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Austrian Political News | International, European Union, Domestic

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

Social Progress Index: Austria Ranked 13th

Austria has been ranked 13th by NGO Social Progress Imperative, in its Social Progress Index ranking. It precedes Japan and Germany and scored many points thanks to renewable energy projects. However, the state reveals shortages with respect to education, tolerance and equal opportunities. Nordic states, such as Finland, Canada and Denmark lead the index.

July 25, 2016

What Role Should the OSCE Play in the Refugee Issue?

Possible roles for the OSCE in the context of the migration and refugee flows across the OSCE area were discussed at a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna. The OSCE Permanent Council is one of the main regular decision-making bodies of the Organization bringing together representatives of all 57 OSCE participating States and the 11 Partners for Co-operation.

July 21, 2016

Austrian Ministerial Council Approves EUR 1.5 Mln for Iraq Humanitarian Aid and Resettlement

The Austrian Ministerial Council approves 1.5 million euros in funding for humanitarian aid and resettlement in Iraq. The humanitarian aid for the population in need on the ground and measures aimed at promoting resettlement are supposed to contribute towards managing the refugee crisis.

July 15, 2016

Austria Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship: "Need for Decisive Action!"

In his first address to the OSCE Permanent Council as incoming OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz said that the fight against radicalization will be the main priority of Austria’s 2017 OSCE chairmanship. In first address to OSCE Permanent Council, incoming Chairperson-in-Office Austria’s Foreign Minister Kurz, stresses

July 14, 2016

New "Open Austria Initiative" Supposed to Open Doors to Silicon Valley

Foreign Ministry and Austrian Economic Chamber open joint office in California to support Austrian companies and pave their way for success in Silicon Valley.

July 14, 2016

OSCE: "Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Energy Supplies are Prerequisite for Stability and Security"

Energy experts from the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, representing both government institutions and private sector companies, will begin a week-long field study of sustainable energy in Austria and Germany.

July 12, 2016

Western Balkans Summit was Held in Paris

Following the 2014 Western Balkans Summit in Berlin and the Vienna Western Balkans Summit of August 2015, the third Western Balkans Summit was held in Paris in the context of the ‘Berlin Process’. More than 500,000 of the people with migration background who live in Austria are from the region. Austrian companies have hundreds of branches or subsidiaries in the Western Balkans, which clearly illustrates the very close economic relations.

July 8, 2016

Christine Muttonen Elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today congratulated Christine Muttonen on her election as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

July 6, 2016

Presidential Poll Result Overturned by Austrian Constitutional Court

Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party Norbert Hofer.

July 1, 2016

Agenda Austria Recommends Campaign Against Öxit

Think tank Agenda Austria recommends the government in Austria to devise a large campaign against an Austrian exit ("Öxit”), highlighting the benefits of EU membership, since the experts anticipate an increase in discussions concerning this issue.

June 27, 2016

Human Rights of Refugees Must Also Be Protected

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) emphasized that any solutions to the refugee crisis in Europe must ensure the dignified treatment and protection of the human rights of all refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants.

June 21, 2016

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

What Brexit Means for Austria: Mitterlehner, Kurz, Fiat Steyr

Mitterlehner hopes that the referendum will end in Britain staying in the EU. Kurz says, that Brexit would be terrible. Fiat could relocate production of agriculture and construction machine maker CNH (Case New Holland) from UK to Steyr in case of Brexit.

June 20, 2016

20 Years Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Ministerial Meeting at VIC

Marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a Ministerial Meeting was held at Vienna International Center. Hosting some 40 international organizations, Austria is a hub for the promotion of peace, safety and security, sustainable development and the fight against crime, drug abuse and terrorism.

June 20, 2016

Central European Initiative Discusses Refugee Crisis in Banja Luka

Foreign Ministers of the 18 member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) met in Bosnia Herzegovina, which holds the initiative’s annual rotating Chairmanship this year. Discussions mainly focused on the refugee crisis and potential solutions.

June 20, 2016

Expert Meeting in Vienna: "Make Migration a Resource for All"

Making migration a resource for public institutions, the private sector, local communities and migrants themselves was the main topic of an expert meeting on the long-term approach to migration governance, organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA).

June 20, 2016

Symposium in Vienna: "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit"

The upcoming summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Warsaw from 8th to 9th July 2016 sees the organization facing numerous challenges. The withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan and rising tensions in the European area – from the conflict in Ukraine to the migration crisis, effected the question of the role of NATO’s Partnership for Peace under the new circumstances. A conference in Vienna with the working title "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit" intends to discuss these and other pertinent issues.

June 16, 2016

OSCE Meeting in Vienna: "Empowerment of Youth Crucial in Preventing Violent Extremism"

Preventing and responding to the terrorist radicalization of youth north and south of the Mediterranean was in focus of the OSCE Mediterranean Contact Group meeting held in Vienna. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier launched in 2015 the organization-wide campaign ‘OSCE United in Countering Violent Extremism’ to underscore that the OSCE stands together as one in countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism.

