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Austria International Political News | International | EU | Domestic

46% Fewer Asylum Applications in Austria

13,375 asylum applications were received in Austria last year - 46% less than in 2017 (24,715). A total of 664,480 applications for international protection were filed in the EU (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein) in 2018. The number of asylum applications in Austria and the EU has thus declined for the third year in a row and has returned to pre-crisis levels.

June 27, 2019

Oligarch Firtash May Be Extradited to the USA

The Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash may be extradited from Austria to the USA. The Supreme Court of Justice of Austria (OGH) confirmed a corresponding ruling of the Vienna Higher Regional Court (OLG) and dismissed both a nullity appeal of the General Procurator's Office and a renewal application by Firtash's defense counsel. The decision as to whether Firtash will actually be extradited lies now with the new Austrian Minister of Justice, Clemens Jabloner.

June 25, 2019

Strengthening Comprehensive Security in the OSCE Area

The OSCE’s Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna will discuss state of play of co-operation on comprehensive security in Europe and beyond.

June 25, 2019

First Visit Abroad Leads Foreign Minister Schallenberg to Finland

His first bilateral trip abroad took Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg to Helsinki. The trip focused not only on European policy issues but also on the EU Presidency, which Finland will take over on 1 July 2019.

June 25, 2019

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg at EU Foreign Affairs Council for the First Time

In Luxembourg, Federal Minister Alexander Schallenberg represented Austria for the first time at the FAC Foreign Affairs Council and the Council of the European Union.

June 21, 2019

Austrian Parliament: Termination of EU Accession Negotiations with Turkey, Extension of Sanctions against Russia

In a statement to the government, the EU Main Committee of the Austrian National Council has unanimously spoken out in favour of breaking off EU accession negotiations with Turkey. Instead, the parliamentary groups believe that a strategic partnership should be sought.

June 21, 2019

Albania and North Macedonia: No EU Accession Negotiations for the Time Being, but Austria Still in Favor of It

The decision to start accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia was postponed. Several EU states are blocking enlargement in the Balkans. The EU committee of the Austrian Federal Council demands that the Western Balkans become part of the EU. The Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, on the other hand, warns against hasty new admissions.

June 20, 2019

German Road Toll Discriminates Against Foreigners - ECJ

The German car toll violates EU law. This was decided by the European Court of Justice in a ruling. This levy is discriminatory, since its economic burden lies practically exclusively on the owners and drivers of vehicles registered in other member states. In Austria, the ruling is received with great pleasure, as the country has won the case through its infringement proceedings.

June 18, 2019

Get to Know Austria's New Minister of Defence Thomas Starlinger

Thomas Starlinger (56) is an Austrian officer (Major General), consultant and politician. He is regarded as a proponent of a professional army. Most recently, he worked as an adjutant to Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, who also appointed him Federal Minister of Defence on 3 June 2019.

June 18, 2019

European Forum Wachau 2019 - Stability and Continuity in European Policy

Austria will continue to represent its interests in Europe in a proven manner, said representatives from politics and business at this year's European Forum Wachau.

June 17, 2019

New Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Took Office

Austria is and remains a reliable partner in the world and in Europe, stressed the new Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in his first speech to the Austrian National Council. Since developments at the international level are continuing and important decisions are pending, he said that what is needed most of all now is "a sense of proportion to what is possible, trust, reliability and stability".

June 17, 2019

Chancellor Bierlein Introduced Transitional Government to Parliament

"We stand for reliability and we are seeking trust", affirmed the first Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Brigitte Bierlein, at the beginning of her statement before the National Council plenary.

June 13, 2019

Cooperation of the Metropolises Hamburg, Vienna and Zurich

The three German-speaking cities of Hamburg, Vienna and Zurich want to cooperate more closely in their sustainable development within the framework of a city trialogue in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

June 12, 2019

Potential President of the EU Commission Michel Barnier Met Top of New Austrian Government

Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier was in Vienna to meet several members of the new government, including Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. Officially, the Brexit negotiations were the focus of the talks, however, unofficially Barnier repeatedly shows interest as Jean-Claude Juncker's successor in the office of EU Commission President.

June 11, 2019

New Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg Inaugurated

The new Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (49) was sworn in by the Federal President as Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. He succeeds Karin Kneissl.

June 5, 2019

Western Balkans: Austrians Demand EU Accession Negotiations Begin

After the EU Commission issued a recommendation for the opening of accession talks with the two Western Balkan states North Macedonia and Albania, the European parliamentarians of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) Karas and Mandl demand that the "promises" be kept. The decision to open accession talks will be taken by the Member States later in June.

June 5, 2019

Karas Remains Head of People's Party EU Delegation for One Year, then Follows Edtstadler

The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) members of the European Parliament have elected Othmar Karas as their leader for only one year. From 2020, the second on the list, Karoline Edtstadler, will automatically take over. As reported by Vindobona.org, Edtstadler received more preferential votes in the EU election than Karas, the previous head of delegation.

