilization thereof – and in the case of the Western Balkans, their way towards the EU – has to be our European priority”, Secretary General for Austrian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart declared on the occasion of the 19th Europe Forum of the Austria Institute for Europe and Security Policy (AIES) in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

November 18, 2015

Three Austrians Were Present in Outrageous Attack in Bataclan Concert Hall

According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs also three Austrians were present in the Bataclan concert hall, one of the attacks' targets.

November 18, 2015

OSCE States Adopt Declaration Condemning Paris Terrorist Attacks

In a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna to discuss the recent attacks in Paris, the 57 OSCE participating States have adopted a declaration condemning the ‘brutal and indiscriminate’ Paris attacks and recent terrorist atrocities.

November 17, 2015

OSCE Condemns Paris Attacks

The OSCE joined world leaders and other international organizations in swiftly denouncing the attacks. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić assured France that “all OSCE participating states stand by you at this hour, sharing the belief that no political cause can ever justify such heinous acts.”

November 17, 2015

Austria was Elected to Five UNESCO Bodies

During the current General Conference of the Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the United Nations (UNESCO) Austria was elected to five steering committees. The successful candidacies prove the credibility of Austrian experts worldwide.

November 13, 2015

In Pursuit of Peace and Security: How Gender Makes a Difference

Why is it important to include a gender perspective in peace processes and why does it matter if women are involved? These are issues that will be in focus at an OSCE Security Days event in Vienna on Friday, 13 November, which will explore the gender perspective of crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict rehabilitation.

November 11, 2015

A Global Labour Force: 230 Million International Migrants On Our Doorstep

OSCE expert meeting in Vienna focuses on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration. Some 70 representatives of OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, experts from international organizations, civil society and research centres discussed changing labour migration dynamics at an expert meeting that concluded in Vienna today on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration.

November 9, 2015

Press Freedom: Every Fifth Day a Journalist is Killed at Work

According to a report from Unesco, worldwide more than 700 reporters have been killed from 2006 to 2014 in the exercise of their profession. On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the OSCE Representative calls on participating States to step up their investigations.

November 2, 2015

OSCE: Peace and Stability in Europe Impossible without Protecting Human Rights

Protecting and promoting human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, is inextricably linked to the preservation of peace and stability within and between States, participants said today at the opening of a two-day OSCE meeting in Vienna.

October 29, 2015

OSCE’s Contribution to the Protection of National Minorities to be Discussed in Vienna

Representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States, civil society and international organizations will meet in Vienna on 29 October to discuss the OSCE’s contribution to the protection of national minorities, assessing the achievements, exploring the challenges and identifying ways to address remaining gaps.

October 28, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister to Participate in Syria Conference in Vienna

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the conference on Syria in Vienna on Friday. This has been confirmed today by the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, according to the official news agency ISNA. Iran will meet in Vienna not only to Russia and the USA, but also to its nemesis Saudi Arabia.

October 28, 2015

Joint Russia-US Fight against ISIS: Kerry and Lavrov to Hold Syria Talks in Vienna

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in Vienna to discuss the Syrian conflict together with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The meeting was made possible following the involvement of Vladimir Putin in serious diplomacy and the surprise visit by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow on Tuesday.

October 23, 2015

Xi Jinping's Strategy Represents a Significant Threat to European Industry

AEGIS Europe, the manufacturing alliance of 30 European industry associations express skepticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the media during London visit. The alliance called into question Mr Xi's comments to the media about China's orientation towards a more open and transparent market.

October 21, 2015

OSCE: Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Water Governance are Priorities

The experience and knowledge of local communities are crucial to effectively reduce the risks of disasters, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council Ambassador Vuk Žugić and OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier said today, on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

October 13, 2015

The Miss Earth Beauty Pageant is Coming to Vienna

Miss Earth, an annual international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness is celebrating its 15th year in Vienna. Along with its rivals Miss Universe and Miss World, Miss Earth is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals and one of the most publicized beauty contests in the world. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global issues. Climate Change will be the focus of Miss Earth for its Crystal Year celebration. Around 90 delegates from all over the world will be arriving on November 18, to start their activities and converge at the Marx Halle in Vienna on December 5, 2015 for the Coronation Night.

October 9, 2015

Austrian President and Various Ministers at the UN-General Assembly

Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Andrä Rupprechter and Minister for Education and Women’s Affairs Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek were in New York on the occasion of the leader’s week opening the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA).

October 8, 2015

Spindelegger Becomes Director General of Migration Organization ICMPD

Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Minister Michael Spindelegger has been elected Director Genera of the Vienna-based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). 15 Member States of the Organization elected him for five years, ICMPD announced. Most recently, he was president of the Agency for the Modernization of Ukraine of the Ukrainian oligarchs Dimitri Firtash.

October 1, 2015

Humanitarian Crisis: OSCE Can Be Important Platform for Co-Operation

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today met refugees and representatives of local aid organizations at the Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), where he was briefed by Austria’s Interior Ministry and the Vienna police about their operations.

