Austria International Political News | International | EU | Domestic

Read the latest headlines about developments in Austrian politics with reference to the international interest

Minister for European Affairs: The Fight against Migration as a Means of Pressure on the EU

Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler embarked on a multi-country trip to Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Romania. The central topic of discussion is the increasing migratory pressure on the EU’s external borders, especially from Afghanistan and Belarus. Minister Edtstadler emphasized the need for border security at the EU's external borders and for targeted sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

September 15, 2021

Security and Stability: Austria Deepens Cooperation with UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman

Foreign Minister Schallenberg visited the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman on a four-day trip to the Gulf region. While there, he spoke with various officials, including his counterparts: UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, and Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi. The main topics of discussion were security, especially regarding extremism, and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

September 15, 2021

Jewish Museum Vienna: Restitution to Ephrussi Family after Decades

The Jewish Museum Vienna has restituted the Franz Adam painting “Camp Scene from 1848 in Italy” to the Ephrussi family. Following the authorization by Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, ownership of the painting was returned to the heirs of Viktor Ephrussi. The painting was in the Museum of Military History in Vienna after being confiscated from Viktor Ephrussi by the Nazis. Read more about the painting's history and its restitution to the Ephrussi family.

September 14, 2021

OSCE: Chairpersonship of the Forum for Security Co-operation Passes to Austria

The OSCE's 57 participating states now routinely delegate the Chairpersonship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) to Austria.

September 10, 2021

100 Speakers of Parliament Meet in Vienna

Over 100 speakers of parliament met at the Austria Center Vienna for the Fifth World Conference of the Speakers of Parliament. President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka spoke about the international community finding internal solutions to global problems. Duarte Pacheco and Martin Chungong, the President and Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), defended democracy and human rights and spoke about the robustness of parliaments during the COVID-19 crisis.

September 10, 2021

"Made in Austria": Ambassadors to Serve as Export Promoters

The Austrian government is calling on its diplomats around the world to promote Austria's export and tourism industries abroad to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis. At the opening event of "ReFocus Austria", Chancellor Kurz, Foreign Minister Schallenberg, and Vice-President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) Martha Schultz laid out the government's plan. Read about "ReFocus Austria," what these officials said about it, and watch the video of the opening event.

September 10, 2021

Aid Package for Afghanistan Approved by Austrian Federal Government

The Austrian Federal Government has officially approved 18 million euros in emergency aid for Afghanistan that it had previously promised. The aid will go from the Austrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women, and the UN World Food Program.

September 9, 2021

Back to School: 82 Percent of Austrian Teachers Vaccinated

As the school year begins, statistics show that 82 percent of Austrian teachers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a much higher proportion than that of the general population, which is 65 percent fully immunized. The willingness to vaccinate varies by federal state, type of school, gender, and age group. Read more about the results of the study, such as where each federal state ranks on the list.

September 9, 2021

One Million Corona Vaccine Doses for Tehran

Due to the spread of the delta variant, Iran is currently suffering from the fifth and most severe wave of the coronavirus pandemic. To help assist Iran in the fight against the pandemic, Austria is providing the country with one million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Austrian Ministers Schallenberg, Nehammer, and Mückstein all expressed their support for the aid package.

September 8, 2021

Forum Alpbach: Reaffirming the Importance of the Conference on the Future of Europe

The EU ministers from five member states signed the "Alpbach Declaration on the Future of Europe" at the European Forum Alpbach. The five ministers were Judit Varga from Hungary, Thomas Byrne from Ireland, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis from Greece, Juan González-Barba from Spain, and Karoline Edtstadler from Austria. The declaration highlights the necessity for cooperation and dialogue to ensure that the EU has a successful future.

September 7, 2021

Vučić Hosted Kurz: The "Fight Against Illegal Migration"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently received Chancellor Kurz in Belgrade. The two of them spoke about illegal migration, especially regarding the refugees fleeing from Afghanistan. Other topics of discussion included bilateral relations and the EU rapprochement process. Kurz also spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić about EU accession for the Western Balkans.

