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Austria International Political News | International | EU | Domestic

Soros University Leaves Budapest in Favor of Vienna

In Hungary, the Central European University (CEU) has faced massive hostility. As a consequence, the location will be relocated to Vienna. Michael Ignatieff, the rector of CEU, announced this week in Budapest that the university is finally moving: "This is a dark day for freedom in Hungary, and it's a dark day for academic freedom." In Vienna, negotiations are still underway on a suitable building for interim use from 2019. By 2023, the university is to move permanently to the grounds of the Otto Wagner Hospital.

December 6, 2018

Bratislava - Vienna Railway Line Extended

The two EU capitals Vienna and Bratislava are approaching each other. After a construction period of about two years, representatives of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the EU, the City of Vienna and the Province of Lower Austria opened the first part, the so-called "Vienna section" of the Vienna - Bratislava line extension. The completion of the second part, the so-called "Lower Austrian Section", will last until 2023. The journey time from the main railway station in Vienna (Hauptbahnhof-Wien) to the main railway station in Bratislava (Bratislava hlavná stanica) will be reduced from 66 minutes to 40 minutes.

December 5, 2018

What Brexit Means for Austrian Federal Provinces

The economic links between the Austrian provinces and the United Kingdom show that the withdrawal will not only be disadvantageous for the UK, but will also leave its mark on Austria's economy. According to a chart of the Thinktank Agenda Austria, the Austrian federal states whose exports will be hardest hit by the UK's departure are Upper Austria and Styria.

November 29, 2018

How to Eliminate Violence against Women?

In context with the UN-sponsored campaign "International Day for the elimination of violence against women", there are various initiatives against violence against women not only at the UN, but also in Brussels and Vienna. Federica Mogherini announced that the EU has decided to allocate an additional €5 million to support the projects of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. And the Austrian Foreign Ministry, together with the Austrian Integration Fund, is participating in the campaign "16 days against violence against women".

November 26, 2018

Sebastian Kurz: EU and Switzerland to Intensify Relations Further

Federal Chancellor Kurz held a working meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset in Bern. The meeting focused on, among other topics, an assessment of Brexit, the Western Balkans, the nuclear agreement with Iran, relations with Russia and the priorities of the Austrian EU Presidency.

November 22, 2018

Anti-Semitism Conference in Vienna - Austria to Win Israel's Favor

A high-ranking conference against antisemitism with the motto "Europe beyond Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism - Securing Jewish Life in Europe" took place in Vienna. Participants included Ariel Muzicant, Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), Education Minister Heinz Faßmann, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, EPP Group Leader Manfred Weber, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Anatoliyovych Klimkin and Chancellor Kurz. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had had to cancel his participation at short notice because of the government crisis in his home country. Likewise not a single official representative of the Austrian Freedom Party was present.

November 22, 2018

Immigration in Austria - Migration Compensates for Expected Birth Deficit

Austria will have just under 10 million inhabitants in 2080. This follows from the assumptions of sustained immigration, stagnating birth rates and a further increase in life expectancy. The number of people born abroad will already rise by one third by 2040.

November 22, 2018

Russia on the World Stage - Andrej Kolesnikov and Nina Khrushcheva at the Kreisky Forum

Professor Nina Khrushcheva interviewed Russian journalist Andrej Kolesnikov about the current situation and prospects in Russia.

November 22, 2018

Foreign Minister's Liechtenstein Visit Strengthens Bilateral Relations

Karin Kneissl travelled to Vaduz for a working discussion with her counterpart from Liechtenstein, Aurelia Frick to discuss current developments such as the most recent status of the Brexit negotiations and the cooperation in multilateral matters.

November 22, 2018

The New Location Development Act - Significance for Austria's Attractiveness as a Business Location

The Austrian government has passed the highly controversial Location Development Act in the Council of Ministers, which will speed up environmental impact assessments, be passed by the National Council this year and come into force on 1 January 2019. The new legislation will introduce automatic permits for certain energy infrastructure projects (eg, electricity grids and power plants). Positive reactions are coming from industry and politics. Various environmental associations criticise the new law.

November 22, 2018

Vienna Service Office - Connecting the City of Vienna with UNO CITY for 30 Years

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Service Office in the UNO City, Director General of UNOV, Yury Fedotov and the new Mayor Michael Ludwig confirmed the good and close cooperation between the City of Vienna and the local UN organisations.

November 22, 2018

Austrian Development Agency Receives More Funds from the Green Climate Fund

The ADA (Austrian Development Agency) reports that after a three-year process at the 21st board meeting of the Green Climate Fund in Manama, Bahrain, the accreditation of the ADA was completed on 20 October 2018.

November 12, 2018

80 Years of November Pogrom - Remembrance at the Site of the Former Leopoldstadt Temple, at Judenplatz near the Shoah Memorial and in Parliament

Austria commemorated the events 80 years ago. Austrian Shoah survivors from Israel received in Parliament at the Hofburg. President of the National Council Sobotka asked Austrian Shoah survivors for forgiveness. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen already reminded the day before at a commemoration ceremony of the November pogroms at the Psychosocial Centre of the Vienna Israelite Community. On the commemoration day he laid a wreath at the Shoah memorial on Judenplatz.

