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Romania in Austria | Romanians in Vienna | Bilateral Relations

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

Western Balkans Countries Discussed Investment, Jobs and Integration in Vienna

The World Bank and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) held a high-level policy dialogue on ‘Investment, Jobs and Integration’ last week. Ministers and senior officials from the Western Balkans region as well as policy experts from international organisations and the business community gathered to discuss the challenges the region is currently facing, in particular the high unemployment rate, low international competitiveness, and lack of modern infrastructure.

July 8, 2016

CESEE Outlook: Modest Recovery - EU is Obstacle to Growth – BREXIT Poses Uncertainties

According to the latest prognosis of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, the countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE) will have a trend growth rate of up to 3% in the period of 2016-2018. This is 1-1½ percentage points higher than average growth in the eurozone. Consumption will be the main growth driver. The Austrian economy is still benefiting from its economic ties with the region. Direct effects of BREXIT on the region will be limited – indirect effects for the European economy as a whole may be considerable.

June 29, 2016

Closing of Visa Takeover Brings EUR 97 Million Pre-Tax Profit to RBI

The expected pretax profit from the cash payment of the transaction will be EUR 97 million. It should be booked under net income from financial investments in the second quarter of 2016. Visa Inc. had announced the takeover of Visa Europe Ltd. in November of 2015. The cash payment of this one-off effect will be split between Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, the RBI head office, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Zuno.

June 21, 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

The Western Balkans Conference Which Led to Row Over Worsening Refugee Crisis

Convened on the initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Western Balkans conference “Managing Migration Together” was held at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. 18 foreign and interior ministers from the Western Balkans attended the conference. The participants included the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

February 26, 2016

Erste Group Provides Blackstone with a 5-Year EUR 91 Million Facility

Erste Group provides Blackstone with a 5-year EUR 91 million facility to acquire 12 logistics assets. The 265000 sqm portfolio covers 12 standing logistics investments located in Hungary (5), Romania (4), Poland (2) and Slovakia (1), as well as land reserves.

February 22, 2016

Central and Eastern Europe's Financial Elite Gathered at the CEE Forum in Vienna

The 21st Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum ended in Vienna today, where 1000 delegates from the region joined local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead. The vast majority of the delegates have a negative outlook for the year 2016. Only one of the participants expects that this year CEE will grow more than 3.5%.

January 20, 2016

Central and Eastern European Forum in Vienna next Week

The Central and Eastern European Forum - organized by Euromoney - is taking place in Vienna next week. 1,000 top level policymakers, issuers, and commentators from the region will join local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead.

January 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

Current State of Relations between NATO and Austria

NATO-Austria relations are conducted through the Partnership for Peace framework, which Austria joined in 1995. NATO and Austria actively cooperate in peace support operations, and have developed practical cooperation in a range of areas. NATO views Austria as an effective partner and contributor to international security, which shares key values such as the promotion of international security, democracy and human rights. Austria on the other hand selects areas of practical cooperation with NATO that match joint objectives.

October 16, 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

Erste Group Presents Net Profit of EUR 487.2 Million in H1 15

Erste Group closed the first half of 2015 with positive results, reflected in strong improvements in profitability, asset quality, lending and capital. The group reported a net profit of EUR 487.2 million in H1 2015, compared to a negative result of EUR -929.7 million in the similar period last year; all countries except Hungary made a positive contribution to this development. Total assets increased to EUR 197.5 billion, compared to EUR 196.3 billion at the end of 2014. This balance sheet growth reflects a 2.2% advance in net lending to customers compared to the end of 2014, to EUR 123.5 billion, supported by the 1.7% growth in loans to households, 2.0% to SMEs and 5.9% to large corporates.

August 7, 2015

Euromoney Names UniCredit-Bank Best Bank in CEE

Euromoney has presented UniCredit with nine awards for excellence, including Best Bank in Central Eastern Europe, Best Debt House in Central Eastern Europe and Best Transaction Services House in Central Eastern Europe.

