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Austria International Political News | International | EU | Domestic

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

Report: Drug Money and Opiate Trafficking on the Balkan Route

A report recently launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some $28 billion every year. Sixty-five per cent of this total ($18 billion) is generated in Western and Central Europe.

December 14, 2015

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Council of Ministers Places 27 New Diplomats at Head of Embassies

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to place 27 new Austrian diplomats at head of Austrian Embassies worldwide.

December 10, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met Adel al-Jubeir and King Salman bin Abdulaziz

During his first visit to Saudi Arabia, Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz was received both by his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The talks included besides bilateral issues - which also include economic relations - the future of Syria, the danger of the "Islamic State" and human rights.

November 27, 2015

Attacks on Journalists are Attacks Against Freedom of Opinion and Democracy

The UN-General Assembly adopts a resolution on the safety of journalists co-sponsored by Austria. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz declared on the occasion of the adoption of the Resolution on “The Safety of Journalists” by the 3rd Committee of the UN-General Assembly, the International Day to End Impunity: “Attacks against journalists silence important voices in society and thus impede the freedom of opinion."

November 26, 2015

Austria Supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU Reform Agenda

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General, Linhart visited Sarajevo. EU-accession and fight against radicalization were in the centre of the talks. Linhart: “Full support for the Bosnian reform route”.

November 20, 2015

“Terrorism Cannot Be Justified by any Means and Stands in Clear Contradiction to Islam"

The President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Fuat Sanac, and Minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz in a joint reaction vehemently condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris.

November 19, 2015

Austria Contributes EUR 3 Mln to New EU-Aid Programme for Africa

On the occasion of the establishment of the EU-trust-fund, which aims at combating the reasons for migration and flight in Africa, against the backdrop of the EU-summit in La Valletta, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz underlined the necessity that Europe provides suitable answers to the challenges posed by the current refugee crisis. Austria will support the fund with EUR 3m from the Austrian Development Agency’s (ADA) budget.

November 19, 2015

Journalism Award “Writing for CEE 2015” Goes to Martin Leidenfrost

The EUR 5,000 Writing for CEE journalist prize has been awarded for the twelfth time. Journalists from all round Europe – including Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the CIS countries – have been invited to submit their works. The Austrian Journalist Martin Leidenfrost wins the “Writing for CEE 2015” award for his column "Expedition Europe". At the award ceremony writer and honorary guest Karl-Markus Gauß touched on the discovery of Europe and SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said, that Europe faces new boundaries and divisions.

November 18, 2015 · Updated: November 20, 2015; 19:00

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Linhart: “Foreign Policy Should Focus on Stabilization of Neighbouring Regions”

“The European foreign policy must focus more of its attention on the neighborhood, the stabilization thereof – and in the case of the Western Balkans, their way towards the EU – has to be our European priority”, Secretary General for Austrian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart declared on the occasion of the 19th Europe Forum of the Austria Institute for Europe and Security Policy (AIES) in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

November 18, 2015

OSCE States Adopt Declaration Condemning Paris Terrorist Attacks

In a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna to discuss the recent attacks in Paris, the 57 OSCE participating States have adopted a declaration condemning the ‘brutal and indiscriminate’ Paris attacks and recent terrorist atrocities.

November 17, 2015

OSCE Condemns Paris Attacks

The OSCE joined world leaders and other international organizations in swiftly denouncing the attacks. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić assured France that “all OSCE participating states stand by you at this hour, sharing the belief that no political cause can ever justify such heinous acts.”

November 17, 2015

Austria was Elected to Five UNESCO Bodies

During the current General Conference of the Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the United Nations (UNESCO) Austria was elected to five steering committees. The successful candidacies prove the credibility of Austrian experts worldwide.

November 13, 2015

In Pursuit of Peace and Security: How Gender Makes a Difference

Why is it important to include a gender perspective in peace processes and why does it matter if women are involved? These are issues that will be in focus at an OSCE Security Days event in Vienna on Friday, 13 November, which will explore the gender perspective of crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict rehabilitation.

