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Weekly Briefing: News From Austria's Diplomacy

The Find out more about this week's developments. Austria is making an effort to combat the climate crisis. Austria's foreign policy awards prizes in the arts, culture and science. Read about the latest developments in diplomacy in Vienna and Austria.

November 17, 2022

Austria's Schools Abroad to Meet the Demand for Skilled Workers

Austria's Minister of Education, Science and Research Martin Polaschek presents the future strategy of Austrian schools abroad during his working visit to Albania. During his visit to the Austrian school abroad in Shkodra, the Minister of Education emphasizes the potential of these schools, especially about the demand for skilled workers in Austria, and announces a reorientation of the schools.

November 14, 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

Human Rights in Russia: Third Appeal to the OSCE Moscow Mechanism Since the Outbreak of War in Ukraine

The OSCE Moscow Mechanism was recently requested by 38 states, including Austria, to appoint an OSCE expert to review the human rights situation in Russia. Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian war, the Moscow Mechanism has already been contacted three times.

July 29, 2022

Austria Supports Joint Statement for Ukraine's Case Against Russia Before the International Court of Justice

The European Union, Austria, and over 40 other nations have issued a statement supporting Ukraine's case before the International Court of Justice against Russia. In order to hold Russia accountable for its violations of international law, the Joint Statement has been released.

July 15, 2022

Austria Supports Health Projects in Partner Countries in the Fight Against COVID-19

To support partner countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Austrian government made a total of 4 million euros available from the Foreign Disaster Fund at the end of June. The funds are to help Austrian NGOs abroad to implement targeted projects and vaccination campaigns.

July 4, 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

Strategic Assistance for Western Balkan Countries: "Regional Strategic Leadership Course" in Austria

As part of the "Regional Strategic Leadership Course," high-ranking civilian and military leaders met in Austria in early June to receive joint training in strategic decision-making. The first module of the first-ever course was held at the National Defense Academy in Vienna.

June 8, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU Support to Western Balkans as Repulsion against China and Turkey

European heads of state and government that make up the European Council, including Chancellor Kurz, met in Slovenia for informal talks and the Western Balkans Summit. In addition to other issues, the leaders discussed the accession of Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo to the EU. Read more about what Kurz and the EU said about the enlargement process.

October 6, 2021

Western Balkans Conference in Wachau: Strengthened Cooperation Agreed

The defense ministers of the Western Balkan states–Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia–were invited to a conference in the Wachau Valley by Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner. At the conference, they discussed increasing security cooperation between the Western Balkans, the EU, and Austria, as well as EU accession for the Western Balkans.

September 15, 2021

Vienna Economic Forum: Ambassador of Romania Becomes New Member of the Ambassadors Committee

The Romanian Ambassador in Vienna, H.E. Emilian Hurezeanu, was welcomed as a new member of the Ambassador Committee of the Vienna Economic Forum.

September 9, 2021

Western Balkans: Further Austrian Corona Solidarity Campaign for all Six States

The final share of promised COVID-19 vaccines was delivered to Bosnia and Herzegovina, ending an EU solidarity campaign led by Austria. A total of 651,000 COVID-19 vaccines from the manufacturer BioNTech/Pfizer were provided to the six Western Balkan states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

August 30, 2021

Covid-19 in Austria: These Are the Updated Entry Rules

Due to today's amendment of the Austrian "COVID-19 Entry Regulation 2021", we bring you an update on the regulations for entering Austria.

July 20, 2021

At Summit With Merkel, Kurz Reaffirms Support for Western Balkan EU Accession

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and other leaders for the Western Balkans Summit. Kurz expressed his full support for the six Western Balkan states Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Read what he said.

July 15, 2021

Vienna Hosts Western Balkan Summit

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has invited political leaders from various Western Balkan countries to Vienna to discuss current issues on an European as well as on a bilateral level. Read more below to find out what was discussed.

June 21, 2021

Europa Forum Wachau: "Include Western Balkans in EU Programs"

At the 25th Europa Forum Wachau, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg spoke out in favor of finding creative approaches to bind the Western Balkan states to the EU even before a possible EU accession.