November 9, 2018

Erection of the Vienna Shoah Memorial Wall about to Begin

The long-planned project of a name memorial wall for the 66,000 Jews murdered in Austria during National Socialism is about to be realized. Kurt Tutter, initiator of the name wall, explained the significance of the new memorial, which will be erected in Ostarrichi Park. For him, it was a matter of commemorating his family as well as families unknown to him who had been completely wiped out by Nazi crimes.

November 9, 2018

Reception for Holocaust Survivors in the Austrian Parliament: "Never again!"

Rabbi Arthur Schneier from New York, speaking at the reception for Holocaust survivors in parliament, called for a common commitment to "Never again" and to live together in peace and mutual respect.

November 9, 2018

Russian Espionage Incident in the Austrian Armed Forces

A colonel of the Austrian Armed Forces is suspected of having worked for decades with a Russian intelligence service. Foreign Minister Kneissl quoted the Russian chargé d'affaires to the Foreign Ministry and cancelled her planned trip to Russia.

November 9, 2018

Austria in E-Government ahead of Germany and Switzerland

Margarete Schramböck is on the right course. According to a recent study on the e-government situation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Austria clearly holds the top position in the e-government country comparison.

November 7, 2018

Western Balkans - No Reconciliation in Kosovo Conflict

Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz visited Serbia and Kosovo during a trip to the Western Balkans. Since the last clash between the two heads of state Vučić and Thaçi in September, the talks have been suspended there. The EU should continue to support the search for a solution to the Kosovo conflict.

November 7, 2018

The United States after the Midterms - What's next?

Shortly after the midterm elections, a panel discussion with prominent guests will take place at Vienna's International Institute for Peace (IIP), analysing the election results and discussing their significance.

November 5, 2018

Austrian National Bank Seeking Successors for Top Jobs

The Board of Governors of the OeNB Austrian National Bank has published a recruitment announcement for the new central bank governor, vice governor and two members of the Management Committee. Applications can be submitted until 5 December, according to the official gazette of the "Wiener Zeitung".

November 5, 2018

UN Migration Pact: Federal President Warns of the Loss of Austria's Reputation

In response to Austria's planned withdrawal from the UN Migration Pact, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen has addressed warning words to the federal government. The Federal President defends the Migration Pact and wants to conduct talks with Chancellor Kurz and Foreign Minister Kneissl. Protests are also coming from across the country.

November 3, 2018

Setback for the UN - Austria Won't Sign Global Migration Pact

Austria will follow the US and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations pact on migration (Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration) over concerns that it will blur the line between illegal and legal migration.

October 31, 2018

What We Can Learn From War

The aim of a special exhibition on "war. tracing an evolution" at the Natural History Museum (NHM - Naturhistorischen Museums Wien) is to make the phenomenon of "war" tangible on the basis of historical evidence. The big questions "Does man learn from his history?", "What is aggression?", "Since when has war existed?" and "Is war inevitable because it is human?" are to be answered.

October 31, 2018

Japan-Austria Relations - Kurz Met Shinzo Abe

During the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met for bilateral talks. The meeting focused on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Austria next year, the new tax convention between Japan and Austria, the Japan-European Union (EU) relations and the situation in North Korea.

October 30, 2018

Eurasian Economic Union vs. European Union - Perspectives and Limits

At Lansky, Ganzger + Partner, at the meeting room of the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft), a number of prominent participants met for a panel discussion to explore the relationship between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, EEU), to which Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia belong, and the European Union (EU) entitled "The Eurasian Economic Union and the EU - Perspectives and Limits of a Partnership". The conference was hosted by the Research Centre for Eurasian Studies (EURAS), the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft) and the Austrian-Belarusian Society (ÖWG - Österreichisch-Weißrussische Gesellschaft).

October 30, 2018

What Do You Know About the Austrian National Day?

The Austrian National Day (Nationalfeiertag) has been celebrated annually since 1965 on 26 October, the day on which the decided Austrian neutrality came into force in 1955 and the last occupying powers left Austria. The Parliament, the Office of the Federal President, the Federal Chancellery, the Foreign Ministry, etc. invite the public to the Open Day, which - this year - is dedicated to the commemoration year 1918. The public is invited to contribute their ideas. Take the chance to get to know Austria!

October 25, 2018

China, the Rising Great Power of the 21st Century and the Austrians

At the Kreisky Forum, Austrian China experts (Schweisgut, Löw, Giner-Reichl, Witt-Löw) discussed the rising great power of the 21st century.

October 22, 2018

UK Nationals Living in Austria Preparing for Brexit

The British Embassy in Vienna invites all British Nationals living in Austria to a series of information events throughout the country to prepare them for BREXIT.

