Western Balkan Countries in Austria | Bilateral Relations

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

IAEA Chief Grossi and Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Visit Brussels

Austria recorded a small but significant diplomatic success at Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg's visit to the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. Already in the run-up to the meeting, the EU foreign ministers met Rafael Grossi, Director General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the initiative of Foreign Minister Schallenberg.

January 23, 2023

North Macedonia Takes Over OSCE Chair for 2023

From January 1, 2023, North Macedonia takes over the OSCE Chair. In addition to the focus on the crisis regions and above all the military aggression against Ukraine, the country's priorities as chairman will be the re-affirmation of the benefits of the OSCE and the restoration of dialogue and trust.

January 2, 2023 · Updated: January 20, 2023; 12:00

Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani Visits Vienna

The Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, met in Vienna with the Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, as well as with the OSCE leadership, as North Macedonia will assume the OSCE Chairmanship for 2023.

September 1, 2022 · Updated: January 20, 2023; 12:00

Serbia's Complicated Relationship with Russia

Serbia's relatively close relationship with Russia, while based on a somewhat haggard history, has been rather positive in recent years. Since Russia's attack, but also before, this relationship has been crumbling more and more. There are several reasons for this, some of which are currently intensifying.

January 19, 2023

Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in Austria

Every year on January 6 and 7, millions of Orthodox Christians around the world celebrate Christmas. In the capital, Vienna and many other cities, especially Serbian and Russian Orthodox Christians, as well as Oriental Orthodox Christians, are currently celebrating Christmas.

January 7, 2023

Foreign Minister Schallenberg and his Slovenian Counterpart Travel to Montenegro on Behalf of the EU

On behalf of the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Foreign Minister Schallenberg and his Slovenian colleague Tanja Fajon traveled to the previous model country among the accession candidates. It is currently going through a constitutional crisis.

December 21, 2022

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: December 14, 2022; 08:12

Austria Still Declines the Schengen Expansion

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer confirmed Austria’s negative position towards the Schengen expansion today. At the Western Balkan meeting today in the Albanian capital Tirana, Nehammer declined further Schengen expansions for now.

December 7, 2022

Defense Ministers of Western Balkans Meet in Austrian Wachau

The Defense Ministers of the Western Balkan States met today with the Austrian minister of Defense Klaudia Tanner. The meeting was about the global security challenges which include the Westbalkan states.

December 2, 2022

Austrian Ministry of Research Danubius Awards 2022

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, in cooperation with the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, honored scientific talents from the countries of the Danube Region for the ninth time this year. The Danubius Award 2022, Mid-Career Award and Danubius Young Scientist Awards were presented to 13 emerging researchers from the Danube region awarded in Maribor.

November 13, 2022

Western Balkans Youth Summit 2022 Held in Vienna

Young people in the Western Balkans should be given a perspective, which is why the Western Balkans Youth Summit was held in Vienna at the Austrian Federal Chancellery. For the Austrian hosts, it is clear that the European Union is not complete without the Western Balkans.

November 13, 2022

Austria at Western Balkans Conference in Berlin

Austrian Federal Minister Susanne Raab represented Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg at the Western Balkans Conference in Berlin, as the Austrian Foreign Minister had to cancel his participation due to a positive Corona test. Minister Raab declared at the Western Balkans Conference "that we as the EU must finally get going when it comes to the integration of the six states of the Western Balkans."

November 4, 2022

Austria Calls for Common European Gas Price Cap at EU Summit in Prague

At the first meeting of the "European Political Community", the informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Prague, Austria attracted particular attention by wanting to define a common EU gas price cap. For Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer it was clear in Prague that there would be "no embargo via the back door" when it comes to Russian gas.

October 11, 2022

Foreign Minister of Kosovo Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz Visits Vienna

The Foreign Minister of Kosovo Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz was on a working visit to Vienna. The Kosovar Foreign Minister met with Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. The talks focused on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the Western Balkans, the advancement of EU visa liberalization for Kosovo and the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

October 11, 2022

Austria's Minister for Europe Edtstadler met Olena Zelenska in Warsaw

Austria's Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler participated in the Warsaw Security Forum. In Warsaw, the Minister met with Olena Zelenska and the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister. The minister announced the preparations for a trip to Kyiv with EU counterparts and said the war should not be perceived primarily from a "male perspective".

October 5, 2022

Austria and Switzerland Agreed On Action Plan Against Migration

Austria and Switzerland want to cooperate even more closely in the fight against irregular migration. During a visit by Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner to his Swiss counterpart Karin Keller-Sutter in Switzerland, a joint action plan was agreed upon. At the common border, cooperation is to be intensified in priority actions. In addition, pressure is to be exerted on Balkan countries such as Serbia to restrict the current visa rules.

September 28, 2022

IWM’s Strategic Partnership Initiative with the ERSTE Foundation

With Europe's Futures - Ideas for Action, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) and the ERSTE Foundation aim to understand and address challenges to democracy, rule of law and migratory pressures that threaten Europe and the European Union.

