Ursula von der Leyen

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

Slovakia Prime Minister in Danger: Assassination Attempt on Slovakia's Robert Fico Shakes Europe

A serious attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has shaken Europe. A 71-year-old man shot Fico after a meeting and is in critical condition.

May 15, 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

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

Escalation after Navalny's Death: Diplomatic Aftermath Between Austria and Russia

The death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has not only caused international outrage but has also led to a diplomatic dispute between Austria and Russia. An investigation into Navalny's death amidst unjust imprisonment has been also requested by the OSCE in Vienna.

February 20, 2024

Austrian Justice Minister Zadic Wants to Strengthen the International Criminal Court

EU justice ministers have met again in Brussels to discuss the legal consequences of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. Austria's Justice Minister Alma Zadic wants to strengthen the International Court of Justice in the fight against war crimes in the Ukraine war.

March 12, 2023

Chancellor Nehammer Threatens to Block Summit Declaration Because of Migration Issues

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has threatens to block a summit declaration of all EU heads of state. The reason for this is that the Chancellor is opinionated that the EU does not put enough work into the issue of migration.

February 8, 2023

Austria Still Declines the Schengen Expansion

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer confirmed Austria’s negative position towards the Schengen expansion today. At the Western Balkan meeting today in the Albanian capital Tirana, Nehammer declined further Schengen expansions for now.

December 7, 2022

Austria Condemns Hunger as a Weapon

Austria condemns Russia's tactic of using world hunger as a weapon. Austria pledges € 3.8 million to the initiative "Grain from Ukraine" for the delivery of Ukrainian grain to needy people in Ethiopia and Sudan.

November 28, 2022

Austria Calls for Common European Gas Price Cap at EU Summit in Prague

At the first meeting of the "European Political Community", the informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Prague, Austria attracted particular attention by wanting to define a common EU gas price cap. For Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer it was clear in Prague that there would be "no embargo via the back door" when it comes to Russian gas.

October 11, 2022

International Community Congratulates Van der Bellen on Election Success

The international community in Vienna and around the world, as well as numerous top politicians, have congratulated Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen on his re-election. The congratulations came from heads of state of different political camps, diplomats of various countries and other dignitaries.

October 10, 2022

Weekly Briefing: Bilateral Diplomacy in Vienna

The Find out more about this week's developments. Diplomacy is back from the summer break in Vienna. The bilateral relations in Vienna produced some meetings, demonstrating that diplomacy is always present in Vienna. Read about the latest developments in diplomacy in Vienna and Austria.

September 15, 2022

State of the EU 2022 Speech: Austria Wants to Usher in a Modern EU Future

The State of the EU address by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed many acute issues, including the war in Ukraine and its international repercussions. Austria's Minister for Europe responded.

September 15, 2022

Ukraine Hosts Crimean Platform While Russian Invasion

The format, which was launched in 2021 to counter diplomatically the Russian annexation of Crimea, takes place this year virtually in the shadow of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This year's Crimea Platform summit was attended online by many international guests, including OSCE's Helga Maria Schmid and Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

August 24, 2022

New EU Gas Emergency Plan: "Must Prepare for the Worst Case"

Recently, the European Commission presented its new EU Gas Emergency Plan under the title "Save gas for a safe winter". In this, the European Commission assumes that consumers can save up to 15% gas. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is pleased with the Commission's plans.

July 22, 2022

Europe Day 2022: A Day in the Spirit of a United Continent

Today, 9 May, Europe Day is celebrated all over Europe. Many events are held to celebrate peace and cohesion in Europe. Alexander Van der Bellen also gave a speech in the House of the European Union and underlined the importance of European unity and condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which is particularly dependent on the help of its European allies in such difficult times.

May 9, 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

Nehammer at EU Summit: Russia Sanctions and Western Balkans Support

The EU summit, which was also attended by U.S. President Joe Biden, focused on the political crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer attended the European Council too and expressed the importance of stability in the Balkans. Read about the European Council and the chancellor's visit to Brussels.