June 15, 2016

Mogherini Visits Vienna to Discusses Migration and Nuclear Disarmament Issues with Kurz

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with Sebastian Kurz in the margins of the CTBT Ministerial in Vienna on 13 June. Mogherini und Kurz stressed their support for the entry into force of the CTBT and the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

June 13, 2016

Tax Payers to Finance AvW Bankruptcy after all?

Tax payers may have to finance the bankruptcy of Carinthian financial company AvW after all, Presse daily reports in its online issue. The damage is estimated at EUR 148 million (USD 168.2 million).

June 8, 2016

Austria’s Business Community Welcomes Van der Bellen

Austria’s economic chamber head Christoph Leitl congratulated Alexander van der Bellen on the latter’s election victory. Leitl stressed Austria’s business sector was ready to cooperate. Also Industrialists Association (Industriellenvereinigung) head Georg Kapsch cheered on the new President, adding that the industrial sector wished the new President good luck.

May 24, 2016

Austrian Presidential Candidate Hofer Admits Defeat

Austria's presidential candidate Norbert Hofer admitted his defeat in the election via his Facebook site.

May 23, 2016

Final Results of Austria Presidential Election - Alexander van der Bellen Becomes New President

700,000 votes from polling stations have now been counted. Alexander Van der Bellen has won ahead of his rival Norbert Hofer by 50.3 to 49.7 percent. Thus Alexander van der Bellen, who has the support of the Greens, will become the first Green President of the Republic of Austria.

May 23, 2016 · Updated: May 23, 2016; 16:55

Chancellor Faymann Resigns

Werner Faymann has been Chancellor of Austria and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) since 2008. Today he announced that he will retire from all of his posts in the coming days. He resigned arguing that the reason is the loss of the support of his own party in the wake of last month's presidential elections.

May 9, 2016

OSCE Representative Dunja Mijatović Awarded Concordia Prize for Press Freedom

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović was awarded the Concordia Press Club Prize 2015 in the category of press freedom and freedom of information. The Concordia Press Club decided to award Mijatović the prize given her personal dedication to press freedom issues in 2015.

May 2, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's Visit to Vienna to Highlights Austria's Seat of a Total of 37 International Organisations

In the context of his visit to Vienna UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon met Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz for a working discussion at the Foreign Ministry. Talks focused on the challenges Austria and Europe are currently facing, especially in connection with the refugee crisis and the fight against radicalization and terrorism. A further topic addressed was the important role played by Austria as the seat and headquarters of a total of 37 international organisations.

April 29, 2016

Ursula von der Leyen to Visit Vienna to Discuss Defence Issues

As part of an official visit to Vienna, Ursula von der Leyen, Minister of Defence of Germany, which currently holds the OSCE Chairmanship, will meet OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier. During their meeting, von der Leyen and Zannier will discuss the role of the OSCE focusing in particular on the crisis in and around Ukraine. They will also explore possibilities to strengthen the OSCE and its capabilities.

April 29, 2016

175 International Businesses Relocated to Vienna

According to the Vienna Business Agency, last year a total of 175 international businesses relocated to Vienna. Compared to the previous year, the result of 159 relocations was further improved. Compared to the other federal states, Vienna was able to attract almost five times more international businesses than the second-placed Carinthia, which, according to statistics of the Ministry of Economy, recorded 36 new businesses, followed by Salzburg (25), Tyrol (20), and Lower Austria (18).

April 21, 2016

Minister of Justice Brandstetter Headed an Austrian Delegation to the U.S.

The Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. reports that Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter headed an Austrian delegation to the U.S. from January 28 to February 3, 2016. His visit included meetings with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, members of Congress, Facebook officials, as well as a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail.

March 4, 2016

Safety of Media Members Reporting on Refugee Crisis at Risk

OSCE Representative issues recommendations on rights and safety of members of the media reporting on refugees The challenging refugee situation in Europe also has implications for freedom of the media, not least with regard to the rights and safety of members of the media reporting on this important issue, Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today.

March 4, 2016

International Women’s Day Debate: The Backlash Against Women’s Rights

Women throughout the world continue to face discrimination, are denied equal access to participation in public and political life and suffer sexual and gender-based violence and abuse in public places and at home. International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. On March 8th the IWM library organizes a panel discussion called "The Backlash Against Women’s Rights".

March 2, 2016

Discuss with Jeffrey Sachs Migration and Global Inequalities

Professor of economics Jeffrey D. Sachs will visit Austria on March 10th to give a lecture on migration and global inequalities. The lecture will take place at Vienna's Institute for Human Sciences.

March 2, 2016

Quality of Living - Vienna is still the Number One

Vienna again tops the quality of living survey in 2016. The results of the Mercer study show, for the seventh time in a row, that Vienna's approach to quality of living is internationally acknowledged. Vienna is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. London ranks 39th.

February 26, 2016

The Western Balkans Conference Which Led to Row Over Worsening Refugee Crisis

Convened on the initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Western Balkans conference “Managing Migration Together” was held at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. 18 foreign and interior ministers from the Western Balkans attended the conference. The participants included the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

February 26, 2016

Austria Strengthens Synergies between Diplomatic and Business Community

Diplomacy and business go hand in hand. From now on, synergies between the representation networks of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber are to be used more efficiently.

