Austria and the Western Balkans as a Region (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia). See also each country individually.
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Western Balkan Countries in Austria | Bilateral Relations

New Croatian Foreign Minister in Vienna

The visit of the new Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić-Radman, to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna focused on the forthcoming EU Presidency, which Croatia will assume for the first time on 1 January 2020, as well as the possible start of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

September 13, 2019

Western Balkans: Meeting of Austria with the Heads of State of Croatia and Slovenia

Traditional meeting of the presidents of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in the Croatian coastal town of Šibenik. The objective was more common EU foreign policy.

September 5, 2019

Cultural Policy is a Cornerstone of Austrian Soft Power

The BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs presented the achievements of Austrian foreign culture in the Vienna Konzerthaus (Auslandskulturtagung). In addition to the highlights of the past year, such as the Year of Remembrance 2018, the Cultural Programme during the Austrian EU Presidency and the bilateral Cultural Year with Albania, the central areas of activity of Austrian foreign cultural work were highlighted.

September 4, 2019

Schallenberg: "Europe is incomplete as long as the countries of the Western Balkans are not part of the EU"

Foreign Minister Schallenberg once again sees Austria within the framework of the EU as one of the strongest advocates for the Western Balkan states and calls at the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Helsinki for a rapid rapprochement of the Western Balkan states.

September 3, 2019

Alignment of the Western Balkans with the EU: Slovenian Parliament President Met Sobotka

The President of the Slovenian Parliament Dejan Židan and the President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka met on the sidelines of the Salzburg Festival to discuss the rapprochement of the Western Balkans to the EU and the EU after the elections to the European Parliament.

August 20, 2019

Austrian Minister of the Interior: Observing Developments along the Western Balkans Route Closely

The North Macedonian Ambassador Nenad Kolev and Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn met for a working discussion in Vienna. In addition to bilateral cooperation, the topic of migration, in particular the Western Balkans route, formed the agenda.

August 13, 2019

EU Appoints Austrian Dr. Johann Sattler as New Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council of the European Union appointed Johann Sattler as EU Special Representative (EUSR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo.

August 9, 2019

BMW to Invest 28 Million Euros in Salzburg Location

Within the framework of a festive event under the theme "Good for Salzburg. Good for Austria." the BMW Group recently laid the foundation stone for its new BMW Group Campus Salzburg for Central and Southeastern Europe. BMW is investing 28 million euros in the expansion of 400 employees. The inauguration of the new campus is planned for autumn 2020.

August 5, 2019

Southeastern Europe Remains Focus of Austrian Foreign and Security Policy

The Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kemal Kozaric, and Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn met for a working meeting in Vienna. Bilateral cooperation and migration were on the agenda.

August 1, 2019

Foreign Trade Gains with the Western Balkans

Exports worth 1.35 billion euros to the EU accession candidates of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) are balanced by imports to Austria worth 1.25 billion euros.

July 16, 2019

Poznan Summit: Bringing Western Balkans Closer to EU Remains Priority

Chancellor Bierlein at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Poland. The sixth Western Balkans Conference as part of the Berlin Process, which brings together heads of government from several EU states and their counterparts from the Western Balkans, dealt with connectivity at all levels.

July 9, 2019

How North Macedonia Learns from Austria - Best Practices on the Topic of Equal Treatment

During a visit of the delegations of the North Macedonian Ministry of the Interior and the OSCE Mission Skopje to the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna, representatives of all sides exchanged views on the subject of equal treatment.

July 4, 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

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

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

Austrian Top Diplomat Albert Rohan Deceased

As one of his first duties the new Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg had to inform the public about the death of one of the most distinguished diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Albert Rohan died shortly after his 83rd birthday. He had played a crucial role in shaping Austrian foreign policy in numerous international functions.

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

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

40 Years of the UN in Vienna - The Tireless Commitment of António Guterres

UN Secretary General António Guterres completed a busy programme when he came to Vienna for the 40th anniversary celebrations and the R20 Austria World Summit. The VIC Vienna International Centre is the place where, with the help of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the 193 member states, 15 Vienna-based UN organisations and more than 5000 people from 125 countries from around the world are bound together.

May 31, 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

The Lipizzaners - What Links Austria and Slovenia Together

The Lipizzan horses are to become cultural heritage. After decades of dispute, Slovenia and Austria submit the Lipizzaner breed to UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. This was declared by Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and her Slovenian colleague Miro Cerar after signing a joint declaration in Going in Tyrol. The application should be submitted by March 2020 with the aim of enrolment by 2021.

May 7, 2019

Foreign Minister of Albania Gent Cakaj Visits Vienna

Austria emphasises its continued support for the commencement of EU accession negotiations with Albania.