September 7, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Clear advance of mistrust toward the Taliban"

The Gymnich Meeting of EU foreign ministers recently took place in Slovenia. One of the main issues discussed during the two days of meetings was the situation in Afghanistan and how to deal with the Taliban going forward. Alexander Schallenberg expressed that there is a deep mistrust of the Taliban, but technical cooperation with them is currently necessary. Read more about what Schallenberg said and watch the video of him taking questions from the press.

September 7, 2021

Austria Now Has Its Own Space Strategy

The Austrian Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) recently presented Austria’s space strategy. In the BMK's report to the National Council entitled "Austrian Space Strategy 2030+," Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler explained that sustainability will be central to the Austrian space strategy. Read about the space strategy and its six overarching goals.

September 6, 2021

Number of Naturalizations in Austria Continues to Rise Despite Covid

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, naturalizations in Austria have increased in the first half of 2021. During this time Austria granted citizenship to 5,057 people. In the same period, however, Vienna experienced a decrease in the number of naturalizations. Read more about the details of this trend and how they vary among the federal states of Austria.

September 3, 2021

Number of Anti-Semitism Incidents in Austria Doubled

The Anti-Semitism Reporting Office of the Jewish Community Vienna (IKG) presented its semi-annual report for the first half of 2021. The report showed that the number of incidents had doubled from the same period of the previous year. It attributed the increase mainly to Israel-related anti-Semitism and anti-Semitism surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

September 3, 2021

UNHCR Vienna Office: "Everyone has the right to citizenship"

The international community celebrated the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. On the anniversary, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that "everyone has the right to citizenship." UNHCR also warned about the many dangers stateless people face, including lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines, lack of economic relief from a government, and much more.

September 2, 2021

Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein Calls on Austria to Reopen Embassy in Baghdad

The Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein visited Vienna and the European Forum Alpbach at the invitation of Alexander Schallenberg. The topics of the conversation between the two foreign ministers according to the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Vienna.

September 2, 2021

Merkel Receives Kurz: Connected Through a Multitude of Relationships

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin. In addition to a discussion of the issues Germany and Austria are currently dealing with, such as Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting also served as Kurz’s farewell to the German Chancellor, who is leaving office after 16 years.

September 1, 2021

Kazakhstan Commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the Closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Weapons Test Site

The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Vienna is calling for the promotion of its anti-nuclear initiatives and to commemorate the long-term consequences of the legacy of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Weapons Test Site in eastern Ksakhstan.

September 1, 2021

Are "Green Bonds" also Coming to Austria?

At the European Forum Alpbach, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel announced that Austria wants to issue a so-called "green bond" in the first half of 2022. The Ministry of Finance and Federal Financing Agency (OeBFA) have already completed the necessary technical work to issue the bonds. Read more about "green bonds" and Austria's plans to begin issuing them.

September 1, 2021

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein in Vienna

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein met Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna for bilateral discussions. Some specific issues the pair discussed include Afghanistan, the security situation in Iraq and the Middle East, terrorism, and migration. Read about their meeting and watch their joint press conference.

September 1, 2021

Afghanistan: Austria Discusses Aid with Neighboring States Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan

To discuss cooperation and support on the situation in Afghanistan, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Interior Minister Karl Nehammer initiated a joint video conference with Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbors, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as three European countries, Germany, Denmark, and Greece. The focus of the conversation with Afghanistan’s neighboring countries was on security, migration, and humanitarian aid.

August 31, 2021

17,000 Descendants of Nazi Victims Demand Austrian Citizenship

In the one year since the change in the Citizenship Act allowed the descendants of victims of Nazi persecution the right to Austrian citizenship, the Vienna Municipal Department 35 (MA 35) has received nearly 17,000 applications. Around 10,000 of these applications still need to be processed. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and the President of the Jewish Community Oskar Deutsch reflected on the program on its one-year anniversary.

August 31, 2021

40 Years After Terror Attack on City Temple in Vienna - Commemoration of Victims and Heroes

On August 29, 1981, the synagogue in Vienna (City Prayer House - Stadttempel) was shaken by a terrorist attack. It was the bloodiest attack on Jewish life in Austria after World War II. Two Palestinian terrorists killed two people in the attack, and 21 were injured, some seriously.