February 26, 2016

Greece Recalls Ambassador to Vienna in Row over Worsening Migrant Issue

By decision of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna, H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi, is being called to Athens for consultations aimed at "safeguarding the relations" between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.

February 25, 2016

Austrian Business Delegation to Visit India - Results

Austria's business delegation has returned from a five-day visit to India. What did they achieve?

February 23, 2016

Iran Appoints Ebadollah Molaie as New Ambassador to Austria

Ebadollah Molaie has been appointed as Iran’s new ambassador to Austria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said recently.

February 19, 2016

Austrian Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Waldner Presented his Credentials to President Obama

Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday January 28, 2016. "I am looking forward to my upcoming tasks, especially to be part of the successful bilateral relationship our two countries share. It will be my honor to further strengthen the political, economic, and cultural bonds between the United States and Austria over the course of the next four years." Waldner said at the White House.

February 12, 2016

Opening of Austrian Embassy in Minsk: Belarus Acts as an Important Bridge

On 9 February 2016, the Austrian Embassy in Minsk was officially opened by the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart. The opening of the embassy is an important element in the restructuring process launched by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to bring about a strategic re-orientation of the diplomatic representation network. "Austria is thus sending out a signal that the EU's immediate neighbourhood is one of its foreign policy priorities", Linhart pointed out.

February 12, 2016

Richard Lugner to Run for Austrian President

The 83-year-old construction entrepreneur, millionaire and society figure Richard 'Mortar' Lugner says he is running for president of Austria. He wants to hold the highest office along with his 26-year-old German woman Cathy, a former Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in Cologne. For an official nomination Lugner should see about 6,000 signatures to collect.

February 10, 2016

Freedom of the Media: The Challenges Propaganda Brings for Journalism

The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media will, together with the German Chairmanship, host an expert meeting on propaganda for war and hatred and freedom of the media on 12 February in Vienna.

February 10, 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Reminds Us of Need to Combat Anti-Semitism

Remembering the Holocaust reminds us of our duty to speak out against the denial of these grave crimes and to work for tolerance and non-discrimination in our societies, said keynote speakers addressing the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, which was dedicated to commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.

January 22, 2016

Klaus Toepfer to Give Keynote Speech at Economic and Environmental Forum in Vienna

Good governance in the OSCE area, reinforcing security and stability through co-operation, will be theme of the 24th Economic and Environmental Forum and the 1st Preparatory Meeting taking place on 25 and 26 January in Vienna. The meeting will focus on good environmental governance to enable sustainable economic development.

January 22, 2016

Czechs Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek Want to Take Control of Casinos Austria

The Czech consortium Austrian Gaming Holding (AGH) of billionaires Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek, headquartered in Prague may soon be new majority owner of Casinos Austria AG. According to the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), Austrian Gaming Holding intends to increase one hand its stake in Medial to 88.89 percent and on the other hand to acquire 16.79 percent of Casinos Austria AG shares. Through these acquisitions, AGH will hold directly or indirectly 50.82 percent of the shares and thus acquire sole control of the CASAG.

January 21, 2016

Vienna Congress comsult 2016: "The Future of Growth"

"The Future of Growth" was the topic of the Vienna Congress com•sult 2016 which took place at Vienna's House of Industry. The Vienna Congress once again brought together prominent figures from the worlds of politics, economics and science to discuss future development of different aspects, focusing on the issue of migrant crisis, which has been one of the greatest challenges faced by European states and institutions in every sense. Distinguished participants from industry, politics and the business community such as Milica Pejanovic, Mohamed ElBaradei, Mario Monti, Markus Rogan, Dan Shechtman and Guenther Fehlinger discussed perspectives and strategies for new growth in Europe.

January 20, 2016

Austrian Foreign Ministry Welcomes Completion of Next Phase of the Vienna Agreement with Iran

The Austrian Foreign Minister welcomed the successful completion of the preparatory phase for the implementation of the Vienna Agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran. He hopes that Iran will assume a constructive role in resolving regional conflicts.

January 19, 2016

Kurz: North Korea is Increasingly Isolating Itself from the International Community

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz condemns the latest North Korean nuclear test in the strongest terms and underlines his full trust in the CTBTO.

January 11, 2016

Wishing you Peace, Joy and Happiness in the New Year

Dear Reader, As the year comes to an end, I wanted to write and thank you for your support. It's the loyalty of readers like you that enables us to provide our service. This year saw us once again reporting on topics related to cross-border activities in business and diplomacy. Our mission remains to inform and to connect Austria's international professionals and expatriates to enable them to be more productive and successful. Whatever 2016 brings, my editorial team and I will continue to bring you the latest in Austrian-international news and insight. I wish you a peaceful and prosperous holiday season and - till next year. Warm regards, Dr. Peter J. Friedl, Editor, FriedlNews

December 23, 2015