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EC European Commission

Annual Report of the European Commission: How did Austria do?

The European Commission presented its annual reports on 27 EU member states. How did Austria do? Well, it kinda ended up with a black eye. The report took a pop at Vienna for a number of structural shortcomings, including tax burden on labour, pension and healthcare expenditures, house prices, restrictive regulation in the services markets, stagnating productivity and and not enough action on spreading digital technologies. That isn’t a particularly good report card for the previous coalition government of ÖVP und SPÖ. Let’s see if the new coalition government of ÖVP und FPÖ can make the grade the next time around.

March 11, 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

EU to Crack Down on Postal Rip-Offs including Austrian Post

The FT reports that Brussels is preparing a regulatory crackdown against rip-off pricing by national postal operators on cross-border parcel deliveries. According to a study, cross-border parcel deliveries are often five times more expensive than identical trips on the domestic market. While the price of a standard 2 kg parcel delivery in Austria with the national postal operator is €4.44, to have that same parcel send to neighbouring Italy would cost €14. Sending the same parcel back from Italy to Austria will rise to €25. In order to connect the common market, the EU wants to develop the potential of e-commerce and to boost cross-border trade. According to the FT, a spokeswoman of the European Commission said that early next year the Commission will “launch measures to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight” of the European parcel delivery market.

December 22, 2015

Poland's Donald Tusk to Become European Council President

Current council president Herman Van Rompuy tweeted the announcement from the EU summit. Mr Tusk, Poland's centre-right prime minister since 2007, will become the European Council's president. Italy's Federica Mogherini, a centre-left politician and foreign minister will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief.

August 30, 2014

Albania Receives EU Candidate Status

At the General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, Ministers from the EU Member States have agreed – based on the recommendation by the European Commission to grant EU candidate status to Albania, subject to endorsement by EU heads of states at the forthcoming European Council on Friday in Brussels.

June 26, 2014

Austrian EU Commissioner Hahn Blames British PM Cameron for Opening Doors to Ukip

Hahn argues, that David Cameron is to blame for his own defeat at the hands of the eurosceptic UKIP at the European elections.

May 31, 2014

Czech Republic: Government Refrains from Fiscal Discipline

In 2013, the budget deficit was down to 2.7% of GDP from 4.4% of GDP. In the next few years, the European Commission expects a trend reversal.

March 8, 2014

CESEE: Stuck in Transition or Just a Break?

Despite all difficulties in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the region remains essential for Austria. The long-term growth potential remains intact.

February 6, 2014 · Updated: February 6, 2014; 13:41

Romania Reaches Agreement With IMF

Romania has met the criteria to receive a stand-by agreement by the International Monetary Fund.

February 5, 2014

“No Real Wage Loss This Year“

In terms of real wages, Austria may face a trend reversal this year. In Southeastern Europe, by contrast, poverty is growing considerably.

January 21, 2014

Czech Fiscal Policy: Major Difficulties Ahead

Despite austerity measures, the Czech debt spiral was up considerably in the past years.

January 11, 2014

Czech Economy: Good Prospects for Sustainable Recovery

The Czech economy is expected to return to growth already in the first half of 2014. Growth will not be only based on exports.

January 10, 2014

Hypo Group: „The Wrong Decisions were Made“

Johannes Ditz, former chairman of the Austrian nationalized Hypo Group Alpe Adria, thinks that the Austrian government could have avoided a massive burden for the taxpayers.

December 28, 2013

Croatia Needs Major Bridge Loan

In order to cover its fiscal shortfall, the youngest EU member country takes a bridge loan in the amount of € 200m.

December 28, 2013

Austria: New Government Already Disappoints in the First Week

In 2014, Austria will not achieve its fiscal objectives, new Minister of Finance Michael Spindelegger admitted. Austria´s fiscal situation is observed critically. The country faces a new austerity package.

December 23, 2013

Banking Union Completed

The Finance Ministers of the Eurozone have reached a compromise on the last pillar of the banking union. The deposit protection mechanism will come into power in 2015.

December 19, 2013

Positive Respond to Slovenian Bank Recapitalization Plans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development responds positively to the results of the asset quality review of Slovenian banks and the corresponding plans of the government.

December 13, 2013

Croatia: EU Introduces Excessive Deficit Procedure

In the last years, Croatia´s fiscal situation has deteriorated considerably. Not only the budget deficit remains above 3.0% of GDP, but also the public debt quota has climbed above 60% of GDP.

December 11, 2013

Szczurek: EU Funds to Create Growth

Poland´s designated Minister of Finance Mateusz Szczurek explained that EU contributions will be used to support Polish GDP growth.

