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Slovenia in Austria | Slovenes in Vienna | Bilateral Relations

Austria Prepares for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union: ‘A Europe that protects’

On 1 July 2018 Austria takes over the EU Presidency for six months. The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on three topics: the fight against illegal migration, digitalisation and stability in the neighbourhood.

June 5, 2018

What does the Vienna-based ICMPD and its Director General Michael Spindelegger do?

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was founded in 1993 in Vienna on the initiative of Austria and Switzerland with the aim of making migration and mobility of people orderly, safe and regular, including through the implementation of planned and well managed migration policies. The aim is to counteract the often short-term thinking of governments so that sustainable solutions can be found and implemented in the medium and long term to combat and overcome the migration crisis. From this point of view, the tasks of the ICMPD have become extremely topical and important due to the refugee crisis.

April 26, 2018

Goals for Austria's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1 July 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Bulgaria. During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July to 31 December 2018), guided by the motto "A Europe that protects", Austria will focus on three key areas: security and the fight against illegal migration, retaining competitiveness through digitalisation, and stability in the neighbouring regions (particularly the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU).

April 25, 2018

Telekom Austria Prepares Expansion in the Western Balkans

Telekom Austria is strategically strengthening its search for takeover targets and has made EUR 1 billion available in the war chest. CEO Alejandro Plater has announced his intention to expand again in the Western Balkans (Serbia, Croatia and other countries of former Yugoslavia).

April 11, 2018

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

RBI Closes Sale of Raiffeisen Banka in Slovenia

Following the completion of all regulatory requirements, Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) formally closed the sale of its Slovenian bank, Raiffeisen Banka d.d. The sales price will be kept confidential.

July 1, 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

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

Central European Initiative Discusses Refugee Crisis in Banja Luka

Foreign Ministers of the 18 member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) met in Bosnia Herzegovina, which holds the initiative’s annual rotating Chairmanship this year. Discussions mainly focused on the refugee crisis and potential solutions.

June 20, 2016

Long-Distance Coach Operator Flixbus to Compete with ÖBB Austrian Railways

Austrian state-run rail company ÖBB Austrian Railways is facing increasing competition of German mobility provider Flixbus which has just launched its third connection for Austria's regional capital cities, between Graz and Salzburg. In January 2016 FlixBus announced its entry to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe with the new branch FlixBus CEE. This includes six countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia) with new lines in the making. () am

April 27, 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

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

Kapsch TrafficCom AG / Bid opening for tender for electronic tollcollection system in Slovenia

Kapsch TrafficCom AG (ISIN AT000KAPSCH9), listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange in the prime market segment, informs that Slovenian motorway company DARS d.d. has opened the bids received for the tender for a nationwide electronic toll collection system for vehicles above 3.5 tons total weight.

December 17, 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

RBI Sells Slovenian Subsidiary to US Private Equity Firm Apollo

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has reached an agreement to sell its Slovenian bank, Raiffeisen Banka d.d., to Biser Bidco, which is managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The expected deconsolidation effect on RBI’s consolidated result will amount to minus EUR 49 million.

December 10, 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

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: 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

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

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: 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

Swedish Embassy in Vienna has New Premises

The Swedish Embassy/UN representation and the OSCE-delegation have moved to new premises with extensive entertainment facilities, Schwedenhaus Wien. This represents a new and unique concept which could be a model for how Sweden will be represented abroad in the future. As the Embassy also represents Sweden in Slovakia and Slovenia, Schwedenhaus Wien will have both a regional and multilateral (UN and OSCE) approach.

May 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Government Debt Increased to 82.6% of GDP in Austria and to 92.7% in Euro Area

At the end of the second quarter of 2014, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA18) stood at 92.7%, compared with 91.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Austria's government debt rose to 82.6 percent of GDP in Q2 2014 from 81.3 percent in Q1.

October 23, 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

Voestalpine to Supply Linepipe Plates for the Second South Stream Pipeline

This year sees the voestalpine Group securing its third major contract in the pipeline business. Following the first, now completed, contract for the Russian-European pipeline project South Stream, and for Rota 3, a pipeline project in Brazil, voestalpine will deliver 120,000 tons of sour-gas-resistant, high-strength linepipe plates for the second South Stream pipeline by spring 2015. The South Stream contract is not affected by sanctions. Further negotiations are also currently underway concerning extremely challenging pipeline projects.

September 5, 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

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

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