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Austrian Political News | International, European Union, Domestic

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

Austrian Economy is Underperforming the Eurozone Average

Ernst & Young's latest analysis on the Eurozone forecasts that the Austrian economy is to grow 0.7% in 2015, underperforming the Eurozone as a whole for the second consecutive year. Investment is expected to remain subdued, while the contribution of exports will be only marginal as a consequence of the modest external environment.

June 24, 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

"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

European Forum Wachau: Political Leaders Discuss Europe's Limits

The European Forum Wachau is a European debate event and will be held this weekend at the Stift Göttweig in Lower Austria. The event was launched in 1995, the year of Austria's accession to the European Union. Participants of the conference titled “Has Europe reached its limits? Reflections on Europe’s future role on the global stage” will discuss topics such as, the EU as a security provider, the EU's new mode of regional cooperation and the EU and her neighbours.

June 12, 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

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 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

Analysis: Austrian Economy Falls Behind Eurozone Average

The latest "Attractiveness Survey" from consultancy Ernst & Young Global Limited shows, that espite strong fundamentals, Austria’s economy lost some ground on the Eurozone average in 2014, with growth of just 0.4% compared with 0.9% for the Eurozone as a whole. This comparative weakness will also continue in 2015, with Austria’s GDP growth estimated at 1.1%, against 1.5% in the Eurozone. This is despite a boost from lower energy prices, quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and a weaker euro.

June 1, 2015

Tolerance and Equality: Vienna Pride and Rainbow Parade

The 20th Rainbow Parade on Vienna’s Ringstrasse (20.6.) and the Vienna Pride (16.-21.6.) with the Pride Village on City Hall Square will set a sign for tolerance and equality.

May 29, 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

The Eurovision Song Contest Village: "Let's Meet at Rathausplatz"

In the week leading up to the ESC finals in Vienna, Rathausplatz – the square in front of Vienna City Hall – will be turned into the Eurovision Village from 18 to 23 May 2015. It will be THE place to be for everyone interested in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2015. The programme starts on 18 May with the opening event featuring an international fashion show, and will continue with themed days, live performances by ESC contestants, a colourful family programme. On 23 May, the ESC finals will be broadcast live from Stadthalle and shown on Rathausplatz. For one week, the framework event under the motto "Hello Vienna. Welcome Europe!" will highlight the very best of the Eurovision nations, including culinary delights from different countries.

May 15, 2015

OSCE Troika Urges Advancement in Political Process Aimed at Solving Crisis in Ukraine

Foreign Ministers Dačić, Steinmeier and Burkhalter called for the immediate establishment of Working Groups as provided for in the February 12 Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements and proposed by Special Representative Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini and the Trilateral Contact Group.

April 28, 2015

OSCE: Strengthening Peace and Security Co-Operation Towards Democracy and Development

Representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States, civil society and international organizations will meet in Vienna tomorrow to open a two-day conference on the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, with an emphasis on association.

April 27, 2015

UNODC: Opening of Refugee Exhibition in Vienna Reinforces Need to Support Vulnerable Smuggled Migrants

An exhibition at the Vienna International Centre on the suffering of conflict refugees fleeing to Turkey offered an opportunity for UNODC to showcase its own ongoing activities against migrant smuggling as well as tackling other forms of organized crime, including money laundering.

April 17, 2015

Business Indicator: Economic Activity Remains Sluggish - Revival Only in Course of Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy is making no headway at present after the mild improvement in the economic climate at the start of the year. The Bank Austria Business Indicator remained at exactly zero points in February after a modest increase in the previous month. The current economic situation is thus somewhat more favourable than towards the end of the previous year, but the local economy still lacks momentum as of March 2015.

April 1, 2015

Austria to Support China's "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"?

The Austrian Finance Ministry confirmed that Austria will participate in the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) project after receiving the appropriate approval from the government. Now it checks for a potential engagement. China is taking matters into its own hands. It will use the new bank to expand its influence at the expense of America and Japan. Its decision to fund a new multilateral bank reflects its frustration with the slow pace of global economic governance reform. China is the biggest economy in Asia, but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is still dominated by the Japanese: Japan’s voting share is twice China’s and the ADB’s president has always been Japanese. Also, reforms to give China more say at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been delayed for years.

