NEOS

Austrian NEOS Party Calls for Special Audit on Flawed Austrian Counterintelligence

In a recent initiative in the Austrian National Council, the NEOS party has requested a comprehensive special audit by the Austrian Court of Audit focusing on the effectiveness of counter-espionage measures in the central ministries. This demand is particularly directed at the ÖVP-led interior, foreign, and defense ministries, which, according to NEOS Secretary General Douglas Hoyos, have shown a "lax" attitude to counter-espionage for decades.

May 13, 2024

High Turnover of Russian Embassy Staff in Austria

The Austrian authorities are at the center of a sensitive security debate as diplomatic relations with Russia are strained by high staff turnover and serious allegations of espionage. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg addresses these issues in light of new parliamentary questions.

May 13, 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

Austria Expels Two Russian Diplomats and Austrian Ambassador in Moscow is Summoned

After Austria recently declared two Russian diplomats undesirable persons, Russia is now summoning Austria's ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. This indicates a serious deterioration in diplomatic relations between the two countries. So far, a total of eleven Russian diplomats have been expelled from Austria since 2020

March 14, 2024

Austria Plans to Withdraw from Russian Gas Contracts

In a decisive step against continued energy dependence, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced that she would end the gas supply contracts between OMV and the Russian company Gazprom. The contracts, which run until 2040 and oblige Austria to purchase significant quantities, are under critical review. Gewessler commissioned the Economic Research Institute (WIFO) to carry out a detailed analysis of the economic consequences of termination and the risks of continued dependency.

February 12, 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

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

New Second Home Tax in Vienna in 2025

Vienna is implementing new measures to regulate second homes. From 2025, an annual tax will be introduced for people who have a secondary residence in Vienna but do not have their main residence there.

December 21, 2023

Discussion in Austria's Parliament on Security Policy Concerning Ukraine and Israel

In the run-up to the European Council, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met in Parliament to discuss current security policy challenges.

December 13, 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

Solidarity with Israel in the Austrian National Council

In a remarkable session of the Austrian National Council, strong solidarity with Israel and a clear condemnation of Hamas and its terrorist attacks were demonstrated. The unanimous decision of the MPs reflects Austria's stance on the Middle East conflict and the violence in the region.

November 26, 2023

Austria's Engagement in the Middle East: Solidarity with Israel and Support for Palestine

Amid the tense situation in the Middle East, Austria has reaffirmed its solidarity with Israel and at the same time pledged humanitarian aid for the Palestinian civilian population.

November 12, 2023

Austrian Politics Between Neutrality and Security Policy

A heated political climate is currently shaping the political debate in Austria, where the FPÖ and other political groups in parliament are debating the issues of neutrality, security policy, and the right approach to current crises.

October 31, 2023

Othmar Karas' Reckoning with the ÖVP

For about 25 years, Othmar Karas, the first vice president of the EU Parliament, was a weighty member of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) in the European context. His withdrawal from the EU election and the associated clear criticism of his party caused a political stir in Austria.

October 12, 2023

Austria Reacts to Hamas Attack: Solidarity with Israel and Concern about Iran

Amid the tense situation in the Middle East, the Iranian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna. Austria strongly condemned the official Iranian reaction to the attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization. The Foreign Ministry stressed that Austria categorically rejects any questioning of Israel's right to exist and will consistently act against any form of anti-Semitism in the future.

October 9, 2023

Austria Takes Position Against Russian Wagner Group

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Austrian National Council in Parliament has unanimously supported an initiative against the activities of the Russian Wagner Group. This follows allegations that the group is involved in human rights abuses and war crimes in Ukraine and other countries. The committee calls for Austria to take action with European partners to limit the group's influence and global presence.

October 5, 2023

FPÖ-Delegation Visits Taliban in Afghanistan

Several members of the FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) traveled to Afghanistan and met, among others, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The meeting became known through a press release from the Afghan Foreign Ministry, which also published a photo of the delegation.

September 25, 2023

Austria EU Representative Selmayr at Dispute Because Of "Blood Money" Statement

EU representative Martin Selmayr has called Austrian gas payments to Russia "blood money". Now reprimanded by Vienna and Brussels, EU Commission representative Martin Selmayr does not want to give up his job in Austria.

September 14, 2023

Historic Center of Vienna Remains on the UNESCO Red List

The historic center of Vienna remains on UNESCO's red list of endangered World Heritage Sites despite recent changes to the Heumarkt project. This was decided by UNESCO. Now it is being examined whether the project is compatible with World Heritage in this way.

