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

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

Updated Directory of Foreign Ambassadors in Austria 2018

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

September 28, 2018 · Updated: September 28, 2018; 17:47

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 "Northern 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

Meet the New Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Austria: H.E. Mr. Nebojša Rodic

The new Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Austria, H.E. Mr. Nebojša Rodic presented Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen with his letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

September 19, 2018

Embassy and Permanent Mission of Nepal in Vienna, Austria

The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Nepal in Vienna's 4th district was opened in November 2017. In addition to serving as the residential Embassy of Nepal to the Republic of Austria, it is also concurrently accredited to Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

September 19, 2018

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Vienna Surprisingly Recalled

Sri Lanka's President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena has recalled his ambassador to Austria, Mrs. Priyanee Wijesekera. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has confirmed this, but has not given any official reason for the recall.

September 17, 2018 · Updated: September 18, 2018; 09:01

Meet the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Austria: H.E. Mr. Ghislain D’Hoop

Ambassador Ghislain D’Hoop is officially the new Permanent Representative of Belgium to the international organizations in Vienna. He already presented his credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), Yury Fedotov, to the Deputy Director-General of the IAEA, Aldo Malavasi, to the General Secretary of the CTBTO, Lassina Zerbo and to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

September 14, 2018 · Updated: September 17, 2018; 14:00

Generation Next - Europe's Futures Conference

The conference is the first event of the Future of Europe Task Force meetings, which are to be held in Austria and Romania during their respective Presidency in the Council of the EU. The gathering seeks solutions and encourages action to face the upcoming challenges both to the European Union and to the regions of Central and South East Europe.

September 14, 2018

Marcus Grausam Confirmed as CEO of A1 Telekom Austria AG

Marcus Grausam has been confirmed as CEO of A1 Telekom Austria AG, a subsidiary of A1 Telekom Austria Group. He was appointed interim CEO in October 2017. Grausam will also continue to perform his function as CTO.

September 4, 2018

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

Takeover of Serbian Sugar Producer Sunoko by Agrana on Hold

The takeover of the Serbian sugar manufacturer Sunoko by the Austrian sugar, starch and fruit manufacturer Agrana has failed due to problems on the European sugar market.

May 4, 2018

The Window of Opportunity for the Western Balkans

Will the Western Balkan countries be able to take advantage of the moment and will it bring the year 2018 closer to the European Union? In February 2018, a new Enlargement Strategy was presented in Strasbourg by the EU Commission. Bulgaria, currently having the Presidency of the Council of the EU, will organize a major Balkan’s Summit in May. Austria, for a long time one of the most prominent promoters of the EU Enlargement for the Western Balkans and a country deeply intertwined with the region, will assume the EU presidency in the second half of 2018. This year represents one of the crucial moments for enlargement as major steps need to be undertaken to reach the goal of making the enlargement perspective realistic for 2025.

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

The New Balkans in the Year of Hope for EU Enlargement

2018 has been frequently described as the „year of hope“ for EU enlargement and for the Balkans. In February 2018, a new Enlargement Strategy was presented in Strasbourg by the EU Commission. Bulgaria, currently having the Presidency of the Council of the EU, will organize a major Balkan’s Summit in May 2018. Austria, for a long time one of the most prominent promoters of the EU Enlargement for the Western Balkans and a country deeply intertwined with the region, will assume the EU presidency in the second half of 2018. 2018 represents one of the crucial moments for enlargement as major steps need to be undertaken to reach the goal of making enlargement perspective realistic for 2025.

April 20, 2018

Meet the Ambassador of Montenegro to Austria: H.E. Mr. Zeljko Perovic

The new Ambassador of Montenegro to Austria Mr. Zeljko Perovic presented President Alexander Van der Bellen with his letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

April 16, 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

RBI Doubles Net Profit, Pays Dividends Again and Returns to Growth Course

RBI - Raiffeisen Bank International has doubled its profit in 2017 and rewards shareholders. They have not received any dividends since 2013. The bank had to pursue a sharp austerity course, reduce international business volumes, close branches in Eastern Europe and stop dividend payments. Russia remains the most important source of income.

March 15, 2018

The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe Now More at Risk Than 10 Years Ago

In the Austrian National Defence Academy, the security issue "The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe restored?" was discussed in the form of a public panel discussion. At the invitation of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), the Karl-Renner-Institut, the Scientific Cluster for Polemology and Legal Ethics, the FES Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe (ROCPE), the Austrian National Defence Academy and the ISP Institute for Security Policy, Hannes Swoboda as moderator and the panelists Thomas Greminger, Fyodor Lukyanov, Stephanie Liechtenstein, Alena Kupchyna discussed the hoped-for security policy development of Europe and the OSCE.

March 7, 2018

The Western Balkans Remain a Priority of Austrian Foreign Policy

Because of a common history and the tradition of political, cultural and economic relations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Western Balkans. The primary goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans area into a zone of stability. From the Austrian perspective there is only one option for the Western Balkans: a full European integration of the region. However, the political commitment from the regions' leaders is expected.

February 28, 2018

Telekom Austria AG / Results for the Full Year 2017

Telekom Austria Group announces its results for fourth quarter and full year 2017, ending 31 December 2017. Group total revenues rose by 3.0% on a proforma basis (reported: +4.1%), EBITDA increased by 2.0% (rep.: +3.2%). Revenue increase driven by growth in fixed-line service revenues and equipment revenues, while mobile service revenues were lower due to roaming; the revenue increase was driven by all markets except for the Republic of Macedonia.

February 13, 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

Vienna Insurance Group Buys AXA Subsidiaries in Serbia

Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is acquiring AXA’s life and non-life companies in Serbia. The purchase will increase VIG’s market share in Serbia to around 11.5 percent.

July 7, 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

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

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

Strabag Builds Hydroelectric Power Plant in Bosnia-Herzegovina Worth € 57 Million

A consortium consisting of Austrian construction group Strabag and Croatian industrial company Končar has been awarded the contract to build the Vranduk power plant on the river Bosna on behalf of energy supply company JP Elektroprivreda BiH.

January 11, 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

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

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