March 27, 2015

Austrian Export Day 2015 - Tomorrow is Today: Meet Trade Delegates at the Exporttag

On June 30, 2015, from 10am to 5pm the Export Day (Exporttag 2015) of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO) will take place in Vienna. Economic delegates from all over the world will be present.

March 27, 2015

Background: The New "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is regarded by some as a rival for the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which are regarded as dominated by developed countries like the United States. AIIB is an international financial institution proposed by the government of China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia region. Austria recently said, that it is "positive" and that it "now checks for a potential engagement".

March 27, 2015

Germanwings Flight 9525 was a Suicide Mission

According to the latest reports, suicide and mass murder by the co-pilot explains the deaths of 150 people aboard Germanwings flight 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. There is clear evidence that 27-year-old German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately locked the pilot out of the cockpit and then began with the Airbus A320 a constant, unauthorized and deadly descent. Brice Robin, the public prosecutor from Marseille told a press conference that the first officer had locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the controls of the Airbus for a rapid descent and the eventual crash into the French Alps. The Aviation Safety Network has published a list of aircraft accidents caused by pilot suicide (see below).

March 26, 2015 · Updated: March 26, 2015; 18:30

International Jihadism Conference in Vienna: "Tackling Jihadism Together"

Ministers from Austria, the Western Balkans & Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos gathered in Vienna to tackle Jihadism. Austrian FM Kurz: "Tackling Jihadism is an urgent task for all of us - we're in this together!" Avramopoulos: "Need to transform common will into common action".

March 20, 2015

Austrian Doctor Treats Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has disappeared from the public eye since March 5th, is said to suffer from back problems, according to information from the "Kurier". He is now supposed to be treated by a Viennese orthopedic surgeon.

March 15, 2015

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug to Visit Vienna

The Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, will visit Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 March.

March 5, 2015

Global Peace Index: Austria is Third Most Peaceful Country

The latest Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world. It identifies the most and least peaceful countries, trends in violence and conflict, and calculates the economic impact of violence. The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. New Zealand, Canada and Japan are the only non-European countries in the top ten.

March 4, 2015

OSCE Chief Observer at the Russian Checkpoints to Visit Headquarter in Vienna

Paul Picard, Chief OSCE Observer at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk will address the OSCE Permanent Council. He will report on the situation including movements across the Russian-Ukrainian border at the Russian checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk.

February 25, 2015

Finance Ministry: "Fitch Downgrade has no Impact on Austria Rating"

In response to the rating announcement by rating agency Fitch, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance says, that the current Fitch rating has no impact on the Austria rating due to temporary debt increase.

February 20, 2015

Austrian Government Guarantees Stand at EUR 112.9 bn

Newly collected data by Statistics Austria on State guarantees (governmental contingent liabilities, potential obligations and assets) show guarantees of €112.9 bn at the end of 2013 (of which 52% are granted by the state and local government sectors).

February 10, 2015

Japanese Mizuho Bank Sets Up Office in Vienna

Mizuho Bank through its Dutch subsidiary has acquired the approval to open a branch in Vienna. The bank is looking to develop its business in CEE. Simultaneously the Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Austrian Business Agency for services in connection with the setup.

January 28, 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day: "European Jews again feeling anxious and uncertain about their future"

As people across the OSCE region commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, officials highlighted the importance for societies to stand firmly against the contemporary challenges of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance.

January 28, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - The City at a Glance

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 27, 2015

Does Abdullah's Death Improve Interreligious Dialogue?

Saudi King Abdullah is dead. Continuity is assured as Crown Prince Salman succeeds brother to the throne. Saudi Arabia is repeatedly being criticised for human rights violations. The case of internet activist Badawi caused in Vienna calls for the closure of the late King Abdullah Center for Interreligious Dialogue.

January 23, 2015

Celebrating 200 Years of the Congress of Vienna

Europe was reorganized at the Congress of Vienna exactly 200 years ago. Numerous princes, kings and two emperors gathered by the Danube for the negotiations. Two exiting exhibitions now provide insights into the events of 1814/15.

January 23, 2015

OSCE Permanent Council Prepares for Upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust remembrance was the focus of today's meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council at Vienna's Hofburg in light of the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January).

