EU European Union

Georgia in the Focus of the OSCE: Protests, Political Tensions and International Support

The political situation in Georgia remains tense as the population takes to the streets to protest against a controversial law and international actors pledge their support. During his visit to Georgia, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Malta's Foreign Minister Ian Borg, emphasized the importance of civil society and the organization's role in conflict resolution. At the same time, protests against the so-called "agent law", seen by many as a threat to the country's democratic structures and EU integration, are continuing.

May 16, 2024

New Perspectives in Austrian-Turkish Relations: Schallenberg in Ankara

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara for two days to hold important talks with Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The reason for the visit is the Austrian-Turkish anniversary year 2024, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the friendship treaty and the 60th year of the recruitment agreement between the two countries.

May 14, 2024

FPÖ Demands Stricter Control of Austria's Payments to Ukraine

In a recent debate in the Austrian parliament, the FPÖ called for establishing a separate control body to review the financial support provided by Austria and the EU to Ukraine. FPÖ MP Susanne Fürst expressed concerns about the efficiency of the existing control mechanisms and warned of the risk that the billions in aid could seep into the "channels of the Zelenskyy regime".

May 13, 2024

Ukrainian Embassy in Vienna Protests Against FPÖ Election Poster

The Embassy of Ukraine in Vienna has lodged a formal complaint with the Austrian Foreign Ministry after an election poster by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) caused outrage.

May 8, 2024

20 Years of EU Enlargement: Austria Looks at the Success Story of European Integration

Exactly 20 years ago, on May 1, 2004, a historic enlargement of the European Union came into force. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Cyprus became member states, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Europe. This fifth round of enlargement marked a milestone for the countries involved and a significant change for Austria, as Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Austrian Society for European Politics emphasize.

May 5, 2024

Switzerland's Cassis and Austria's Schallenberg Focus on Neutrality and Security Policy

At a time when geopolitical tensions are increasing worldwide, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis met in Bern to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations, the neutrality of both countries, and their common security policy.

April 28, 2024

Austria at 20 Years of Slovenia's EU Membership Under the Sign of Enlargement

At a time of profound changes and challenges in Europe, Slovenia is celebrating a significant anniversary of its EU membership. The celebrations were accompanied by a meeting of European heads of state, more specifically Slovenia's neighbors, who discussed the future of the Union and enlargement policy.

April 24, 2024

Reflection on the Diplomatic Posture: France's Ambassador Gilles Pécout Comments

The French Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, gave a final interview before leaving Austria on the current geopolitical challenges and the position of France and Austria in the face of increasing tensions with Russia.

April 23, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Expects ECB Call to Accelerate Withdrawals from Russia

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is facing increasing pressure from the European Central Bank (ECB) to reduce its business activities in Russia more rapidly. This follows a number of developments and the publication of an ad hoc announcement by the bank in which it is expected that the ECB will make an official request to accelerate the wind-down measures in the near future.

April 18, 2024

Escalating Tensions: EU Responds to Iranian Missile Strikes on Israel

Tensions in the Middle East have further escalated following the recent Iranian drone and missile attacks on Israel, prompting an international response, particularly from the European Union. An urgently convened virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, including Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, took place to discuss the situation and possible steps to be taken.

April 17, 2024

Traditional Inaugural Visit of the Swiss Head of State to Vienna: Deepening bilateral relations between Switzerland and Austria

Swiss President Viola Amherd met with her Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen. During geopolitical uncertainty and European challenges, the bilateral talks focused on European security policy, relations with the EU, and the planned Ukraine peace conference.

April 10, 2024

Annual Conference of European Local Councils in Vienna

In the magnificent setting of the Austrian National Library located at the Hofburg, leading political players, including Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Austrian Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler, gathered for the conference marking the annual meeting of the European Community Councils.

