Sebastian Kurz

Weekly Briefing: Fight Against Climate Crisis

The Find out more about this week's developments. At the World Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheik, Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen advocates climate justice. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency is also trying to counter the climate crisis at the COP27 summit with its knowledge of nuclear technology and nuclear energy. Read about the latest developments in diplomacy in Vienna and Austria.

November 10, 2022

Austria's Connection to Pegasus Spyware

Governments of EU member states have used spyware against their citizens for political purposes, according to a draft report by the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry (PEGA) published today in Brussels. European Union member states are widely using the controversial Pegasus spy software. Corresponding indications exist for Poland, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus and Spain, it said. There are also links to Austria.

November 10, 2022

Austria's Government Under New Challenge: Are New Elections Coming?

With his statements, Thomas Schmid, ex-Secretary General at the Ministry of Finance, has incriminated many former and current top politicians of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), some of them heavily. Although much was already relatively well known in the investigations by the Public Prosecutor's Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKSta) triggered by the Ibiza affair, Schmid has provided a great deal of new material in the cases surrounding appointments to posts, tax and advertising deals in the Austrian government. In Austrian politics, a new crisis is now brewing for the ÖVP-Green coalition government.

October 20, 2022

Weekly Briefing: Former Austrian Chancellor Kurz Incriminated

The Find out more about this week's developments. Former ÖBAG head Thomas Schmid incriminates former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz before public prosecutors for corruption. Austria forges new partnerships with other states against illegal migration. Read about the latest developments in diplomacy in Vienna and Austria.

October 20, 2022

Corruption in Austria: Thomas Schmid Wants to Become a State Witness and Incriminates Kurz Government Heavily

The former head of ÖBAG and Secretary General in the Ministry of Finance, Thomas Schmid, has heavily incriminated ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), his former close companion, in the Casag proceedings triggered by the Ibiza video and wants to become a state witness in the proceedings against Kurz. This was announced by the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor's Office (WKStA). Schmid had approached the investigators with the request, but a formal application had not yet been made.

October 19, 2022

What is the Role of the Office of the Federal President in the Austrian Political System?

This Sunday, eligible voters in Austria will elect the head of state of their country, the Federal President. But how exactly is the political role of the Federal President expressed in the Austrian political system? What is the story behind the office? Where exactly can the Republic of Austria be placed on the axis between Parliamentarism and Presidentialism? Read on to find out the answers!

October 6, 2022

Alexander Van der Bellen's First Term in Office: A Presidency With Many Ups and Downs

A final chapter of the first term of the Austrian President is approaching. On 9 October, Alexander Van der Bellen will contest Austria's 14th federal presidential election and will attempt to defend his office. At Vindobona, we take this opportunity to look back on the first term of the President.

August 17, 2022

How Gazprom Helps the Kremlin to Manipulate Austria

The Russian government uses the majority state-owned energy corporation Gazprom to exploit Europe's dependency on Russian natural gas, and Austria is no exception. Read how the Kremlin uses Gazprom to influence Austria.

March 8, 2022

Huawei's 5G Network Technology in Austria: Systemic Rival at the Gate to Europe

While all eyes in Europe are focused on the Russia-Ukraine side conflict, the true war is raging elsewhere, namely in network technology between China and the West. This technology war is about nothing less than the global security-technological leadership role of the next decades, and thus about the decisive question of whether the Western democratic world order can assert itself or whether the Chinese authoritarian system with totalitarian surveillance will prevail. Due to its relative weakness, Austria plays an important and central key role in this process. While most Western countries are increasingly and decidedly resisting the deployment of the 5G network infrastructure largely supplied by Huawei and ZTE - which are intricately owned and substantially controlled by the Chinese Communist Party - there are quite a few telecom providers in Austria who are using and even expanding this technology, primarily because their economic survival is already dependent on this technology, and secondly because the Austrian state is largely toothless and ignorant in the face of the push by the Chinese equipment suppliers and their lobbyists.