June 4, 2019

Turkish - Austrian Diplomatic Efforts Bear Fruit

According to outgoing Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has promised in a telephone conversation to ease the Turkish blockade of Austria in the "Partnership for Peace (PfP)" programme. The PfP is a NATO program aimed at creating trust between NATO and non-NATO members.

June 3, 2019

Headscarf Ban at Elementary Schools Confirmed by Austrian Federal Council

The so-called headscarf ban, the ban on covering the head of children from the age of six to ten for ideological and religious reasons, was approved by the Federal Council (Bundesrat) despite controversial debate. For Minister of Education Faßmann, the ban on headscarves corresponds to the socio-political consensus on the development of children as freely as possible and the necessity to overcome gender-specific stereotypes.

June 3, 2019

Criticism of the Lack of Foreign and European Policy Reports

The opposition, represented by Andreas Schieder (SPÖ), criticises the fact that for the last three years the Foreign Ministers Kurz and Kneissel have not submitted any annual Foreign and European Policy Reports for the purpose of reporting on fundamental foreign policy issues.

June 3, 2019

Government Declaration by Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein

The first female Federal Chancellor of Austria, Brigitte Bierlein, addressed herself after her inauguration in a short statement "to all Austrians and all people living in our country".

June 3, 2019

Swearing In of the Austrian Caretaker Government

Austria now has a transitional government team consisting of 12 people (six women and six men).

June 3, 2019

Combat Climate Change - António Guterres' Remarks at the R20 Austrian World Summit

Because of climate change all around the world the sea level is rising, floods, drought, wildfires and extreme storms appear, and people are now losing their homes and being forced to migrate. Read what António Guterres had to say in Vienna after a trip to the South Pacific.

May 30, 2019

Clemens Jabloner Nominated Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Justice Minister

The former President of the Austrian Administrative Court for many years (1993 - 2013) and current University Professor of Legal Theory at the University of Vienna, Dr. Clemens Jabloner (70), is to become interim Vice-Chancellor and Justice Minister. This was announced by the new Austrian Interim Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein.

May 30, 2019 · Updated: May 30, 2019; 16:15

Alexander Schallenberg Appointed Austrian Foreign Minister and Minister for European Affairs

The new Austrian Interim Chancellor Ms. Brigitte Bierlein has declared her intention to appoint career diplomat and lawyer Dr. Alexander Schallenberg (50) as Karin Kneissl's successor and thus designated interim Foreign Minister and Minister for European Affairs.

May 30, 2019

Brigitte Bierlein to Become Austria's First Female Chancellor

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Austria is to be appointed interim Federal Chancellor in a few days. Clemens Jabloner becomes Vice-Chancellor and Justice Minister. Alexander Schallenberg becomes Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Affairs.

May 30, 2019 · Updated: May 30, 2019; 18:23

"Climate Kirtag" with Greta Thunberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The climate protection conference "R20 Austrian World Summit" at the Heldenplatz in Vienna ended with appeals by climate protection activist Greta Thunberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the "Climate Kirtag".

May 29, 2019

Amerika Haus: Rushan Abbas About Concentration Camps in Xinjiang, China

Rushan Abbas, a Uighur American whose family members have been detained in China, spoke at the Amerika Haus Wien about various human rights violations against Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang province. In her presentation "China’s Concentration Camps in a Muted World" she pointed out, that far West China’s Uyghur people, a minority Muslim group, face a high-tech police state, cultural genocide, and mass detainment in modern concentration camps.

May 29, 2019

EU Election Preferential Votes - Edtstadler ahead of Karas

Although Austrian People's Party top candidate Othmar Karas received more preferential votes than in the last EU election, after counting most of the preferential votes he is still behind the list second candidate Karoline Edtstadler (also Austrian People's Party).

May 28, 2019

Transitional Government Following the Dismissal of Cabinet Kurz - What's Next?

After Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's cabinet had been expressed no-confidence in a special session of the National Council, the government was removed from office today by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. In a speech last night, Van der Bellen outlined the next steps towards a transitional government until the National Council elections in September as follows.

May 28, 2019

Head of China's Top Legislative Body in Vienna

Li Zhanshu, one of China's most powerful politicians was in Vienna and was received by Austria's central institutions despite the domestic political turbulences.

May 28, 2019

European Elections 2019: Austrian Preliminary Final Results

The preliminary result of the 2019 European elections (without absentee ballot) has been announced. The Austrian People's Party won clearly ahead of the Austrian Socialist Party (SPÖ) and the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). The Greens and NEOS followed in places 4 to 5. Votes cast by absentee ballot are not yet included in this result. The turnout without postal votes was 50.6%. In Vienna, the turnout including postal votes was 58.71%.

May 27, 2019

EU and UN - 40 Years Together in Vienna

Both the UN United Nations and the EU European Union celebrate their 40th anniversary in Vienna. The Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna was established as soon as the United Nations opened their Vienna headquarters in 1979.