April 26, 2019

Montenegro and Austria Emphasise Good Relations

The Prime Minister of the Western Balkan country Montenegro, Duško Marković, and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressed in Vienna the good relations and the potential for further cooperation in the economic field.

April 12, 2019

Sberbank Europe Generates Net Profit of EUR 34 Million

Vienna based Sberbank Europe looks back at its best annual result since the acquisition of Austrian Volksbank International in 2012.

April 11, 2019

Robbery of 10 Mio Euro in Front of Austrian Airlines Plane in Albania

During a robbery at Tirana International Airport, robbers tried to steal 10 million euros from an Austrian Airlines aircraft. The plane was supposed to bring the money to Vienna and was just loading. In a fire fight with the police, a perpetrator was killed on the run. All robbers had been identified and the police are pursuing the rest of the gang.

April 10, 2019

International Mine Awareness Day: By 2025 We Want to Make the World Minefree

Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl stresses Austria's commitment to the International Mine Awareness Day. In the last 20 years Austria has provided more than 33 million euros for mine action and supported projects in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mozambique, Ukraine and other countries.

April 4, 2019

International Financial Institutions World Bank Group and IMF Expand Presence in Austria

Important success for Austria's business location policy. According to media reports, the IMF International Monetary Fund will move to Vienna in June, while the World Bank Group will double the staff and size of its Vienna office.

March 29, 2019

Austria Welcomes 6 New Ambassadors from Armenia, Mali, Namibia, North Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey

On March 19, 2019, Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen welcomed six newly accredited Ambassadors to Austria to the Presidential Chancellery of the Vienna Imperial Palace for the presentation of their letters of accreditation.

March 20, 2019 · Updated: April 8, 2019; 12:00

Prime Minister of the Newly Named Republic of North Macedonia at the Vienna Opera Ball

Only a few days after the historic renaming of the Republic of Macedonia into the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, visited Vienna at the invitation of Federal Chancellor Kurz and together they visited the Vienna Opera Ball.

March 1, 2019 · Updated: March 4, 2019; 12:33

EU Citizens in Austria - Vote for Your Austrian MEP at the European Elections 2019

EU citizens who have their main residence in Austria can vote for Austrian members of the European Parliament. Here we show you how this works and who you can choose.

February 25, 2019

Chancellor Kurz in Washington, D.C. - Trump Demands Higher Military Expenditures

US President Donald Trump and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met in the White House for a working meeting. The trade relations, the demand for higher military expenditures for Austria, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and the Serbia-Kosovo conflict were addressed.

February 21, 2019

Population Development - City of Vienna at 1.9 Million Inhabitants

Last year Vienna grew by 11,000 inhabitants. The birth surplus was 4,000, the migration gain 7,000. Immigration from Great Britain was disproportionately high due to Brexit fears. Serbia is the strongest group of immigrants. The influx of refugees has fallen back to the level before the wave of refugees. In 2027 about 2 million people will live in Vienna.

January 22, 2019

Austria Signed Memorandum with Economic Chambers of Western Balkan States

The representatives of the Economic Chamber and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harald Mahrer and Karin Kneissl, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic Chambers of the Western Balkan states Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. The aim is to strengthen regional cooperation at the economic level, particularly in the area of dual vocational training.

January 18, 2019

Kosovo - Austrian KFOR Mission Extension until End 2019

At a time when tensions between Serbia and Kosovo are once again rising due to the dispute over Kosovo's own army, Austria has decided to extend its deployment within the framework of the multinational peacekeeping operation in Kosovo (KFOR) until the end of 2019 with a contingent of up to 600 members of the armed forces.

January 11, 2019

New Austrian Foreign Trade Strategy: Growth, Jobs, Prosperity

In a joint event in the Aula of Sciences, the Federal Government's new foreign trade strategy was presented by Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck, Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and President of the Chamber of Commerce Harald Mahrer. The key points of the strategy are the following: Perspective, value orientation, location effect, focal points, future orientation, communication, efficient coordination.

December 20, 2018

Kosovo to Build its Own Army: US and UK in Favour, Austria, EU and Nato Oppose

The Kosovar parliament decided against the strong advice of both the EU and NATO to set up official armed forces. Serbia's leadership cautions against a new war. Austria's Foreign Ministry warns and assesses the decision to form an own army as "not helpful".

December 14, 2018

Opening of Austrian Cultural Forum Sarajevo - Strengthening of Cultural Ties

104 years after the murder of the archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo, Austria opens the 30th Austrian Cultural Forum in the Bosnian capital. The Cultural Forum (Österreichisches Kulturforum Sarajewo / Austrijski kulturni forum Sarajevo) is part of the network of the Foreign Ministry. The aim is to strengthen the cultural links between South Eastern Europe and Austria.