March 28, 2022

Austrian President Tells Brussels: EU Force and Zelenskyy Speech Conform with Neutrality

At meetings between the EU leaders and Alexander Van der Bellen, the President spoke about Austria's role as a neutral state in military and political matters. He saw no difficulties in inviting the Ukrainian president to Austria or in participating in the EU armed forces. The need for new energy suppliers and the current refugee problem were also discussed.

March 24, 2022

Belgian Heads of State Welcomed Austrian President and First Lady

Alexander Van der Bellen is currently on a state visit to Belgium. Besides a reception with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde the program included talks on the war in Ukraine and high energy prices with senior Belgian politicians and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

March 23, 2022

Russo-Ukrainian War: First Effects of Western Sanctions on Russian Economy

The Russian economy is already beginning to feel the effects of the Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. Read what effects the sanctions are having on the economy.

February 28, 2022

Austria's Reaction to Putin's Disrespect for the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of Eastern Ukraine

Following President Putin's decision to recognize the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbas region of Ukraine and to send "peacekeeping troops" to these areas, the Austrian government's Crisis Cabinet met to discuss how to respond. Read what Chancellor Nehammer said about the act of Russian aggression and what Austria will do.

February 22, 2022

EU Council President in Vienna: "Situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border worrisome"

European Council President Charles Michel was in Vienna to discuss the tense situation at Ukraine's border and other pressing issues with Chancellor Nehammer. Read about their discussion.

January 27, 2022

European Leaders Take Unified Position Against Russian Aggression Against Ukraine

Several heads of state - including Ursula von der Leyen, Jens Stoltenberg, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Mario Draghi, Charles Michel and Polish President Andrzej Duda, representing the Chairmanship of the OSCE - took part in a virtual meeting organised by the President of the United States Joe Biden, on Russia’s continued military build-up in and around Ukraine and its implications for European and international security.

January 24, 2022

Nehammer on First Trip to Brussels as Chancellor: "I'm an Ardent European"

Chancellor Nehammer made his first trip to Brussels for the European Council and the EU Eastern Partnership Summit. There he met with the other heads of state and government of the EU member states, as well as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Read what Nehammer discussed on the trip.

December 16, 2021

Towards a Powerful European Security and Defense Policy to Counter Authoritarian Regimes

"We are in a systemic rivalry with authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China and must make every effort to defend the international rules-based order. It is a matter of protecting the principles of international law, human rights and the international peace order." Against the backdrop of events in Afghanistan, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen argues for the expansion of Europe's military competencies.

December 8, 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

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

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

Von der Leyen and King Philippe Meet with Van der Bellen in Brussels

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgium's King Philippe each met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on his latest trip to Brussels. Climate change was a key topic of discussion. Read what Van der Bellen had to say about it.

July 20, 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

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

EU Sets Stage for Green Passport

The European Union has agreed on the legislation of an EU wide COVID digital certificate. The certificate should facilitate travel within Europe and increase cross-border movement as of July 1. Read more below.

June 15, 2021

Berlin - Prague - Vienna: Plan of 4 Hour Rail Connection

Berlin to Prague to Vienna in four hours? A travel time that is now only possible via plane will become reality via a rail connection. A memorandum to this effect was signed by Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria.

May 19, 2021

Edtstadler: "Raise Your Voice for the Future of Europe"

In preparation for the first ever Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Commission has launched a digital platform, on which European citizens can share their ideas on the future of Europe, organize events, participate in events, and network with other individuals and organizations. Austria will contribute by hosting a number of events and additionally provide information on a separate platform.

April 23, 2021

EU and Austria Provide 650,000 Covid-19 Vaccines for Western Balkans

In a joint project, the European Commission and Austria more than half a million Covid-19 vaccines are provided to Western Balkan states, starting in May 2021. Both Commission President Von der Leyen and Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg stress the importance of having no "white spots on the vaccination map, wherever they may be."

April 21, 2021

Covid-19 in Austria: Additional Doses Speed Up Vaccination Campaign

Due to the additional Covid-19 vaccine doses from BionTech/Pfizer for the European Union, Austria is able to speed up its vaccination program. According to Austria's Chancellor Kurz, 6 million people in Austria can get their first vaccination by mid-July.