September 13, 2023

Austria Stresses Need in Fight Against Illegal Migration Despite Rejection of Higher EU Budget

Dealing with irregular migration, increasing the EU budget as well as foreign and economic policy considerations were the focus of the Parliament's EU Main Committee today. Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer reiterated his opposition to a higher EU budget, but at the same time stressed the great need for funding in the fight against illegal migration.

June 28, 2023

Austrian Parliament Taking a Stand For LGBTIQ Diversity

Under the motto "No democracy without diversity!", the LGBTIQ Intergroup of the Parliament hosted a reception. The focus was on measures to improve the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender, and queer people in Austria.

April 12, 2023

Türkiye Must Comply with International Law Obligations, Says Foreign Affairs Committee

The Foreign Affairs Committee has urged the Republic of Türkiye to comply with International Law. This was done after the opposition parties set a motion to condemn Türkiye’s attacks in Northeast Syria and North Iraq.

March 27, 2023

Working in Austria: Red-White-Red Card Facilitations Approved

The Social Affairs Committee of the National Council has approved facilitations for the Red-White-Red Card. Most importantly, german language skills criteria were eased for certain industries.

March 23, 2023

Austria Wants to Bring New EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority to Vienna

Austria is bidding for the seat of the new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) and wants to bring it to Vienna, Finance Minister Magnus Brunner said. However, it is still unclear whether this is feasible in the current climate of Austrian politics.

March 23, 2023

8.000 People Were Demonstrating in Vienna on War Anniversary

As the first anniversary of the Russo-Ukraine War has marked, the Ukrainian diaspora in Austria has held large demonstrations in Vienna. They started their march from the Parliament and ended up in Karlsplatz.

February 26, 2023

Neutrality Debate in Austria's Parliament at Ukraine Session

On the occasion of the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was a lively debate in the Austrian parliament about the attitude towards the aggressor Russia and about neutrality. An open letter in Austria, in which signatories call for a responsible debate about the country's neutrality, also fueled the session in parliament.

February 24, 2023

City of Vienna Seeks Community Communicators

Vienna is a city of many nations and the city is always trying to strengthen social cohesion and togetherness. More than 60 people are already active as community communicators in Vienna, volunteering their time to improve dialog and exchange between the City of Vienna and various immigrant groups. Now the project starts in the 2nd round.

February 7, 2023

Austria's Agriculture Minister Totschnig against Mercosur Agreement

Austria's Agriculture Minister Norbert Totschnig is against ratification of the Mercosur trade agreement. In his opinion, the agreement with South America would put domestic farm families and supplies under pressure.

February 6, 2023

Austrian Parliament Implements EU Directive for Better Protection of Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are to be better protected in Austria in the future. After a delay of more than a year, the Austrian Parliament today passed a new Whistleblower Protection Act and accompanying amendments to the law, thus implementing a corresponding EU directive.

February 1, 2023

Joint Commemoration of the Victims of the Shoah

On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, representatives of the Israeli Religious Community, the Roma, the Government of Austria, the Embassy of Israel in Vienna and the humanist parliamentary parties commemorated the victims of the Shoah.

January 29, 2023

Austrian Parliamentarians Report on Visit to Ukraine

During a press conference representatives of the Bilateral Parliamentary Group Austria-Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine reported on their visit to war-torn Ukraine. Members of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), the Green Party and the NEOS took part in the trip.

December 12, 2022

Austrian Parliament Calls for More Support for Protests in Iran

The Austrian Parliament, the National Council, unanimously condemned the violent suppression of the current protests in Iran. The deputies demanded that actions on the part of Iranian institutions in Austria be monitored more closely and punished.

November 22, 2022

Working in Austria: Further Facilitation of the Red-White-Red Card

Applying for a Red-White-Red Card is made easier again! Skilled workers who intend to work in Austria will find it easier to obtain a work permit in the future. Read this article to find out which simplifications have been decided.

September 26, 2022

Dilemma of the Austrian Presidential Election

October 9 will be the date for the election of the Federal President. Although the election is relatively close, no real campaign has yet begun. Most parties have not even nominated candidates. The incumbent president Alexander Van der Bellen announced to run again.

June 29, 2022

Austrian Parliament for EU-Wide Data Exchange on Displaced Persons from Ukraine

Within the framework of the Temporary Protection Platform, the Austrian Parliament's Interior Committee today created the legal framework for EU-wide data exchanges on persons displaced from Ukraine. The extension concerning the Corona special regulations in alien law provides the basis for this framework.