September 4, 2022

Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg at the Bled Strategic Forum

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg took part in the 17th Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, which this year was held under the motto "The rule of power or the power of rules? At the forum, the Foreign Minister spoke about the geopolitical consequences for Europe triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and held several bilateral talks focusing on the Western Balkans.

August 30, 2022

Croatian Foreign Minister Grlić Radman on a Visit to the Republic of Austria

The Foreign Minister of Croatia, Gordan Grlić Radman, met in Vienna with the Foreign Minister of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg. Further, the Croatian Foreign Minister met with representatives of the Croatian community in Austria.

July 28, 2022

Austria's Chancellor Calls for a Clear Perspective for Bosnia at the EU-Western Balkans Summit

Last week at the European Council and the EU-Western Balkans Summit, the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, demanded that the countries of the Western Balkans be offered fair prospects of potential EU accession. Among other things, he made it clear that accession negotiations for Bosnia would be possible as soon as it had fulfilled the reform points set by the EU.

June 27, 2022

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg in Serbia and Kosovo

Austrian foreign policy is always eager in the Balkans, especially in times of the Ukraine war. Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg traveled again to the Western Balkans region, more precisely to Serbia and Kosovo. The talks focused on the impact of the Russian war against Ukraine, the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries and the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

June 14, 2022

Trilateral Presidential Meeting Between the Presidents of Austria, Croatia and Slovenia

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen met with his counterparts from Croatia and Slovenia, Zoran Milanovic and Borut Pahor, in Croatia for the traditional triennial meeting. The focus is on the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, as well as the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine.

June 5, 2022

Dignitaries From Vienna in Davos: Recap of the World Economic Forum 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) took place and some dignitaries from Vienna attended the meeting in Davos. Read more about the World Economic Forum in Davos in the Recap.

May 31, 2022

Conference On The Future of the EU and Eastern Europe By ERSTE Foundation and IWM

In cooperation with the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), ERSTE Foundation is organizing the Time To Decide Europe Summit 2022 on the future of the EU, Ukraine, Russia and the Western Balkans. More than 20 leading European intellectuals will develop theses and solutions for Europe, the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Russia.

May 22, 2022

Austrian Leadership Program 2022 Underlines Friendship Between Austria and Western Balkans

The Austrian Leadership Program 2022, the Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, welcomed 22 selected leaders from the countries of the Western Balkans to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year's visit program focuses on the topic of "Green Technologies".

May 19, 2022

How China's Global Infrastructure Strategy Undermines European Integration in the Western Balkans and Beyond

The accession of the Western Balkans countries into the European Union continues to be a topic of debate amongst the EU Member States. Read how China's global infrastructure strategy may be undermining these countries' aspirations for EU membership.

May 19, 2022

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Visits Bulgaria and North Macedonia

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg travels to Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia to promote EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. Especially against the backdrop of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, stable and European-oriented Balkans are important.

May 10, 2022

How the European Union Is Providing Humanitarian Help to Ukraine

In Ukraine, the war has been raging for about two months now. The situation for people in Ukraine is miserable and the constant fighting makes normal life impossible. The European Union also provides humanitarian support to Ukraine. Read more about the EU's humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

April 28, 2022

U.S. and UK Sanction Individuals in the Balkans

The Balkan states are plagued by corruption, which only fosters an unstable situation. The Balkans are important for the stability of Europe and especially in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Balkans remain important for the West. That is why the U.S. and UK have sanctioned individuals.

April 13, 2022

Meeting of the C5 in Prague - Central European Countries Discuss Czech Republic's Upcoming Council Presidency

At a meeting of the C5 in Prague, representatives of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria discussed the consequences for Europe of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine and discussed the upcoming Czech presidency.

April 13, 2022

Serbian Elections and the Impact on Serbia's Relations to Europe

Serbia has voted and President Vucic remains in power. His party will probably again form the coalition government as the leading party. In the wake of the current war in Ukraine, some wonder if Serbia's path will change after the elections. Read more about the elections and the political situation in Serbia.

April 7, 2022

Security in the Western Balkans: North Macedonia's EU Accession as Stronghold against Putin's Aggression

North Macedonia is one of the prospective countries to enter the European Union. Austrian Minister of European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler visited the country and met with Head of Government Dimitar Kovačevski for talks.

April 1, 2022

Effects of the Ukraine War and Perspectives for the Western Balkans from an Austrian Perspective

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many European countries have been asking themselves security questions related to the immediate neighborhood of the European Union. For Austria, the main question is about its southern neighbors, the Western Balkans.

March 31, 2022

NATO and EU Military Committee Meet Regarding Western Balkans

A joint meeting of the NATO Military Committee and the European Union Military Committee was held to discuss the current security situation in the Western Balkans as well as the EU's ongoing Operation Althea. In the context of the Russian military aggression on Ukraine, stability in the Balkans increases in importance.