February 9, 2022 · Updated: February 9, 2022; 21:56

Gernot Blümel Now Working for Superfund Co-Founder Christian Baha

Former Austrian finance minister to become CEO of Superfund from March 2022 and is expected to push the asset manager's expansion.

January 12, 2022

Kurz Appointed Co-Chairman of European Tolerance Watchdog

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been appointed Co-Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), an organization dedicated to combating the evils of extremism, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. In addition to British Prime Minister Tony Blair as chair, founder Moshe Kantor as president and, among others, board member Erhard Busek, former vice chancellor of Austria, are also involved.

January 10, 2022

Austria's Foreign Minister after 56 Days in Office Once Again Merely Ambassador in Berlin

After returning control of the Austrian Foreign Ministry to Alexander Schallenberg after only 56 days, former Foreign Minister Michael Linhart is likely to become the new Ambassador to Germany. Read about the chaotic government reshuffle and Mr. Linhart's demotion.

December 14, 2021

Austrian Government Reshuffle: Who Are the Newcomers?

Following the resignations of Sebastian Kurz and Gernot Blümel over serious corruption allegations, and of Alexander Schallenberg, the new Chancellor Karl Nehammer has presented his provisional government team. Who are the new faces in Austrian domestic and foreign policy?

December 3, 2021

New Austrian Chancellor is former Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer

Karl Nehammer has been unanimously appointed new party leader and federal chancellor by the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) federal party board.

December 3, 2021

Austrian Government Crisis: Finance Minister Blümel Also Resigns from Office

The resignation of Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) leader Sebastian Kurz triggers a major government reshuffle. Following Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg's resignation, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, a longtime companion of Kurz, also announced his resignation via Facebook video this evening. Karl Nehammer is expected to take over the roles of party leader and chancellor.

December 2, 2021

Austria's Chancellor Schallenberg to Resign as well

Alexander Schallenberg "makes his office as Chancellor available".

December 2, 2021

Following Kurz's Resignation: Austrian Government Reshuffle Imminent

Following the resignation of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from all political activities, major personnel changes are imminent within the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the Austrian government. Who will become or remain chancellor, who will become party leader, who will become Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) club chairman, who will become or remain foreign minister? There are rumors that Interior Minister Karl Nehammer could become chancellor and Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg could return to the post of foreign minister.

December 2, 2021

Sebastian Kurz Resigns from All Political Offices

Austria's former federal chancellor Sebastian Kurz (35) has resigned from all political posts. He is under investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption. It is rumored that Interior Minister Karl Nehammer or Europe Minister Karoline Edtstadler may take over his role as leader of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP). Chancellor and former foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg could also be replaced.

December 2, 2021

The Federal President on National Day: "Handing over the planet in order"

President Van der Bellen delivered a televised address to the nation to celebrate Austria's National Day. In his speech, the president addressed various issues, with a particular emphasis on the threat of climate change. Read what Van der Bellen said, and watch his full address.

October 27, 2021

Infineon Opened €1.6 Billion High-tech Chip Factory in Villach

After three years of planning and construction and a € 1.6 billion price tag, Infineon Technologies AG finally opened its new high-tech chip factory in Villach, Austria. Read more about the new factory, the chips produced there, and what Infineon does.

October 20, 2021

Schallenberg's First Foreign Trip as Austrian Chancellor

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel recently met for talks in Brussels with Chancellor Schallenberg on his first foreign trip since being appointed chancellor. Read about the chancellor's trip, his talks with the two leaders, and a Twitter error involving former Chancellor Kurz.

October 15, 2021

Schallenberg and Linhart Inaugurated, Schallenberg to "Work Very Closely With Kurz"

The new Chancellor of Austria Alexander Schallenberg and new Foreign Minister Michael Linhart were sworn in by President Van der Bellen. In his first statement as Chancellor, Schallenberg said that he believes the allegations against his predecessor are false and that he would continue working closely with him. Read about the inauguration, what former Chancellor Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Kogler said about Schallenberg's appointment, and the entirety of Schallenberg's first statement as chancellor.