April 16, 2021

Austria Receives Additional 500,000 Covid-19 Vaccines in Q2

After successful negotiations between the European Commission and BionTech, the vaccine producer has agreed to deliver 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the second quarter of 2021, instead of in the fourth quarter. This means an additional 1 million doses for Austria which will be administered from April to June.

April 15, 2021

Border Controls Between Germany and Austria "Could Stop Soon"

The German Interior Minister Seehofer and Austria's Chancellor Kurz have met in Berlin to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The two politicians agree on the fact that due to a decrease of the South African variant of Covid-19 in Tyrol, border controls between Germany and Austria can be suspended in the near future.

March 19, 2021

Prime Ministers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia and Croatia Meet Kurz

In order to discuss the EU vaccine distribution, the Prime Ministers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Croatia met Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The country representatives demand a correction mechanism, which would erase differences in the vaccination progress between member countries.

March 17, 2021

Fourth Covid-19 Vaccine Approved: Austria Expects 2.5 Million Doses

The European Medicines Agency and the European Commission have approved a fourth Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine developed by the Johnson & Johnson group only requires a single dose for proper immunization. Austria is to receive about 2.5 million doses by the end of 2021 with the first delivery expected already in the second quarter.

March 12, 2021

Schallenberg at Central 5 Meeting in Slovenia

The Foreign Minister from Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria met in Brdo, Slovenia, to discuss the continuous cooperation in the Covid-19 pandemic, the he upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021, and EU accession of the Western Balkan states.

March 2, 2021

New US Presidency: Austria and EU Welcome New Chapter

Joe Biden, as new President of the United States, and Kamala Harris, as new Vice President, were inaugurated on January 20, 2021. The reactions from politicians throughout the European Union and Austria to the inauguration and the President's first acts were filled with hope and positivity.

January 22, 2021

Additional 6 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine for Austria

Due to the recent order activity of the European Union at BioNTech/Pfizer, Austria will receive an additional 6 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine - 1.5 million already in the second quarter of 2021. In total, the EU has secured itself the right for additional 300 million doses from BioNTech/Pfizer.

January 8, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccine: Austria Starts on December 27

The vaccination process against Covid-19 in Austria will start on December 27. As already announced by the President of the European Commission Von der Leyen, the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer is distributed in the upcoming days, making a vaccination start before 2021 possible.

December 23, 2020

Von der Leyen Hopes for Joint Start of Covid-19 Vaccinations

EU Commission President Von der Leyen wants a joint and rapid start of Covid-19 vaccinations for all EU member countries. After the likely approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), vaccines will be distributed among the member states and vaccination will start immediately.

December 16, 2020

European Council: Kurz Hopes for Rapid Approval of Vaccine

Prior to the European Council, Austria's Chancellor Kurz hopes for a rather fast approval process of a Covid-19 vaccine and is looking forward to a succession of close cooperation between the EU and the United States. Other relevant topics for the Council will be sanctions for Turkey, Brexit negotiations, EU climate targets, and the joint fight against terrorism.

December 10, 2020

Von der Leyen and Kurz: Light At the End of the Tunnel

After a virtual meeting between EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Austria's Chancellor Kurz both assured that there is a light at the end of the tunnel of the Covid-19 pandemic. The two politicians have discussed EU's vaccine strategy and other topics regarding the ongoing pandemic.

November 27, 2020

Macron, Merkel, Von der Leyen and Kurz on the Fight Against Terrorism

At a video conference, Macron, Merkel, Rutte, Von der Leyen, Michel and Kurz have agreed that the EU needs to act decisively and jointly against a terrorism and extremism. Following the recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria, the politicians demand further discussions about the future procedure of the fight against terrorism.

November 11, 2020

Von der Leyen: "European Family Stands With Austria"

The EU Commission President Von der Leyen and many other European politicians have offered their condolences to the Austrian population following the horrible attacks in Vienna. The European family is united in their response by expressing their commitment to freedom, democracy and the fight against terrorism.

November 3, 2020
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