April 9, 2024

Austria Deploys 50th Contingent to Kosovo for Peacekeeping

The Austrian Armed Forces are continuing their long-standing commitment to peace and security in Kosovo. At the beginning of April, the 50th contingent of Austrian troops will be deployed to the KFOR mission. This mission, in which Austria has been involved since 1999, will now be continued under the leadership of Colonel Bernhard Gruber of the General Staff Service, who will assume responsibility for around 190 soldiers.

April 8, 2024

Austria's Nehammer and France's Macron: An Alliance for Innovation and Security

During his first bilateral working visit to France, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer underlined the importance of promoting innovation and the joint fight against terrorism and organized crime as key topics of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

April 8, 2024

Partial Schengen Integration of Romania and Bulgaria

A first step towards the full integration of Romania and Bulgaria into the European Schengen area has been completed. With the abolition of entry controls on air and sea travel for citizens of these countries, known as "Schengen-Air", an intermediate path was found between Romania's and Bulgaria's aspirations towards integration and Austria's veto stance.

April 2, 2024

Christoph Leitl Re-elected President of the European Movement Austria

Christoph Leitl has been re-elected President of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ). With a view to the upcoming European elections on 9 June and the forthcoming appointment of the new EU Commission in the autumn, Leitl emphasizes the importance of the EU as a peace project and the need to find European answers to current issues.

March 25, 2024

Small Unrest During EU Parliament President Metsola's Visit to Vienna

The Austrian capital was the scene of a heated appearance by EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola. During a public event at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna, which was held under the motto "Ask President Metsola", there were loud protests and interruptions by demonstrators. The discussion, which was originally supposed to cover topics such as the future of the EU, the upcoming European elections, and international political affairs, lost focus when the Middle East conflict came up.

March 20, 2024

Europe at Crossroads: Austria's Push for Bosnia's EU Accession Negotiations

In a new phase of European integration and geopolitical strategy, attention is turning to the Western Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the heart of these discussions is Austria's committed plea for the opening of accession negotiations with Bosnia, a move that has the potential to shape Europe's political landscape in the long term.

March 19, 2024

European Gas Conference in Vienna Postponed due to Protests

The European Gas Conference planned for March 26-28 in Vienna is no longer on the international energy industry's calendar. Security concerns caused by announced protests forced the organizers to postpone the event indefinitely.

March 14, 2024

Future of EU Enlargement Discussed in Vienna: Unified Vision Required

An event in Vienna, organized by the ERSTE Foundation in cooperation with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), focused on the debate about the future of EU enlargement. Under the title "Beyond Catch-27: How to make EU enlargement work?", leading experts from various fields gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating new member states into the European Union.

March 7, 2024

Austrian ÖVP Against EPP Election Program: Nuclear Energy, Schengen Enlargement and Unanimity Principle as Points of Contention

In the run-up to the upcoming EU elections, a conflict is emerging within the European People's Party (EPP), as the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) has announced that it will not support the EPP's election program.

March 6, 2024

Austria and Italy Chief Diplomats Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Foreign Ministers of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, and Italy, Antonio Tajani, undertook a joint trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to support the country in its efforts to join the EU. This trip underlines the continued commitment of the European Union, in particular Austria and Italy, to the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

March 5, 2024

Increased Security Cooperation Between Austria and Romania

In a sign of solidarity and joint commitment to peace and security in Europe, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner received her Romanian counterpart Angel Tîlvăr for bilateral talks in Vienna.

February 25, 2024

EU Strengthens Multilateral Diplomacy in Vienna Amid Global Challenges

In a move to bolster multilateral diplomacy and cooperation, the Ambassadors to the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the Council of the European Union embarked on a significant visit to Vienna. This visit underscores the European Union's aspirations to strengthen its role in the global multilateral and security order, particularly at a time when the world is grappling with multiple crises.

February 22, 2024

Decline in Frozen Russian Assets in Austria

The significant drop in the volume of frozen Russian assets in Austria, as observed over the past year, mirrors a broader trend seen in other countries, where the handling and status of these assets have been dynamic and subject to legal, political, and financial considerations.