October 22, 2018

Khashoggi Case: Austria Increases Pressure on Saudi Arabia

The Austrian Foreign Ministry is now having the legal status of the controversial King Abdullah Centre (KAICIID) reviewed. The Centre has been criticised by representatives of civil society who are concerned with Saudi Arabia's poor human-rights record in fears that the KAICIID would in fact be misused by founding member and chief financier Saudi Arabia as a bridge-head for spreading Wahhabism in Austria and Europe.

October 22, 2018

Ambassador Traina on Trade-War: "Donald Trump is Europe's Greatest Hope"

In an interview with the trend-magazine the US ambassador in Vienna, Trevor Traina, warns of the Chinese, and that the theft of intellectual property could also happen to Europe's key industries. Donald Trump's unpredictability is therefore "Europe's greatest hope" to avert such a scenario in time.

October 19, 2018

Kurz Met Bill Gates: "He is a Source of Inspiration"

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the EU summit in Brussels. Gates was in Brussels this week to create a pilot fund that will invest €100 million in European companies working to stop climate change.

October 19, 2018

Kazakhstan and Austria Reinforce Reciprocal Extradition and Legal Assistance

During a visit to Vienna, Kazakh Attorney General Kairat Kozhamzharov was received by Josef Moser, Federal Minister for Reforms and Justice. A joint declaration was signed. The talks focused on Kazakhstan's multilateral efforts, current affairs, mutual extradition and mutual legal assistance with Kazakhstan.

October 19, 2018

The Western Balkans: Resolving Outstanding Issues between Belgrade and Pristina Prerequisite for Serbia's Accession to the EU

As international and local pressure mounts on Belgrade and Pristina to define their relations with an agreement on normalization, the official Austrian visit to the Republic of Serbia as part of an economic and cultural delegation headed by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen focused on bilateral economic relations, Serbia's EU perspective and the Belgrade-Priština Dialogue.

October 18, 2018

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.

October 16, 2018

Karin Kneissl at the Foreign Affairs Council - Khashoggi, Libya, Venezuela and the Eastern Partnership

Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl met with Federica Mogherini and the other EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg to discuss the situation in Libya, migration issues, the EU's Eastern Partnership, and the case of the missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

October 16, 2018

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

Citizens' Initiative "Europa.cafe" Receives the Europe State Award 2018

The European State Prize of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs honours the voluntary commitment of citizens and organisations to promote European awareness and understanding. The winning project in 2018 was the nationwide citizens' initiative "Europa.cafe", a successful example of how to creatively make the European Union tangible for the individual citizen on the one hand and how committed citizens can reach with dedication and conviction on the other.

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

Christian Kern: After All, Departure from Politics

The former SPÖ leader Christian Kern called to the SPÖ headquarters to quit his candidacy for the EU elections and to announce his farewell to politics. He is now indeed leaving politics and wants to return to the business world as a manager, or even to become an entrepreneur himself.

October 6, 2018

Austrian State and Industrial Holding will be Reorganized Again

The holding company of the Austrian federal shareholdings (ÖBIB) is to be restructured and given a new boss. The existing structures created by the red-black predecessor government will soon be history again. The law for a new holding company of the Republic is to be examined in the next few days. Its boss is to be Thomas Schmid, general secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

October 3, 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

Danube Region Business Forum - Infrastructure and Its Implications on Business in CEE and SEE

The Danube Region is one of the traditionally important markets for Central European regions and companies. However, the infrastructure of this region does not yet meet the requirements of the economy. The 8th Danube Region Business Forum will take place on 9 October 2018 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna. The aim of the forum is to ensure that the infrastructural quality and cooperations in the region meet the requirements of the economy.

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

Thomas Drozda Appointed New Federal Managing Director of Austrian Social Democratic Party

The former cultural manager, who was brought back into politics by Chancellor Christian Kern, will accompany the new party leader, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, as Federal Managing Director of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ).

September 26, 2018

Dr. Pamela Rendi-Wagner Confirmed as Party Leader of the Social Democratic Party of Austria

Pamela Rendi-Wagner, former Minister of Health and Women's Affairs, was nominated new party leader by the SPÖ party executive. This is the first time that a woman has assumed the position of SPÖ chairman. Andreas Schieder made room for Rendi Wagner, Thomas Drozda takes over the federal management from Max Lercher. Who is Rendi-Wagner and what will she do?

September 25, 2018 · Updated: September 26, 2018; 13:00

Freedom of the Media: Opposition Attacks Interior Minister Kickl

The opposition criticises the e-mail from Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (ÖVP), which is referred to as a "Gleichschaltungs" e-mail and would be a direct attack on democracy, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press.

September 25, 2018

Andreas Schieder Resigns as SPÖ Parliamentary Club Chairman

In the course of the crisis and the restructuring of the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ), Mr. Andreas Schieder has thrown in the towel by resigning today as club chairman.

September 25, 2018