September 24, 2015

UNODC and OSCE Develop Strategies to Reduce Drug Demand and Supply to Youth

UNODC, through its Deputy Executive Director, addressed a high-level conference aimed at enhancing the mechanisms to stem the increasing spread of illicit drugs amongst young people, organized under the Serbian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The two-day event was held at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, bringing together practitioners from national administrations, representatives from youth initiatives and civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as international and regional organizations.

September 23, 2015

Austrian President Fischer is First European Head of State to Visit Iran

Austrian President Heinz Fischer is the first European head of state to visit Iran following the successful conclusion of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1.

September 7, 2015

Austria Opens New Honorary Consulate in Wrocław/Breslau

The population of Wrocław is 633,802, making it the fourth largest city in Poland. Grzegorz Schetyna, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs opened the new Austrian honorary consulate in Wrocław (Breslau) together with Thomas M. Buchsbaum, the Austrian ambassador in Poland.

August 31, 2015

Austria Introduces New Visa Rules for Chinese, Indian and Indonesian Business Travellers

Austria has decided to introduce a liberalized regime for issue of business visas to Austria, effective from August 1, 2015. In an initial pilot phase, the new regime will be applicable only to India, China, and Indonesia.

July 29, 2015

IAEA's Position and Road-Map Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) agree, in continuation of their cooperation under the Framework for Cooperation, to accelerate and strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at the resolution, by the end of 2015, of all past and present outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA and Iran.

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Joint Statement by Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister

The joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls on the world community "to support the implementation of this historic effort". "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a balanced deal that respects the interests of all sides. It is also complex, detailed and technical."

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Historic Agreement in Vienna

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany and the EU have reached a "historic" deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. The deal, known as the "Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action", was signed today in Vienna.

July 14, 2015

Historic Iran Nuclear Deal Likely to be Announced Early Tuesday

Officials negotiating in Vienna's Palais Coburg say nothing is confirmed, but a deal will possibly come in the early hours of the morning. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said an Iran nuclear deal would not be ready to be announced July 13, as China’s Foreign Minister urged the P5+1 and Iran to finalize the accord.

July 13, 2015

RBI: Grexit Still an Option

RBI analysts conclude in their latest risk analysis, that today’s summit agreement should not be taken as end to the risk of Grexit yet. If the agreement fails to clear the necessary parliamentary hurdles, the ECB could soon withdraw its support for Greek banks, forcing Greece out of the Euro. Even after a successful conclusion of negotiations the risk of Grexit could soon resurface: If the willingness of the Greek government to implement reforms declines again after the current pressure is reduced, todays crisis summit would be followed be new ones, whenever a new aid tranche has to be paid out.

July 13, 2015

Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons Acts to Combat Human Trafficking

Protecting groups vulnerable to human trafficking along migration routes and in destination countries is the focus of the 2015 Alliance conference, where during the next two days leading experts are looking for new ways to assist at-risk migrants. “This has become an increasingly urgent international issue with serious security implications for the OSCE area and neighbouring regions,” Aleksandar Nikolić, Serbia’s State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, said on Monday.

July 6, 2015

How to Combat Human Trafficking Discussed in Vienna

Combating human trafficking along migration routes will be in focus at a high-level conference on 6-7 July in Vienna. The conference will draw attention to the impact of state migration policies on trafficking in human beings, the increasing risk of being trafficked during times of crisis, and the special vulnerability of unaccompanied minors on the move.

June 29, 2015

International Experts Discuss Counter-Terrorism Measures in Vienna

An expert conference in Vienna next week focuses on countering the incitement and recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters.

June 26, 2015

Vienna and Triest - Through History Connected

A recent visit by Triest's Mayor Roberto Cosolini highlights that Vienna and Trieste were connected in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for more than 500 years. Especially in the 18th and 19th century the port of Trieste flourished and because of its location became one of the most developed economic areas of the Habsburg Empire. It was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague).

June 25, 2015

Ambassador Martin Sajdik Becomes New OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić today appointed Ambassador Martin Sajdik (Austria) as his new Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group. He follows Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini (Switzerland) who, having fulfilled this assignment for one year, expressed her wish to step down.

June 23, 2015

International Day of Yoga Celebrations in Vienna

The United Nations General Assembly last year declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution adopted by the General Assembly invites everyone to observe that day as the International Day of Yoga. Hence, the International Day of Yoga celebrations in Vienna took place at Votiv Park, in the heart of Vienna, where people participated in good numbers to perform the exercises as per the common yoga protocol.

June 21, 2015

"WeCooperate" Project Closes with Millions Mobilised

The OSCE project "WeCooperate" closes with millions mobilised to work together to achieve peace and security. Two months on the campaign is drawing to a close, having reached an audience of nearly three million people with the message that co-operation is the path to peace and security.