June 16, 2021

Austria's Demand for EU Accession of Western Balkans Finds EU Support

At a virtual conference with Foreign Ministers of Western Balkan countries and numerous EU Foreign Ministers, the latter ones vehemently supported the EU accession process of Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Read more below.

June 9, 2021

Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia Want EU Accession of North Macedonia and Albania

During their visits to North Macedonia and Albania, the Czech, Slovenian and Austrian Foreign Ministers once again spoke out in favor of a rapid EU accession process for the two Wester Balkan states.

May 25, 2021

Liberation of Concentration Camp: International Diplomatic Delegation Commemorates Anniversary

Due to COVID-19 restriction a limited delegation of political and diplomatic representatives gathered on Sunday in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp for the traditional commemoration of the 76th anniversary of its liberation while honoring the memory of the dead.

May 17, 2021 · Updated: May 17, 2021; 19:44

Weekly Briefing: Bilateral Agreements Could Replace EU-wide Green Passport

In a number of bilateral talks, Austria has emphasized the need for an EU-wide travel solution for the summer. In case Brussels is not picking up pace, bilateral agreements with European countries could replace the European "Green Passport". Find out more about this week's developments.

May 14, 2021

Austria Wants to Include Western Balkans for Green Passport

At working meetings in Albania and North Macedonia, Austria's Minister for European Affairs Edtstadler has spoken out in favor of including Western Balkan states in the EU's "Green Passport". Why and how? Read more!

May 11, 2021

Edtstadler Welcomes Progress in Accession Process of Western Balkan States

The European Commission has agreed on a financial package for economic integration of the Western Balkan states. The good developments in North Macedonia and Albania are not only welcomed by the European Union but also by Federal Minister Edtstadler.

October 8, 2020

International Discussion About Europe's Fundamental Values in Salzburg

Politicians from Hungary, Srpska, Albania, Slovakia and Austria came together in Salzburg to discuss the fundamental values of Europe. Democracy, inner-European cooperation and the fight against Covid-19 were only some of the main topics.

September 29, 2020

Austria Lifts Landing Bans for Airplanes from All 18 Countries that were Previously Banned

The previous landing bans for aircraft from 18 countries expired on 1 August 2020. From now on, new entry regulations will apply, requiring a mandatory Covid 19 test. There are exceptions for diplomats and some other groups.

August 1, 2020

New IOM Regional Director Renate Held Presents Credentials at UN Vienna

The new Permanent Representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the United Nations, Renate Held, presented her credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna. The IOM has offices in 19 countries and territories in the "South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region" (SEEECA) including sub-regional offices in Central Asia and the Western Balkans.

July 22, 2020

Landing Ban at Austrian Airports Extended from 10 to 18 Countries

In the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Austria will reinforce the landing bans for aircraft from COVID-19 risk areas as of Thursday, 16 July. Thus, landing bans will apply to aircraft from the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iran, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

July 14, 2020

Visit to the Western Balkans by Foreign Minister Schallenberg and European Affairs Minister Edtstadler

A trip to the Western Balkans by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and European Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler took the two Austrian People's Party politicians to Albania, Serbia and Kosovo.

June 1, 2020

Counter-Terrorism: Challenges Posed by Foreign Fighters Returning from Conflict Areas

Security conference in Vienna calls on countries to address challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters in respect of international law.

February 12, 2020

EU Once Again Fails to Reach Deal on North Macedonia and Albania

The two Western Balkan states must continue to wait for the hoped-for start of EU accession negotiations. France, the Netherlands and Denmark blocked an EU decision in support of the two Balkan states and justified it with doubts about the progress of reforms. Austria has pledged its support until the last minute and has tried to turn the tide.

October 16, 2019

Schallenberg: Full Integration into the European Union for Albania

After his visit to North Macedonia, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with representatives of the Albanian state and city governments in Tirana.

October 8, 2019

Bulgarian Head of State Radew Met Austria's Heads of State

During the first official visit of the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to Vienna, he met with President Van der Bellen in the Hofburg, Chancellor Bierlein in the Federal Chancellery and President Sobotka in Parliament.

October 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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