August 31, 2021

Western Balkans: Further Austrian Corona Solidarity Campaign for all Six States

The final share of promised COVID-19 vaccines was delivered to Bosnia and Herzegovina, ending an EU solidarity campaign led by Austria. A total of 651,000 COVID-19 vaccines from the manufacturer BioNTech/Pfizer were provided to the six Western Balkan states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

August 30, 2021

Covid Booster Vaccinations Start Plus More Vaccination Buses

Lower Austria has announced that it will begin administering COVID-19 booster shots for elderly and risk patients in nursing homes and clinics, an additional three vaccination buses will stop in various communities throughout Lower Austria, and the testing strategy is being expanded to include PCR-test vending machines.

August 30, 2021

Austria's Ex-Vice Chancellor Strache Found Guilty of Corruption

Former vice chancellor and the ex-head of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache has been sentenced to 15 months' conditional imprisonment for bribery at Vienna's regional court. The co-defendant and owner of the private clinic in Vienna-Währing, Walter Grubmüller, was sentenced to twelve months for bribery, also on probation.

August 27, 2021

Lithuania and Austria Support New Sanctions against Belarus

Lithuania and Austria have indicated that they are in favor of putting new sanctions on Belarus in response to the significant increase in illegal border crossings on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė hosted their Austrian counterparts Alexander Schallenberg and Karl Nehammer at the border to discuss the ongoing situation.

August 26, 2021

Austrian Emergency Aid Package of 18 Million Euros for Afghan Women

Austria has announced that it will provide 15 million euros in emergency aid to help the people of Afghanistan. This is in addition to the 3 million euros that Austria already promised to donate to the UNHCR. The total of 18 million euros is intended to benefit, above all, organizations that campaign for the empowerment of women in the region, such as UN Women.

August 26, 2021

Violence Based on Religion or Belief: Vienna Human Rights Envoy Calls for Release of Detainees

On the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief Vienna’s Human Rights Commissioner called for the release of Iranian Sotoudeh and Egyptian Santawy while reaffirming the need for freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

August 26, 2021

Lavrov in Vienna: Tensions Following the Establishment of the Crimea Platform

In the first official bilateral visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Vienna since 2009, Sergey Lavrov met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The working talks included tense issues like the annexation of Crimea, human rights in Russia, Afghanistan, and the refugees on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. However, they all expressed interest in continued dialogue and finding areas for cooperation between Austria, the EU, and Russia.

August 26, 2021

Covid Package of Measures for a Successful Start of the School Year 2021/22

Children and young adults, who have already had to do without many things in the past two years, are starting the new school year with a safety concept that is based on four pillars. Large-scale school closures and shift teaching are no longer an option in the new school year. But what will attendance look like in the new school year?

August 25, 2021

Van der Bellen Appeals for the Acceptance of Afghans

In his speech at the opening of the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen appealed for the acceptance of refugees from Afghanistan. Despite Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's concerns about accepting refugees, the president argued that there is a legal, moral and political obligation for the EU to offer protection to those forced to leave their country.

August 25, 2021

Covid-19 in Austria: Vienna Reduces Validity for Access Tests

The validity of Corona tests will be significantly reduced in Vienna. The reason for this is the increasing numbers due to the delta variant.

August 24, 2021

Nuclear Concerns: Austria Expresses Reservations About Slovenian Nuclear Plant

Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar and the Slovenian State Secretary for Infrastructure Blaž Košorok met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Styrian Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer in Ljubljana. Among other issues, the group discussed Austria's concerns with the nuclear energy industry and, more specifically, Austria's concerns with Slovenia's nuclear power plant in Krško.

August 24, 2021 · Updated: August 24, 2021; 12:22

Ukrainian-Austrian Solidarity: Schallenberg Attends Inaugural Summit of Crimea Platform and Delivers Vaccines

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal hosted Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg in Kiev for working talks. Schallenberg also attended the founding event of the Crimea Platform, which aims to reverse the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, and he delivered a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to aid Ukraine in the COVID-19 pandemic fight.