October 11, 2021

Schallenberg to Succeed as Chancellor Following the Resignation of Kurz

Following the resignation of Sebastian Kurz as Chancellor in the wake of the corruption scandal involving not only Sebastian Kurz but also his inner circle of about 10 associates, Alexander Schallenberg, the current Foreign Minister, will be inaugurated as the new Chancellor. Read also who could become Austria's new foreign minister.

October 10, 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

Combating Anti-Semitism in Austria: Representatives of US Jewish Organizations Briefed on New Measures

While in New York for the 76th UNGA, Foreign Minister Schallenberg and Chancellor Kurz met with representatives of various Jewish organizations and briefed them on new measures being taken to combat anti-Semitism. Read about their meetings and some of the steps they are taking to address this issue.

September 29, 2021

76th UN General Assembly: Contribution and Results from an Austrian Perspective

Throughout the 76th United Nations General Assembly, some of the main issues that the Austrian delegation focused on were sustainable energy and climate change, COVID-19 and vaccinations, and the situation in Afghanistan. Read about some of the contributions and results of the event from Austria's point of view.

September 29, 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

Van der Bellen at 76th UN General Assembly: "World Stage of Foreign Policy"

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in New York attending the 76th UN General Assembly along with Chancellor Kurz and Foreign Minister Schallenberg. On Tuesday, President Van der Bellen attended the "Welcome Reception" with UN-Secretary General António Guterres and the opening of the General Assembly. The President also held talks with the presidents of Costa Rica, Ghana, Guyana, Senegal, and Zambia. Van der Bellen is still scheduled to meet with Secretary-General Guterres, various world leaders, and scientists to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and more. Read about the President's trip so far and what is next on his agenda.

September 21, 2021

Multilateralism at the UN General Assembly: Kurz and Schallenberg in NYC

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Schallenberg are in New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Their trip includes meetings with various delegations, with an emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the pair, along with President Van der Bellen, will meet for talks with UN Secretary-General Antońio Guterres. Chancellor Kurz will also address the Council on Foreign Relations and Schallenberg will deliver a speech to the General Assembly. Read more about the details of their trip.

September 21, 2021

"Made in Austria": Ambassadors to Serve as Export Promoters

The Austrian government is calling on its diplomats around the world to promote Austria's export and tourism industries abroad to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis. At the opening event of "ReFocus Austria", Chancellor Kurz, Foreign Minister Schallenberg, and Vice-President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) Martha Schultz laid out the government's plan. Read about "ReFocus Austria," what these officials said about it, and watch the video of the opening event.

September 10, 2021

Aid Package for Afghanistan Approved by Austrian Federal Government

The Austrian Federal Government has officially approved 18 million euros in emergency aid for Afghanistan that it had previously promised. The aid will go from the Austrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women, and the UN World Food Program.

September 9, 2021

Vučić Hosted Kurz: The "Fight Against Illegal Migration"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently received Chancellor Kurz in Belgrade. The two of them spoke about illegal migration, especially regarding the refugees fleeing from Afghanistan. Other topics of discussion included bilateral relations and the EU rapprochement process. Kurz also spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić about EU accession for the Western Balkans.

September 7, 2021

Merkel Receives Kurz: Connected Through a Multitude of Relationships

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin. In addition to a discussion of the issues Germany and Austria are currently dealing with, such as Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting also served as Kurz’s farewell to the German Chancellor, who is leaving office after 16 years.

September 1, 2021

Austrian Emergency Aid Package of 18 Million Euros for Afghan Women

Austria has announced that it will provide 15 million euros in emergency aid to help the people of Afghanistan. This is in addition to the 3 million euros that Austria already promised to donate to the UNHCR. The total of 18 million euros is intended to benefit, above all, organizations that campaign for the empowerment of women in the region, such as UN Women.