November 11, 2015

A Global Labour Force: 230 Million International Migrants On Our Doorstep

OSCE expert meeting in Vienna focuses on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration. Some 70 representatives of OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, experts from international organizations, civil society and research centres discussed changing labour migration dynamics at an expert meeting that concluded in Vienna today on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration.

November 9, 2015

Press Freedom: Every Fifth Day a Journalist is Killed at Work

According to a report from Unesco, worldwide more than 700 reporters have been killed from 2006 to 2014 in the exercise of their profession. On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the OSCE Representative calls on participating States to step up their investigations.

November 2, 2015

OSCE: Peace and Stability in Europe Impossible without Protecting Human Rights

Protecting and promoting human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, is inextricably linked to the preservation of peace and stability within and between States, participants said today at the opening of a two-day OSCE meeting in Vienna.

October 29, 2015

OSCE’s Contribution to the Protection of National Minorities to be Discussed in Vienna

Representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States, civil society and international organizations will meet in Vienna on 29 October to discuss the OSCE’s contribution to the protection of national minorities, assessing the achievements, exploring the challenges and identifying ways to address remaining gaps.

October 28, 2015

Alexander Lewald Named Chief Technology Officer of Kapsch TrafficComAG

Kapsch TrafficCom has announced that Alexander Lewald will be joining the Management Board of Kapsch TrafficCom AG as Chief Technology Officer effective November 1, 2015.

October 28, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister to Participate in Syria Conference in Vienna

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the conference on Syria in Vienna on Friday. This has been confirmed today by the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, according to the official news agency ISNA. Iran will meet in Vienna not only to Russia and the USA, but also to its nemesis Saudi Arabia.

October 28, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

Joint Russia-US Fight against ISIS: Kerry and Lavrov to Hold Syria Talks in Vienna

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in Vienna to discuss the Syrian conflict together with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The meeting was made possible following the involvement of Vladimir Putin in serious diplomacy and the surprise visit by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow on Tuesday.

October 23, 2015

Xi Jinping's Strategy Represents a Significant Threat to European Industry

AEGIS Europe, the manufacturing alliance of 30 European industry associations express skepticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the media during London visit. The alliance called into question Mr Xi's comments to the media about China's orientation towards a more open and transparent market.

October 21, 2015

How Can Exporters Benefit from the "Go-International Initiative" of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce?

Even in a challenging global economic environment, exports remain the driving force behind the Austrian economy. The go-international initiative of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce encourages companies to step across the border by offering advisory services, events and support, as well as making it easier for existing exporters to enter additional foreign markets.

October 19, 2015

OSCE: Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Water Governance are Priorities

The experience and knowledge of local communities are crucial to effectively reduce the risks of disasters, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council Ambassador Vuk Žugić and OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier said today, on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

October 13, 2015

The Miss Earth Beauty Pageant is Coming to Vienna

Miss Earth, an annual international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness is celebrating its 15th year in Vienna. Along with its rivals Miss Universe and Miss World, Miss Earth is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals and one of the most publicized beauty contests in the world. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global issues. Climate Change will be the focus of Miss Earth for its Crystal Year celebration. Around 90 delegates from all over the world will be arriving on November 18, to start their activities and converge at the Marx Halle in Vienna on December 5, 2015 for the Coronation Night.

October 9, 2015

Austrian President and Various Ministers at the UN-General Assembly

Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Andrä Rupprechter and Minister for Education and Women’s Affairs Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek were in New York on the occasion of the leader’s week opening the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA).

October 8, 2015

Executives of Austrian Companies in the US and Canada Met in Chicago

For the second time, the Annual Conference for Executives of Austrian Subsidiaries returned to Chicago. A group of renowned financial, legal, economic experts and consultants presented an outlook on the business environment as well as forecasts for the US and Canadian economies to an audience of some 100 top-level Austrian executives and important decision makers from a variety of industries.