May 27, 2019

Austrian Government Dismissed: National Council Denies Government Confidence

The parliamentary motion of no confidence of the Social Democrats (SPÖ) was supported by the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Liste Jetzt. The majority of the members of the National Council thus expressed their distrust of Chancellor Kurz's government and removed it from office.

May 27, 2019

Austria's Government Faces Expected Motion of No Confidence

After the victory in the election to the European Parliament, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his government are threatened with an abrupt end. The Social Democrats (SPÖ) will table their own motion of censure against the entire Kurz cabinet. A clear decision by the Freedom Party (FPÖ) is still pending.

May 27, 2019

European Elections - Who Stands for Election and How Can a Non-Austrian EU Citizen Vote in Austria?

After the political earthquake in Austria and the end of the turquoise-blue government, the EU election on Sunday is eagerly awaited. A decision will be made on 18 EU mandates from Austria. In European elections, EU citizens are entitled to vote in Austria as long as they are registered in the European electoral register.

May 24, 2019

Ibiza Affair: Austria Has a New Minister of the Interior

Eckart Ratz took over from Herbert Kickl - in the context of an expert government formed by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz as a result of the Ibiza Affair - the official duties and the office of the Federal Minister of the Interior until the inauguration of a new government after the early National Council election in September 2019. Like his predecessor Herbert Kickl, Eckart Ratz also does not mince his words.

May 23, 2019

Austrian Transitional Government Takes Office

President Van der Bellen has sworn in the new ministers Valerie Hackl, Walter Pöltner, Eckart Ratz and Johann Luif.

May 22, 2019

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl to Remain in Transitional Government

While President Van der Bellen has removed Interior Minister Kickl from office, Foreign Minister Kneissl will remain in a transitional government at her own request.

May 21, 2019

Chancellor Sticks to Dismissal of Interior Minister - FPÖ Ministers Exit Government

Government crisis. Chancellor Kurz sticks to dismissal of interior minister. Right-wing populist FPÖ ministers leave government.

May 20, 2019

Ibiza-Video - New Elections in Austria after Vice Chancellor Resignation

After the release of the incriminating video of "foreign secret services" and the resulting resignation of Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) headed by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz calls for early elections as soon as possible. He had also informed the Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. "Enough is enough", Kurz said in a press statement on Saturday evening.

May 18, 2019

Standardised Austria-wide Autumn Holidays as of 2020/21

From the school year 2020/21 there will be uniform autumn holidays in Austria between National Day and All Saints Day - from 27 to 31 October - according to the unanimous decision of the Austrian National Council. There will be no additional school holidays, the teaching time will not be changed. Only the distribution of school-autonomous days will change. Specifically, the days off after Easter and Whitsun will be cancelled. This would ensure relief for pupils, teachers and parents.

May 16, 2019

Vienna Sticks to Iran Agreement

At the Eastern Partnership meeting in Brussels, the foreign ministers of the EU states discussed the rescue efforts for the nuclear agreement with Iran, specifically the maintenance of trade relations despite US sanction threats. Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl demanded that the nuclear agreement with Iran should be an EU priority.

May 16, 2019

Putin and Van der Bellen Open Sochi Dialogue Forum

The Sochi Dialogue Russian Austrian Forum was opened in the Black Sea port city as part of a working discussion between Russian and Austrian representatives from politics, business, science, education, art and culture.

May 15, 2019

Business Location - New Approach to Anchoring the State Goal of 'Economy'

The governing parties have made a new attempt to anchor the state goal of "economy". The bill received majority approval in the Constitutional Committee from the ÖVP and FPÖ, although a two-thirds majority remains questionable.

May 10, 2019

1989-2019: Europe Exhibition Opened at Vienna`s Heldenplatz

The new exhibition "Moving Moments - The End of the Division of Europe" (Bewegende Momente - Das Ende der Teilung Europas) looks back on the fall of the Iron Curtain and pays tribute to the achievements of the people in these mostly peaceful revolutions. It also shows how the European Union is seen today by young people from these countries.

May 10, 2019

Migration Agency Demands New EU Migration Policy

Vienna based think tank International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is teaming up with its 17 member states to draw up migration policy recommendations for the next EU Commission.

May 10, 2019

Commemoration Ceremony at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Memorial Day against Violence and Racism for the Victims of National Socialism and Liberation of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp on 5 May 1945, where 100,000 people were murdered.

May 6, 2019

UNESCO - Austria Awarded Two More World Heritage Sites

In addition to the currently troubled "Historical Centre of Vienna", which is to be preserved as a World Heritage Site, two other Austrian sites will be added to the World Heritage List at the next UNESCO meeting in Baku at the end of June. The "Danubian Limes" (Donaulimes), part of the former border of the Roman Empire, and the "Grossglockner High Alpine Road", the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria. Thus Austria will have 12 World Heritage Sites starting in summer 2019.

May 6, 2019

National Council Chairman: Liechtenstein an Important Economic Partner

The Chairman of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka pays tribute to the Principality of Liechtenstein as neighbour and friend.

May 3, 2019
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