August 26, 2021

Lavrov in Vienna: Tensions Following the Establishment of the Crimea Platform

In the first official bilateral visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Vienna since 2009, Sergey Lavrov met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The working talks included tense issues like the annexation of Crimea, human rights in Russia, Afghanistan, and the refugees on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. However, they all expressed interest in continued dialogue and finding areas for cooperation between Austria, the EU, and Russia.

August 26, 2021

Van der Bellen Appeals for the Acceptance of Afghans

In his speech at the opening of the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen appealed for the acceptance of refugees from Afghanistan. Despite Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's concerns about accepting refugees, the president argued that there is a legal, moral and political obligation for the EU to offer protection to those forced to leave their country.

August 25, 2021

Solidarity with Lebanon: Austria Sends 100,000 Vaccines

The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the multiple crises Lebanon is already facing, including the massive explosion in Beirut, an economic crisis, and political and social instability. Austria is donating 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines to aid Lebanon in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

August 17, 2021

Austria Celebrates Ten-millionth COVID-19 Vaccination

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein celebrated Austria administering its ten-millionth dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. The pair thanked everyone for their efforts and pleaded with the unvaccinated to go get vaccinated.

August 16, 2021

Solidarity With Bosnia and Herzegovina: Austria Sends 500,000 Vaccines

Austria has sent over 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This shipment is in addition to the 650,000 vaccines that were provided to the Western Balkan states by the EU. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein all expressed their pleasure in working with Austria's neighbors to end the coronavirus pandemic.

August 11, 2021

Austria Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

New studies suggest that a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot will be necessary to help end the pandemic. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Health Minister Wolgang Mückstein publicly stated that Austria is taking the necessary steps to prepare for administering a third dose of the vaccine once it is recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

August 9, 2021

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial: Austria Calls for Disarmament

On the 76th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg called for nuclear disarmament. They highlighted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), signed earlier this year, as a good starting point.

August 5, 2021

Pioneering Hydrogen Alliance between the United Arab Emirates and Austria

On the occasion of the visit of the Ruler and Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to Austria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Austria agreed on a strategic partnership. The core of the agreement is closer international cooperation in the fields of hydrogen, renewable energy, youth exchange, green technologies, digital economy and research, according to the UAE Embassy in Vienna and Chancellor Kurz.

August 1, 2021

Restitution of Austrian Citizenships to Shoah Survivors and Descendants

One Holocaust survivor and 5 descendants of victims of Nazi terror received Austrian citizenship at the Consulate General in New York City. The restitution of 4,621 Austrian citizenships based on the new special procedure has already been successfully completed.

July 27, 2021

Von der Leyen Meets With Alexander Schallenberg and Karoline Edtstadler

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Federal Minister for the EU and the Constitution Karoline Edtstadler at the Salzburg Festival.

July 27, 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

Kurz Visits USA and Meets with UN Secretary-General Guterres

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to the USA for a multi-day visit. One of his many meetings was with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York. Kurz discussed COVID-19, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and much more. Read more about his trip and his other meetings.

July 14, 2021

Venezuela and Colombia Receive Support from Austria

In the midst of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and Colombia, the Austrian government has decided to support the two Latin American countries and to additionally substantially increase the UNHCR funding. Read more below.

June 28, 2021

Weekly Briefing: Austria Prepares for a "Summer Like Back Then"

Austria is getting ready for a summer with (hopefully) little Covid-19 impact. Night life will be celebrating its full return in a week from now and travel with the Green Passport should become easier as of July 1 as well. The Find out more about this week's developments.

June 24, 2021

Kosovo's President Meets Van der Bellen in Vienna

Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu traveled to Vienna to meet with her Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen. The main topics of their discussion were the progress in the EU accession process and bilateral cooperation in various fields. Read more about the meeting below.

June 24, 2021

Von der Leyen Approves Austrian Economic Comeback in Vienna

During her visit to Vienna, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has delivered the good news that Austria is to receive EUR 3.5 billion worth of EU grants. The budget will be mainly available for investments and reforms in the areas of environmental and digital transformation.

June 22, 2021
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