July 14, 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

Analysis: The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna

The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 has been the 60th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest musical event. The contest took place in Vienna and followed Conchita Wurst's victory in the 2014 edition with her song "Rise Like a Phoenix". The song "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw took the winning spot in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna with 365 points. The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will therefore be held in Sweden.

May 16, 2015 · Updated: May 28, 2015; 08:00

EBRD Sees Mixed Outlook for CESEE Countries in 2015-16

The outlook for economies in central and south eastern Europe is improving on the back of eurozone monetary easing but prospects further to the east of the transition region have worsened, as the impact of Russia’s recession intensifies.

May 14, 2015

Quality of Living Rankings: Vienna Tops the List Again

Vienna remaines at the top of the 2015 Quality of Living Rankings, boasting the best quality of living for expatriates. In the top 5 there are two other European cities, Zurich (place 2) and Munich (place 4). Also Auckland (3rd) and Vancouver (5th) are among the top five cities.

March 4, 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

List of National Days of the home countries of all foreign Missions and Delegations in Vienna, Austria

The Vindobona table below is an updated list of National Days of all nations, which belong to at least one of following categories: Foreign Missions and Delegations in Vienna, Austria; Diplomatic Corps and other representations in Austria; International Organizations in Vienna and Permanent Missions; Missions and Delegations to the OSCE.

February 11, 2015 · Updated: February 7, 2018; 08:12

Austria is Celebrating 60 Years of United Nations Membership in 2015

Austria became a member of the United Nations in 1955 and is celebrating 60 years of UN membership in 2015. 70 years ago, the United Nations were founded in San Francisco.

February 5, 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

Vienna Congress comsult 2015: "Power of Regions"

“Power of Regions“ is the topic of the Vienna Congress com•sult 2015 which is taking place today at Vienna's House of Industry. Distinguished participants from industry, politics and the business community such as F.W. de Klerk, Mohamed El Baradei, Author Benjamin R. Barber, Václav Klaus and Iain Begg are discussing the principle of regionality and its future in Europe.

January 20, 2015

Swiss Franc Soars as Currency Ceiling Discontinued

The Swiss franc has soared against the euro after Switzerland's central bank abandoned a ceiling it put in place a few years ago. Swiss franc loans in Austria make up more than 90 percent of the 25 billion euros in foreign-currency loans. Traders were stunned as the move was completely unexpected.

January 15, 2015

EBRD Lends EUR 30 Mln Loan to Raiffeisen Leasing to support MSMEs in Romania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is increasing the availability of financing to private businesses in Romania with a RON 132 million (€30 million equivalent) loan to the Bucharest-based Raiffeisen Leasing IFN S.A, a subsidiary of Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI).

January 15, 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

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

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

CEE Sovereign Bond Market Among Best Investment Destinations in Europe

The CEE sovereign bonds are among the best investments in Europe this year. High returns and low volatility increase investor appeal. The CEE sovereign bond market is 5th largest in continental Europe. Romania emerges as CEE regional champion among local currency bonds.

October 2, 2014

Business Indicator: Growing Geopolitical Uncertainty Levels the Economic Outlook Down

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The analysts of Bank Austria believe, that after a weak first six months, the economic recovery continues to find it difficult to get out of the starting blocks. The growing uncertainty fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine crisis was reflected in another decline for Bank Austria’s Business Indicator in August. The indicator has been trending downwards slightly for half a year, and now sits at its lowest point since last summer of just 0.2 points.

September 18, 2014

Mid Europa Partners' New Fund to Invest EUR 800 Mln in CEE

Mid Europa Partners, the British private equity firm focused on buyouts in Central & Eastern Europe, announced the final closing of Mid Europa Fund IV at €800 million, complemented by an additional pre-allocated co-investment program of €650 million. Fund IV represents the largest dedicated fund to the CEE Region raised in the last 5 years.

September 5, 2014

Poland's Donald Tusk to Become European Council President

Current council president Herman Van Rompuy tweeted the announcement from the EU summit. Mr Tusk, Poland's centre-right prime minister since 2007, will become the European Council's president. Italy's Federica Mogherini, a centre-left politician and foreign minister will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief.