February 21, 2024

"Shaping Europe together": EBÖ Launches Second Workshop in the Run-Up to the 2024 EU Elections

The European Movement Austria (EBÖ) is intensifying its efforts to actively involve companies and associations in shaping the future of Europe. Under the motto "Shaping Europe together", the second workshop in this series will take place on March 18, 2024, at the House of the European Union in Vienna. The aim is to give participants a comprehensive insight into EU policy and enable them to play a greater role.

February 20, 2024

Greece Takes Over ICMPD Chairmanship from Türkiye: Reorientation of Migration Partnerships

At a ceremony in Brussels, the chairmanship of the steering group of the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was handed over from Türkiye to Greece. Under the motto "A holistic approach to balanced migration partnerships", high-level representatives came together to discuss the future direction of migration policy.

February 20, 2024

Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg Criticizes Italy's Transit Lawsuit

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has sharply criticized Italy after the country decided to take legal action against Austria's Alpine transit regulations before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

February 17, 2024

Austrian Politician and Doctor Pamela Rendi-Wagner in the Race for the Head of the ECDC

The former leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and qualified doctor Pamela Rendi-Wagner is facing a potential new challenge in her career. She is on the shortlist for the position of head of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an important EU authority based in Stockholm.

February 15, 2024

EU House in Vienna Introduces New Environmental Standards

At a solemn ceremony, the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Othmar Karas, and Wolfgang Bogensberger, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission's Representation in Austria, unveiled the EMAS environmental certification plaque for the European Union House at Vienna.

February 12, 2024

Russia Refuses OSCE Observer's Invitation to Presidential Elections

The Russian Federation's decision not to invite observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to the upcoming presidential elections has been met with deep regret by the leaders of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA).

February 11, 2024

Austria and Montenegro Strengthen Relations: EU Accession by 2028 in Sight

During an official visit to Vienna by Montenegrin President Jakov Milatović, Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the importance of Western Balkan integration into the EU, with Montenegro leading the way. Given the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a "realistic prospect of accession" for these countries is now "more important than ever".

February 8, 2024

Austria-Ghana: New Embassy and Strengthened Partnership

In the spirit of deepening bilateral relations, Austria and Ghana have reaffirmed their desire to intensify economic and political cooperation. At an official meeting in Vienna, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized the planned opening of an Austrian embassy in Accra later this year as a symbolic step towards promoting bilateral relations.

February 5, 2024

Exciting Race for EU Mandates: Austria's Parties in Starting Position

Austria's political landscape is gearing up for an exciting election year, starting with the election of EU representatives in June. The Neos were recently the last of the parliamentary parties to complete their list of candidates and their election program, marking the official start of preparations for the EU elections. Despite this great start to the campaign, the rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe and the troubled relations between the EU and Russia will make the EU elections even more complicated.

January 31, 2024

New Year's Reception of the Austrian Federal President for the Diplomatic Corps

In a speech during the New Year's reception for the diplomatic corps, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the need to create a more peaceful and just world. In a world marked by crises, natural disasters, and wars, he called for unity and dialog.

January 23, 2024

Karl von Habsburg Calls for Decisive Action in Speech on the Future of Europe

Karl von Habsburg, President of the Pan-European Movement Austria, used the annual "Speech on the Future of Europe" to address important European policy issues. The motto of the online matinee was "Courage to take responsibility".

January 11, 2024

Austrians Show Trust in the Euro, Skepticism Towards its Digital Counterpart

According to a recent survey by the Austrian Society for European Politics (ÖGfE), 54% of Austrians trust the euro as a currency, while the digital euro is still awaiting broad acceptance. Paul Schmidt, Secretary General of the ÖGfE, analyzed these results in the context of the 25-year history of the euro and current European monetary policy.

January 10, 2024

Viennese Air Quality 2023: Compliance with all Pollutant Limits

Air quality in Vienna in 2023 shows a significant improvement and continues the trend of recent years. Despite increased particulate matter levels due to New Year's Eve fireworks, the legal limits for pollutants were met at all measuring points.