December 4, 2018

Albania and OSCE Establish Cooperation in the Field of Freedom of the Media

The Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and the Vienna based OSCE have agreed on a new co-operation on anti-defamation package and rules for online media to ensure that future legislation is supportive of freedom of expression, media freedom and access to Internet.

November 29, 2018

Sebastian Kurz: EU and Switzerland to Intensify Relations Further

Federal Chancellor Kurz held a working meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset in Bern. The meeting focused on, among other topics, an assessment of Brexit, the Western Balkans, the nuclear agreement with Iran, relations with Russia and the priorities of the Austrian EU Presidency.

November 22, 2018

Updated Directory of Foreign Ambassadors in Austria 2019

Below you will find the updated Vindobona.org list of foreign ambassadors and representatives of the bilateral and multilateral missions and representations in Vienna, Austria (including description of persons, pictures, CVs, etc.).

November 19, 2018 · Updated: July 19, 2019; 11:50

Western Balkans - No Reconciliation in Kosovo Conflict

Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz visited Serbia and Kosovo during a trip to the Western Balkans. Since the last clash between the two heads of state Vučić and Thaçi in September, the talks have been suspended there. The EU should continue to support the search for a solution to the Kosovo conflict.

November 7, 2018

The Western Balkans: Resolving Outstanding Issues between Belgrade and Pristina Prerequisite for Serbia's Accession to the EU

As international and local pressure mounts on Belgrade and Pristina to define their relations with an agreement on normalization, the official Austrian visit to the Republic of Serbia as part of an economic and cultural delegation headed by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen focused on bilateral economic relations, Serbia's EU perspective and the Belgrade-Priština Dialogue.

October 18, 2018

Meet the New Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the International Organizations in Vienna - Jugoslav Jovičić

The new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN, OSCE and IAEA, Jugoslav Jovičić, presented his credentials to the Director-General of the UNOV United Nations Office at Vienna, Yury Fedotov, and to Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Acting Director General, and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy at the IAEA headquarters.

October 16, 2018

Veiled, Unveiled! The Headscarf - A Man’s Word on a Woman’s Body

An intriguing exhibition at the World Museum Vienna deals with the significance of the headscarf and thus also touches on a current dispute in various countries about a so-called headscarf ban. Just a piece of cloth but laden with countless facets of meaning is causing a stir: the headscarf used by devout women to cover their head, their face, and occasionally their whole body. The religious duty of women to cover their head has been part of European culture for centuries, though. Its story begins with early Christianity and has remained a vibrant issue to this day.

October 11, 2018

Enlargement Perspectives for the Western Balkans - The Role of Parliaments

During a panel discussion in the Austrian Parliament, the perspective of enlargement for the Western Balkans and, in this context, the role of parliaments were discussed. The future of the six candidate countries in the Western Balkans is within the EU. They need an honest perspective for this common future with the EU Member States. The EU must contribute to ensuring the stability of the democracies in these countries. The former President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, attended the discussion.

October 11, 2018

Danube Region Business Forum - Infrastructure and Its Implications on Business in CEE and SEE

The Danube Region is one of the traditionally important markets for Central European regions and companies. However, the infrastructure of this region does not yet meet the requirements of the economy. The 8th Danube Region Business Forum will take place on 9 October 2018 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna. The aim of the forum is to ensure that the infrastructural quality and cooperations in the region meet the requirements of the economy.

October 3, 2018

Macedonian Community in Austria: 25th Anniversary of the Macedonian Orthodox Church

According to estimates, 25,000 Macedonians, including many from other parts of the former Yugoslavia, live in Austria. Despite the upcoming historic referendum in the Republic of Macedonia, it could be learned from diplomatic circles, that on the occasion of the Macedonia Austria Days in Vienna and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Austria a concert of a traditional Macedonian folk dance orchestra with dances and songs and a reception with traditional wines and dishes from Macedonia was held.

October 2, 2018

Key Border Control Strategies Identified at UNODC's Annual Law Enforcement Experts Meeting

A working document on informal standards for border management and control was drafted and shared with participants at UNODC's annual Law Enforcement Advisors Meeting (LEA), held recently in Vienna. The annual meeting allowed for the exchange of best practices within UNODC and with partners.

October 2, 2018

Macedonia's Name Dispute with Greece: Macedonians in Austria Cast Their Votes

The Macedonians will decide next Sunday on a bilateral agreement between Athens and Skopje, which can pave the way for the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia to NATO and EU membership. Greece, which claims the name Macedonia for its northern region, should be made satisfied with "North Macedonia". The Macedonian foreign voters can vote for the referendum at the diplomatic representations of their country (diplomatic representations in Austria see below). Voters will be asked "Do you support EU and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?"

September 26, 2018
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