June 19, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met His British Counterpart Philip Hammond in Vienna

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met for talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in Vienna - a discussion on reforms necessary to make the EU fit for the 21st century. Both foreign ministers "Agreed that EU-reform must cut regulation & support business."

June 12, 2015

Conference on the Safety of Journalists to be Held in Vienna

The OSCE is hosting a conference on journalists’ safety and conflict reporting on 15-16 June in Vienna. The two-day event, “Journalists’ Safety, Media Freedom and Pluralism in Times of Conflict”, will bring together some 300 journalists, media experts, diplomats and key policy-makers from across the OSCE region to discuss and review the current situation relating to the safety of journalists reporting from conflicts.

June 12, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: Full List of All 133 Participants

The full list of all 133 attendees to the top secret Bilderberg Group conference 2015 has been released (see below). The Austrians participating are René Benko, Oscar Bronner, Heinz Fischer, Alfred Gusenbauer, Erich Hampel, Wolfgang Hesoun, Gerhard Roiss, Rudolf Scholten and Karl Sevelda.

June 12, 2015 · Updated: June 12, 2015; 17:45

The Bilderberg Group - Background and Criticism

The first Bilderberg conference dates back to May 1954, when it was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. Partly because of its working methods to ensure strict privacy, the Bilderberg Group has been criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability.

June 11, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: The "World Government" Meets in Austria

A select group of global elite is gathering today at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. The 63rd Bilderberg conference is a super secret annual conference where they can discuss politics, economics and foreign policy freely. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance at the Bilderberg conference 2015. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry and finance have been invited. This year the list includes nine Austrians. Key talking points on the agenda include the Ukrainian crisis, Greece, Middle East and Terrorism (see detailed list below). Security is tight - participants as well as protesters and journalists will have to deal with the Austrian anti terror squad "Cobra". After 1979 it's the second time that the conference takes place in Austria.

June 11, 2015 · Updated: June 11, 2015; 19:00

OPEC in Vienna Decides to Keep Production Unchanged

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today hosted its 167th Meeting of the OPEC Conference at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna. Participants included OPEC Heads of Delegation and the Secretary General. There were some expectations that the production goal of 30 million barrels a day could move higher. However, the key issue the market was looking for will remain at 30 million barrels a day.

June 5, 2015

OPEC Member Countries Discuss Global Petroleum Development Strategies in Vienna

The 6th OPEC International Seminar, with the theme "Petroleum - An Engine for Global Development", aims to build on the previous events from the past decade. It is currently taking place at the Imperial Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The Seminar intends to underpin OPEC’s commitment to stabilize the international oil market by promoting cooperation and dialogue with stakeholders around the world.

June 3, 2015

Swedish Embassy in Vienna has New Premises

The Swedish Embassy/UN representation and the OSCE-delegation have moved to new premises with extensive entertainment facilities, Schwedenhaus Wien. This represents a new and unique concept which could be a model for how Sweden will be represented abroad in the future. As the Embassy also represents Sweden in Slovakia and Slovenia, Schwedenhaus Wien will have both a regional and multilateral (UN and OSCE) approach.

May 29, 2015

Vienna's Glittering Summer Balls: The Concordia Ball and the Fête Impériale

Two glittering summer balls will be celebrated in Vienna: The Concordia Ball (19.6.) in Vienna City Hall and the Fête Impériale (26.6.) in the Spanish Imperial Riding School. The Concordia Ball has been one of Vienna's most sparkling and exclusive events for over 150 years. The Fête Impériale is famous for its opulent and imaginative decorations, and is held once again this year under the motto "Red-White-Red".

May 28, 2015

Make in India: Forum "Alternative India" in Vienna, Linz and Graz

As part of the trade promotion initiative of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Ministry of Economy “Going International - Going to India” the Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) together with the Austrian Trade Commission in Delhi, organized “Forum Alternative India” in Vienna, in Linz and in Graz.

May 28, 2015

OSCE's Dunja Mijatović Lauds UN Security Council Resolution on Protection of Journalists

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović welcomed the UN Security Council’s passing today of Resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists.

May 27, 2015

Analysis: The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna

The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 has been the 60th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest musical event. The contest took place in Vienna and followed Conchita Wurst's victory in the 2014 edition with her song "Rise Like a Phoenix". The song "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw took the winning spot in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna with 365 points. The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will therefore be held in Sweden.

May 16, 2015 · Updated: May 28, 2015; 08:00

EBRD Sees Mixed Outlook for CESEE Countries in 2015-16

The outlook for economies in central and south eastern Europe is improving on the back of eurozone monetary easing but prospects further to the east of the transition region have worsened, as the impact of Russia’s recession intensifies.

May 14, 2015

Make in India: Starting in Vienna

With the aim of bringing Austrian and Indian business people together to strengthen the bonds linking Vienna/Austria and India, the Embassy of India, in cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency, welcomed several guests in the context of the „Make in India: Starting in Vienna“ event held at the Vienna Expat Center.

May 5, 2015