January 4, 2024

Van der Bellen in New Year's Address: Call for More Dialog and Confidence

In his New Year's address, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen called on Austrians and all those living in Austria for more confidence and constructive dialog.

January 1, 2024

Austria's Industry Welcomes "Schengen Air" Agreement

Austrian industry has recently expressed its support for the "Schengen Air" agreement with Romania and Bulgaria. This agreement is seen as an important step towards European integration, especially for Central and Eastern Europe.

January 1, 2024

Schengen Enlargement: Romania and Bulgaria Move Closer, Austria Remains Reluctant

A political agreement is emerging between Romania, Bulgaria, and Austria in the discussion about the expansion of the Schengen area. Romania and Bulgaria are aiming to apply the Schengen acquis at their air and sea borders from March 2024, but Austria remains cautious about the two countries fully joining the Schengen zone.

December 28, 2023

Austria Considers Entry Ban for Violent Israeli Settlers

In a noteworthy development, Austria is considering a travel ban on violent Israeli settlers, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has announced. This follows moves by the US as well as Germany and France, which are discussing similar measures.

December 27, 2023

Eurobarometer Survey: Growing EU Support in Austria

A recent Eurobarometer survey reveals a remarkable trend: support and a positive image of the European Union (EU) have increased in Austria and across Europe. According to Martin Selmayr, Head of the European Commission Representation in Austria, the mood towards the EU in Austria is "better than often assumed."

December 26, 2023

Evolution of Serbian Elections: From Socialist Yugoslavia to Democratic Transition

The history of elections in Serbia, particularly during and after World War II, is a compelling illustration of the nation's political evolution. Read more about the history and the recent election in Serbia!

December 19, 2023

Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska Sells STRABAG Shares to Russian Corporation

The Russian oligarch and major shareholder of STRABAG, Oleg Deripaska, has initiated a sale of his considerable stake in the Austrian construction group to a Russian joint stock company.

December 19, 2023

Ukraine Removes Raiffeisen Bank International from the List of "War Sponsors"

The Ukrainian government has temporarily removed Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from the controversial list of "war sponsors". This step follows intensive bilateral talks and consultations with representatives of the European Commission. RBI, which was previously criticized for its business activities in Russia and the recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics by its Russian subsidiary, is now no longer suspected of supporting the Russian war of aggression.

December 17, 2023

Czech Prime Minister Fiala Visits Vienna

The Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and the Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala met in Vienna for a working meeting. This meeting, which was characterized by mutual respect and a long shared history, covered a variety of topics of great importance to both countries, including security, the economy, and migration.

December 13, 2023

Focus on Strengthening External Border Protection: Meeting of Interior Ministers in Szeged

At a meeting in Szeged, Hungary, interior ministers from the Visegrád 4 states (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), Austria and Germany emphasized the need for robust protection of the EU's external borders and a reform of EU migration policy. The Austrian police are heavily involved in the Balkans to control migration and combat organized smuggling.

December 3, 2023

Austria and Slovakia Emphasize the Importance of Cooperation and Regional Stability

At a time of global uncertainties and regional conflicts, Austria and Slovakia have reaffirmed their common vision for a more stable European Union and enhanced regional cooperation. This was clearly expressed during the inaugural visit of Slovakian Foreign Minister Juraj Blanár to Vienna, where he met with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg. However, the recent parliamentary elections in Slovakia marked a significant turning point in European politics with the election victory of left-wing populist Robert Fico and his Smer-SSD party.

November 28, 2023

Discussion in the Austrian Parliament on Dual Citizenship for South Tyroleans

A motion for a resolution recently tabled in the Austrian Parliament by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) on the introduction of dual citizenship for South Tyroleans was rejected by the other parliamentary groups. This proposal aimed to allow members of the German and Ladin-speaking ethnic groups in South Tyrol to acquire Austrian citizenship in addition to Italian citizenship.

November 26, 2023
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