January 22, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - Areas of Strength

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 22, 2015

ECB Unleashes Quantitative Easing - How does it work?

Today, the ECB finally commenced on a large scale sovereign bond-buying programme. The €60bn monthly asset purchases include covered bonds and asset backed securities. Due to the flood of cheap money, the DAX was boosted. The index increased by up to one per cent to a record high of 10,399.67 points. Quantitative easing is a monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets. The aim is to stimulate an economy when standard monetary policy has become ineffective. How does it work?

January 22, 2015

George Soros: "A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine"

Soros is calling on members of the European Union to behave as countries indirectly at war with Russia and to provide Ukraine with $50 billion to defend itself and kick-start political reforms. Russian President Vladimir Putin's imperial ambition has unintentionally brought into being a new Ukraine that is adamantly opposed to endemic corruption and inefficient government. By offering assistance, Europe can foster an open society in Ukraine and protect itself from Russian aggression.

January 22, 2015

Bandion Ortner Resigns from her Post at the Abdullah Center

It was the domestic political bombshell of the weekend: Ex-ÖVP Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner announced her withdrawal as the executive vice president of the controversial Abdullah Center in Vienna.

January 19, 2015

Austria has EU-Wide Most Franc Loans

In absolute terms, Austria has the most franc foreign currency loans in the European Union.

January 19, 2015

Ivica Dačić in Vienna: Serbia Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland

The new OSCE Chairperson, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, spoke today at the inaugural Permanent Council meeting of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship Vienna. He revealed his Chairmanship priorities pledging to rebuild trust and confidence in the OSCE region of 57 participating states.

January 15, 2015

"Together Against Terror": Commemorative Event at the Vienna Ballhausplatz

More than 10,000 people gathered in Vienna as part of the commemoration of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

January 13, 2015

State Holding ÖIAG to be Renamed ÖBIB

Austrian state holding ÖIAG is going to be turned into a limited liability company (GesmbH) called "ÖBIB" Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungsholding, which will be permitted to make new acquisitions and which will report directly to the Finance Ministry.

January 13, 2015

Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić to Visit Vienna

The new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić will visit Vienna on Thursday. He will outline the Serbian Chairmanship’s priorities to the OSCE Permanent Council*.

January 13, 2015

Carl Bildt: "The cohesion of the EU is the most important objective to achieve"

How Europe should react to the surrounding areas of conflict in East and South, was debated on Sunday. More realism, less idealism for the European Union is what Ivan Krastev, Fyodor Lukyanov, Carl Bildt and Ana Palacio concluded on Sunday at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

January 12, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry at the OSCE Ministerial Plenary Session

"It is not our design or desire that we see a Russia isolated through its own actions. In fact, we are convinced that Moscow could rebuild trust and relationships if it simply helps to calm turbulent waters, if it takes steps now to implement the Minsk protocol."

December 5, 2014

Klaus Iohannis - Who is the New President of Romania?

On November 16th, Klaus Iohannis was elected the fifth President of Romania. He is due to take office on 22 December. His presidential campaign focused on fighting corruption and on improving the justice system. Klaus Werner Iohannis is a Romanian politician, born 13 June 1959. He was elected the fifth President of Romania on 16 November 2014 (age 55). He became leader of the National Liberal Party in 2014, after having served as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania from 2002 to 2013.

November 17, 2014

World Leaders Met in Vienna to Adopt 10 Year Action-Plan for Landlocked Developing Countries

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a 10 year action-plan aimed at accelerating sustainable development in the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). A Business and Investment Forum was organized as an integral part of the 2nd United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries with the aim of exchanging views on the challenges and opportunities faced by LLDCs and to discuss possible partnerships and strategies in regards to the role of the private sector in the overall sustainable development of LLDCs. Also, Conchita Wurst performed live at the UN in Vienna for tolerance and mutual respect.

November 7, 2014

Human Trafficking: Ban Ki-moon Attendes UN Trust Fund for Victims Event in Vienna

The UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons received a US$ 250,000 boost in donations from the private sector at a fund-raising event in Vienna, attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Proceeds from the event will go directly to grassroots organizations that rescue, shelter and reintegrate victims into society.

November 7, 2014