August 23, 2021 · Updated: August 23, 2021; 16:48

The Fourth Corona Wave in Austria: Admission to Discos and Nightclubs Only for the Vaccinated?

Unvaccinated people in Austria will soon no longer be able to party. Because the fourth wave with rising infection numbers rolls over the country, the government plans hard measures for the autumn to be expected.

August 23, 2021

Switzerland and Austria Step Up Fight Against Illegal Migration

Swiss Justice and Police Minister Karin Maria Keller-Sutter met Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to discuss the current developments in Afghanistan as well as Switzerland's accession to the migration platform.

August 23, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Particularly close coordination between the EU partners is essential."

Before a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg commented on the escalating events surrounding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. He stressed the necessity for cooperation among the EU member states to help deal with the situation.

August 20, 2021

Parking Permit: Vienna Introduces Uniform Parking Sticker

The City of Vienna is introducing uniform parking stickers (Parkpickerl) throughout the city. The stickers and new parking regulations are supposed to create more parking spaces, reduce traffic, increase the use of public transport, and help with climate change. Learn more about the sticker and why Vienna made this decision.

August 20, 2021

City Diplomacy: What Connects the German-Speaking Capitals Berlin, Bern and Vienna

Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller, Mayor of Bern Alec von Graffenried, and Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig met in Vienna to exchange experiences and learn from each other. The three mayors drew up a joint declaration that addressed climate change, affordable housing, economic resiliency from the COVID-19 pandemic, and democracy and the rule of law.

August 19, 2021

United Nations to Launch New Cross-Border Anti-Corruption Network in Vienna

The United Nations is launching a new anti-corruption network in Vienna known as the Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network). Under the auspices of the UNODC, the GlobE Network aims to increase cross-border cooperation in combating corruption.

August 19, 2021

Austria: Establishment of Deportation Centers in the Region Surrounding Afghanistan to Enable Deportations in the Future

Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer has proposed deportation centers in Afghanistan's neighboring countries at the Special Council of EU Interior Ministers.

August 19, 2021

MA 35 Department: Immigration and Citizenship Calls Are Not Answered

Austria’s municipal department 35 (MA 35), responsible for immigration and citizenship, is facing criticism yet again. In an interview, an employee of the MA 35 has recently divulged that nobody in the office answers the phone. The City Councilor responsible for the MA 35 has assured the public that reforms are being made to resolve the issues that the department is facing.

August 18, 2021

Vienna's New International Long-Distance Bus Terminal

Construction on Vienna’s new international long-distance bus terminal funded by Donau Busterminal Realisierungs GmbH and designed by Burtscher-Durig is set to begin by the end of 2022, and the terminal is expected to be operational by 2024 or 2025. Read more about the estimated project costs of 200 million euros and some of the advantages it presents to international travelers.

August 18, 2021

UNIDO Headquarters Vienna: A German Is to Become the Next Director General

Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Mr. Gerd Müller has been selected to become the next Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Learn more about Mr. Müller and read what he and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said about his nomination.

August 18, 2021

Van der Bellen on Afghanistan: "Deportations are contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights"

Austrian President Van der Bellen voiced his opinion on the situation in Afghanistan and the takeover of power by the radical Islamic Taliban. "The considerations to continue deporting Afghan citizens to Afghanistan are in contradiction to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is anchored in the Austrian Constitution and prohibits sending people back to a country where they have to expect persecution, torture and murder."

August 17, 2021

Solidarity with Lebanon: Austria Sends 100,000 Vaccines

The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the multiple crises Lebanon is already facing, including the massive explosion in Beirut, an economic crisis, and political and social instability. Austria is donating 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines to aid Lebanon in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

August 17, 2021

Austria Celebrates Ten-millionth COVID-19 Vaccination

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein celebrated Austria administering its ten-millionth dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. The pair thanked everyone for their efforts and pleaded with the unvaccinated to go get vaccinated.

August 16, 2021

Blümel: We Are Continuing to Help Those Businesses That Need It

Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel announced that businesses can apply for two types of aid to help mitigate struggles due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The default bonus II has been adapted and extended until the end of September, and the loss replacement until the end of the year.

August 16, 2021