August 30, 2014

Transport & Logistics - DB Schenker Opens New Logistics Center in Belgrade

DB Schenker will be moving into a new logistics center near Belgrade/Serbia at the beginning of 2015. The center will offer customers the technology for specialized logistics solutions.

August 29, 2014

Russia Orders Agricultural Import Bans in Sanction Retaliation

Vladimir Putin signed a decree limiting or banning imports of agricultural products from countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin's press service announced. It is estimated that following CEE/SEE countries will be hit by the retaliatory sanctions: Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Brussels, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

August 6, 2014

Hydrogen: OMV to Invest EUR 20 Mln in Key Technology

OMV is currently conducting intensive research on hydrogen as alternative fuel. According to CEO Gerhard Roiss hydrogen is already part of OMV’s everyday business. The group earmarkes around EUR 20 mln for hydrogen projects.

August 4, 2014

Analysis: Russia - Assessment of EU and Tightened US Sanctions

Special analysis covering the most recent escalation in terms of Western economic and financial sanctions against Russia: EU and US sending bold diplomatic signals without inflicting too much near-term economic and financial damage. In comparison to the US sanctions by the EU are capped in duration. Recent escalation adds to uncertainty in doing business with Russia, which is an ultimate goal of sanctions. Near-term impact of current sanctions still limited, which implies a risk that they may remain for longer.

July 31, 2014

Austrian FDI: Current Developments 1Q 2014

In the first quarter of 2014, Austrian FDI abroad reached a value of 2.8 billion euros, which is less by about 30% than in the same period of 2013. Foreign direct investments in the same period into Austria stood at 1.4 billion euros. This is about 37% less than in the same period of last year.

July 29, 2014

Volksbank Romania Sells EUR 495 Million NPL Real Estate Portfolio

Volksbank Romania has reduced its non-performing loans portfolio (NPLs) through the sale of a NPL real estate portfolio with an aggregate volume of € 495 million. The Bank has sold the large-volume real estate financing commitments to an international investors consortium composed of Deutsche Bank, AnaCap Financial Partners LLP, H.I.G Capital International Advisers and APS Holding SE. With this transaction, Volksbank Romania has reduced its NPL portfolio to a NPL ratio of below 8%, below the average in Romania's banking system.

July 28, 2014

Cost of Living Rankings: CEE Capitals Cheaper, Vienna is 32nd Most Expensive City

The Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings have been published and cover 211 cities across five continents. While Western European cities have all risen in the rankings mainly due to the strengthening of the Euro against the US dollar, most cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however have fallen in the ranking as a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar. Bratislava (#84), Prague (#92), Kiev (#98), Ljubljana (#116), Zagreb (#120), Budapest (#135), Warsaw (#142), Belgrade (#184).

July 25, 2014

OMV Petrom Finalizes Modernization of Petrobrazi Refinery

OMV Petrom, the largest oil and gas producer in South-Eastern Europe, has announced the successful finalization of the modernization process of Petrobrazi refinery, performed during 2010-2014. Total investment in the modernization process amounted to around EUR 600 mln. The main target of the investment program was to increase competitiveness. OMV Petrom is now able to process the entire Romanian crude production of OMV Petrom in a single refinery.

July 24, 2014

Forecast for CESEE Countries (Webinar)

Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) have been strongly affected by the economic crisis. However now there are signs of an improving economic climate and growth rates will again be above the EU average. The current situation in the Ukraine and potential difficulties between the EU and Russia constitute a downside risk.

June 24, 2014

CEE-Initiative: Strengthening Investment Fund Business in Central- and Eastern Europe (CEE)

The Hungarian association BAMOSZ and the Austrian association VÖIG initiated a closer collaboration and tighter co-operation between fund associations in CEE, the so-called „CEE Initiative“. The member associations of the „CEE Initiative“ are (in alphabetical order): Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

June 16, 2014