October 8, 2015

CEE in the Autumn of 2015 is the New Safe Haven

The key conclusion of UniCredit’s CEE Quarterly 4Q 2015 is that the CEE region, despite its heterogeneity, looks better positioned than most other large emerging markets to cope with potential challenges. In particular they found that market volatility spiked in 3Q15, with the uncertainty surrounding the anticipated Fed rate hike augmented by growing worries about a “hard landing” in China.

September 25, 2015

Humanitarian Crisis: OSCE Can Be Important Platform for Co-Operation

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today met refugees and representatives of local aid organizations at the Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), where he was briefed by Austria’s Interior Ministry and the Vienna police about their operations.

September 24, 2015

Export Award: Austria's Best Exporters

The success of exporters on international markets secures prosperity and jobs in Austria, with six out of every ten euros generated by exports. Recently the 2015 Export Award winners were selected by an independent expert panel. The Austrian Export Award gives annual recognition to the most dedicated and successful companies.

September 11, 2015

Austrian President Fischer is First European Head of State to Visit Iran

Austrian President Heinz Fischer is the first European head of state to visit Iran following the successful conclusion of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1.

September 7, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Expat Insider: Country Report Austria - Safe & Sound

InterNations shares with you a detailed picture of life abroad in Austria: why people relocate, what their daily life is like, and how satisfied they are. Known for schnitzels, mountains, and bodybuilders turned governors, Austria has excellent rankings in the Quality of Life, Working Abroad, and Family Life Indices, but settling in isn't easy. They provide an in-depth country profile of Austria. Read on and find out what expatriate life in your dream destination Austria is actually like.

August 25, 2015

German Creditor Pool Brings EUR 1 Bln Action Against Heta Before Frankfurt Regional Court

The lawsuit demands almost EUR 1 billion and is brought in Frankfurt/Main against asset resolution company Heta. The creditor pool consists largely of German creditors which demand immediate repayment of bonds and promissory note loans.

July 16, 2015

IAEA's Position and Road-Map Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) agree, in continuation of their cooperation under the Framework for Cooperation, to accelerate and strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at the resolution, by the end of 2015, of all past and present outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA and Iran.

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Joint Statement by Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister

The joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls on the world community "to support the implementation of this historic effort". "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a balanced deal that respects the interests of all sides. It is also complex, detailed and technical."

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Historic Agreement in Vienna

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany and the EU have reached a "historic" deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. The deal, known as the "Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action", was signed today in Vienna.

July 14, 2015

Historic Iran Nuclear Deal Likely to be Announced Early Tuesday

Officials negotiating in Vienna's Palais Coburg say nothing is confirmed, but a deal will possibly come in the early hours of the morning. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said an Iran nuclear deal would not be ready to be announced July 13, as China’s Foreign Minister urged the P5+1 and Iran to finalize the accord.

July 13, 2015

RBI: Grexit Still an Option

RBI analysts conclude in their latest risk analysis, that today’s summit agreement should not be taken as end to the risk of Grexit yet. If the agreement fails to clear the necessary parliamentary hurdles, the ECB could soon withdraw its support for Greek banks, forcing Greece out of the Euro. Even after a successful conclusion of negotiations the risk of Grexit could soon resurface: If the willingness of the Greek government to implement reforms declines again after the current pressure is reduced, todays crisis summit would be followed be new ones, whenever a new aid tranche has to be paid out.

July 13, 2015

Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons Acts to Combat Human Trafficking

Protecting groups vulnerable to human trafficking along migration routes and in destination countries is the focus of the 2015 Alliance conference, where during the next two days leading experts are looking for new ways to assist at-risk migrants. “This has become an increasingly urgent international issue with serious security implications for the OSCE area and neighbouring regions,” Aleksandar Nikolić, Serbia’s State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, said on Monday.

July 6, 2015

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