November 23, 2013

“Bank Aid for Hypo Group Is too Late“

The Austrian economist Franz Hahn argues that capital injections into Hypo Group Alpe Adria are ineffective.

November 16, 2013

Conference on European Economic Integration

“European Integration in a Global Economic Setting – CESEE, China and Russia“. Conference jointly organized by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Suomen Pankki – Finlands Bank.

November 18, 2011

29 Austrian Companies Ranked in "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard"

Benteler International, Voestalpine, Borealis, Intercell, Zumtobel are the first five Austrian firms in the “EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard”. The ranking was prepared by the European Commission.

October 19, 2011

Cartel Suspicions Against OMV

The Commission of the EU suspects ten gas companies of market abuse. The Austrian OMV wants to cooperate with the authorities.

September 27, 2011

Hungary: Calls for Boycotts against Foreign Companies in Hungary

A Hungarian initiative demands that 13 foreign companies be boycotted, including Austrian OMV

January 18, 2011

WKÖ endorses policy of the European Commission

The Austrian Economic Chamber welcomes the focus of the EU Commission on structural reforms, consolidation of public finances and competitiveness.

January 13, 2011

Experts: No Failures in the Austrian Labor Market

The last hurdles for the new EU-members to enter the Austrian labor market will fall in May 2011. However, even the unions has no concerns.

January 3, 2011

13 CEOs Call For Sanctions Against Hungary

Because of the new taxes introduced by the Hungarian government, a group of prominent European CEOs call for EU-sanctions.

January 2, 2011

Economic Chamber Criticizes Import Control System

According to the WKÖ, Austrian businesses incur additional costs and bureaucracy by the import control system.

December 27, 2010

EU Growth Forecast: Austria Slightly Over Average

The EU Commission has revised its growth forecast for 2011 slightly upwards. Austria stays at 1.7% in the above average area.

November 30, 2010

Procurement: Economy Welcomes Extension

Economic Chamber President Christoph Leitl welcomes the planned extension of the threshold values regulation by one year as an important growth impulse

November 16, 2010

AUA Flights to Russia Secured

While the problem of AUA landing rights in Russia has been solved for Lufthansa until March, Austria is being accused of breach of contract by the European Commission.

October 29, 2010

AUA Flight Rights in Russia: EU Proceedings Against Austria

Due to the so far preferential treatment of Austrian Airlines in Russia, Austria is now accused by the European Commission of breach of contract.

October 27, 2010

Flexible Working Hours: Top Position of Austria in Europe

Both employers and workers benefit from what the crisis achieved, according to the EU Commission. However, additional flexibility does not bring in itself greater equality.

October 27, 2010

A-Tec has Good Prospects on Shipping Company in Rijeka

The Croatian Competition Agency (ATZN) gives the Austrian A-Tec group under Mirko Kovats good chances in the bid for the privatization of the shipyard "3 Maj" in Rijeka.

September 24, 2010

Nowotny - raising the "retirement age"

Higher life expectancy, rising deficits: Austrians should therefore delay retirement, says National Bank's CEO Nowotny.

July 13, 2010

Local banks in stress test "within normal range"

OeNB Governor criticizes EU Commission: State aid procedure too long - debt reduction, dampening the economy Austria's banks performed within "the normal range, in midfield," the Governor of the Austrian National bank (OeNB) and Governing Council memb

July 13, 2010

REWE takes remaining 25 percent od ADEG

Rewe acquires Adeg. Two years ago, the group took over 75 percent of the retail chain in Austria. The deal does not require to be registered at the European Commission. Adeg is already completely integrated into Rewe.

July 7, 2010

Voestalpine AG - EU fines steel producers - voestalpine affected by €22m

Voestalpine has today been informed that the EU Commission has imposed fines, following action taken against a number of European prestressing steel manufacturers, including voestalpine Austria Draht GmbH.

June 30, 2010

EU - Austria granted to extend bank aid package

The European Commission extended the authorization for the Austrian bank rescue package of €100b ($123b) for half a year.

June 25, 2010

EU accuses Austria of hurdles in buying property

The European Commission refers Austria to the European Court of Justice. Reasons are fundamental barriers to the acquisition of agricultural land in Vorarlberg.

June 24, 2010

EU has doubts about realignment of Hypo Alpe Adria

The European Commission extended the interim approval of state aid to the Austrian bank. The Commission also expressed doubts about the proposed realignment of the Hypo Alpe-business group.

June 22, 2010