June 13, 2022

Austria to Support Prosecution of Alleged War Crimes in Ukraine

All parliamentary groups in the Human Rights Committee adopted a resolution calling for an investigation and prosecution of alleged war crimes committed by Russia during its aggression against Ukraine.

June 8, 2022

Foreign Policy Committees of the Austrian Parliament and the Ukrainian Parliament Discuss Situation in Ukraine

Members of the Austrian Parliament exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine with representatives of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament.

May 23, 2022

Vienna Presents Itself as a Bridge Builder: Austrian Chancellor to Meet Putin in Moscow

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will meet Russian President Putin in Moscow for talks. It will be the first meeting of an EU head of government with Putin since the beginning of the war. After the recent expulsion of four Russian diplomats and in view of the current stalemate a daring but diplomatically sensible step.

April 10, 2022

Access to Austrian Citizenship for Descendants of Nazi Victims Expanded

A new amendment to the law will now make it easier to obtain Austrian citizenship as a descendant of a victim of National Socialism. This has now been passed in parliament and is an important step towards the recognition of history.

March 29, 2022

Austria Kicks Off Detachment Process from 80 Percent Dependence on Russian Gas

In order to no longer be dependent on Russian gas imports, the Austrian federal government decided on a new stockpiling of natural gas. This is to provide for the case of an import stop from Russia. Despite the high level of approval, the proposal has nevertheless come in for criticism.

March 25, 2022

Austria for a Strategic Orientation of the EU Towards a Common Army and Away from Coal, Oil and Gas

The Russian attack on Ukraine shook Europe and opened many new and old political questions in the European Union and Austria.

March 24, 2022

Neutrality: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy May Now Be Able to Address the Austrian National Council After All

The ongoing debate on Austrian neutrality will maybe allow Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to speak to Austrian parliamentarians.

March 23, 2022

Austrian Compulsory Vaccination Bill is Ready: "We Want Freedom Back!"

The Austrian government has announced that the controversial compulsory vaccination bill is finally ready. Read what Constitutional Minister Edtstadler said about the bill and regaining freedom.

December 10, 2021

Smart Borders: Austrian Green Light for Implementation of EU-wide Entry/Exit System

Austria has passed a law to help implement the EU-wide entry/exit system (EES) as stipulated in the EU's "Smart Borders Package." Read more about the new law and what it means for border controls and law enforcement cooperation in the EU.

October 25, 2021

Austria Opposes Further Expansion of Hungarian Nuclear Power Plant Paks II

All five Austrian parliamentary parties are opposed to the expansion of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary due to serious safety concerns. The Environment Committee in parliament has unanimously called on the government to take all possible actions to oppose its construction. Read why Austria considers the power plant's expansion dangerous.

October 25, 2021

Austria's Strategy for the Upcoming European Council Meeting

Ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Austrian Chancellor Schallenberg, EU Minister Edtstadler, and members of parliament laid out Austria's strategy for the meeting. Read their stances on the key issues they plan to raise in Brussels.

October 22, 2021

Call for Solidarity for China Sanctioned States Including Taiwan

A motion for a resolution was filed in the Austrian Parliament calling for the Austrian government to support countries, such as Taiwan, sanctioned by China for supporting democracy, human rights, and other global values. Read about the motion and the reasoning behind it.

October 21, 2021

Colonial Legacy: Restitution of Cultural Assets as Part of Austria's New Africa Strategy

The Austrian Foreign Ministry under Michael Linhart is developing a new Africa strategy for Austria. A motion for a resolution has been filed in parliament that requests that the foreign ministry includes restitution of cultural artifacts and assets as part of this strategy. Read more about the motion.

October 20, 2021

Ibiza Affair Committee Concludes in National Council: How Corrupt are Austrian Politicians?

How corruptible is Austrian politics? This question was explored by the deputies in the National Council session when discussing the recently published final report of the Ibiza-Affair Investigation Committee. Although the report was unanimously acknowledged, the parties were far apart in their conclusions.

September 23, 2021

Distribution of Free Corona Self-Test in Austrian Pharmacies Starts: How It Works and Who Will Receive It

As of March 1, the free test offer will be gradually expanded with free self-tests in pharmacies. Up to five free tests are available per person per month. But not every person living in Austria is eligible to receive them. Following are the details.

March 1, 2021
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