March 29, 2022

Nehammer at EU Summit: Russia Sanctions and Western Balkans Support

The EU summit, which was also attended by U.S. President Joe Biden, focused on the political crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer attended the European Council too and expressed the importance of stability in the Balkans. Read about the European Council and the chancellor's visit to Brussels.

March 28, 2022

Meet the New Permanent Representative of Albania to the International Organizations in Vienna

Eglantina Gjermeni, Albania's new permanent representative, presented her credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Ghada Waly. Ambassador Gjermeni is an experienced politician and has already served as a minister in her country. Meet Ambassador Eglantina Gjermeni, the new permanent Permanent Representative of Albania to the International Organizations in Vienna.

March 25, 2022

Western Balkans Trip for New Momentum against Destabilization by Russia and China

The Balkans were plagued by war 30 years ago. When Yugoslavia collapsed, the first war in Europe after World War II occurred. A policy of stability in this region is particularly important, especially in the backdrop of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. Recently Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer as well as many other European politicians have traveled to the Balkan states to talk to the most important politicians and dignitaries. The EU and the U.S. have long been the central players in the Western Balkans and want to counter Russia's and China's influence in the region.

March 18, 2022

Meet Chad Blackman, the New Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the International Organizations in Vienna

The Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations in Vienna, Chad Blackman, presented his credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), Ghada Waly. In addition to being the Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations in Vienna, Mr. Blackman is serving as the Permanent Representative of Barbados to the WTO and UN Offices at Geneva and as the Ambassador of Barbados to Austria and Serbia. Learn more about Ambassador Blackman.

March 15, 2022

Schallenberg Met Baerbock - Shared Responsibility Against the Aggression of the Kremlin

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with Foreign Minister Schallenberg in Berlin to discuss the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as climate action and the Western Balkans. Read what the two foreign ministers said about these issues.

February 21, 2022

German and Austrian EU Ministers Supportive of Accession Process for Western Balkans

German EU Minister Anna Lührmann met with Austrian EU Minister Karoline Edtstadler in Vienna. Read what they said about EU accession for the Western Balkan states, compulsory vaccination, and more.

February 1, 2022

Omicron Coming: New Entry Rules for Austria since December 20.

With immediate effect and thus before Christmas, new stricter entry rules apply for travel to Austria. This applies to both foreigners and locals. Please find the details as follows.

December 19, 2021

Priorities of Austrian Foreign Policy in the Face of Numerous Global Challenges in 2022

The Foreign Policy Committee of the Austrian National Council recently met to discuss some of the major global challenges going into 2022. Read which issues they discussed and Austria's stance on them.

December 15, 2021

Austrian Foreign Ministry: New Appointments to 28 Senior Diplomatic Posts Worldwide

The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten) has decided in its last meeting of the Council of Ministers the new appointments of several (28) Austrian diplomats - as follows.

December 15, 2021

Inaugural Statement of Austria's New Chancellor: "We Want to Reconcile with History"

Newly appointed Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer delivered his inaugural statement to the National Council. Read what the new chancellor said are some of the key issues his government will focus on.

December 10, 2021

Blinken Thanks Austria for Hosting Iran Nuclear Deal Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken thanked Austria for hosting the Iran nuclear deal talks on his first call with his Austrian counterpart, Foreign Minister Linhart. Read about this and what else Blinken and Linhart talked about on their first call.

December 1, 2021

Austria Donated Unusable Covid Vaccine Doses to Bosnia and Herzegovina

It was recently reported that Bosnia and Herzegovina had to throw out an unknown amount of the 500,000 AstraZeneca Covid vaccination doses that had been donated by Austria. Read more about this and the problem of global vaccine equity.

November 30, 2021

The Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Austria's Economy

The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic continue to determine economic activity in Austria and the banks’ higher resilience has been key to COVID-19 response.

November 29, 2021

Edtstadler at General Affairs Council: Mandatory Vaccination is Necessary

At a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels, Austrian EU Minister Karoline Edtstadler stressed the need for mandatory vaccinations in Austria and coordination in the fight against COVID-19 at the European level. Read Edtstadler's expectations for the European Commission, her defense of compulsory vaccinations, and more.

November 24, 2021

Western Balkans: Foreign Minister Linhart Visits Albania and North Macedonia

Foreign Minister Linhart, accompanied by an Austrian business delegation, visited the Western Balkan States of North Macedonia and Albania. Read about the foreign minister's meetings with various government officials, as well as his meetings with local business people as part of the ReFocus Austria initiative.

November 22, 2021

Austria Welcomes New Sanctions Against Belarus

Foreign Minister Linhart attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, at which the 27 foreign ministers of the EU agreed upon new sanctions against Belarus. They also discussed other topics, such as the EU enlargement process. Read what was discussed at the meeting and watch an interview with the Austrian foreign minister.

November 16, 2021