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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.

2 hours ago

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

Asylum Law: Duration of Proceedings at Austrian Supreme Courts Decreases

The duration of proceedings in asylum cases at the two Austrian Supreme Courts, Constitutional Court of Austria (VfGH) and Supreme Administrative Court of Austria (VwGH), is continuously decreasing.

April 10, 2018

Austria's Vice-Chancellor Also Wants Headscarf Ban for Students

An extension is now under discussion since yesterday. Heinz-Christian Strache requested a comprehensive ban on headscarves in a TV appearance analogous to Turkey, as it had applied there until before the AKP. Until now it was decided that children under the age of ten should not wear headscarves. The government wanted to propose a law by summer for which it needs the votes of the opposition. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who made the appearance together with Strache, agreed with Strache that he is completely on the same line.

April 6, 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

Jens Weidmann Demands in Vienna an End to Massive Bond-Buying Program

The head of Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, visits Vienna to receive the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold (Grosses Goldenes Ehrenzeichen) from Finance Minister Hartwig Löger. In his speech he called for a rapid end to bond purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB).

March 26, 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

Austria's Double Budget 2018/2019 - Cautious Optimism

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger (ÖVP) presented his first budget. Austria's new federal government wants to earn more than it spends. The double budget for 2018 and 2019 should herald a new era. The Austrian state has been spending more than it takes for 65 years and this is to be reversed for the first time in 2019. Debt policy is to be ended. A budget surplus of 541 million euros is to be achieved and thus a turning point in budget policy. Most money should be spent on pensions, least on health.

March 22, 2018

Austrian Attaché at Tel Aviv Embassy Poses in T-Shirt of Right-Wing Identitarians

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has recalled Jürgen-Michael Kleppich, Attaché at the Austrian Embassy in Tel Aviv. The reason for this are media reports that shortly after Kleppich moved to Israel in January 2018, he posted a picture of himself in a T-shirt from the shop of right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement on Facebook.

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

Annual Report of the European Commission: How did Austria do?

The European Commission presented its annual reports on 27 EU member states. How did Austria do? Well, it kinda ended up with a black eye. The report took a pop at Vienna for a number of structural shortcomings, including tax burden on labour, pension and healthcare expenditures, house prices, restrictive regulation in the services markets, stagnating productivity and and not enough action on spreading digital technologies. That isn’t a particularly good report card for the previous coalition government of ÖVP und SPÖ. Let’s see if the new coalition government of ÖVP und FPÖ can make the grade the next time around.

March 11, 2018

Extremism-Gate: Special Session of Austrian National Council Convened

The somewhat opaque events surrounding the house search of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) are now making political waves. It is deeply disturbing that a unit, which in itself is not responsible for this, is supposed to have carried out the house search at the BVT and allegedly took highly sensitive intelligence information with it. The matter stinks to high heaven. The Austrian opposition has convened the National Council. The parties SPÖ, NEOS and Liste Pilz (LP) demand that Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) provides a complete explanation.

March 9, 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

Austrian Government Presents Double Budget 2018/19: EU Requirements Are Met - 2019 Balanced Budget

The new Austrian government is planning a zero deficit for next year, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) have announced. The planned reduction in corporation tax could be of interest to foreign investors and companies.

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

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

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