Government of Austria
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Austrian Federal Government (German: Österreichische Bundesregierung) is a collective body that exercises executive power in the Republic of Austria. It is composed of the Chancellor, who is leader of the government, the Vice-Chancellor, and senior ministers. The President and the Government together form the executive branch of Austria.
Since the 1929 reform of the Austrian Constitution, all members of the Federal Government are appointed by the Austrian Federal President (according to Article 70 of the Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG)), who nevertheless has to seek a consensus with the National Council parliament, since a vote of no confidence would immediately enforce their dismissal. In practical terms usually the leader of the strongest political party, who ran as "chancellor candidate" in the parliamentary election, is asked to become Federal Chancellor; although there have been exceptions in the past. The nominations of the ministers takes place at the suggestion of the Chancellor, though the President is permitted to withhold his or her approval. Likewise, the President may dismiss the Chancellor and/or the whole government at any time. However, a new government must be formed by the parties that control parliament.
The government is convened for frequently scheduled meetings. When formally convened as such, the government is termed the Council of Ministers (German: Ministerrat), which is equivalent to the word "cabinet". The Chancellor presides over cabinet meetings as first among equals without decisional authority, regardless of his right of proposal concerning the appointment of the government's members by the President. The cabinet adopts resolutions in the presence of at least half of its members and, according to the ruling of the Austrian Constitutional Court, unanimously – in particular the introduction of bills to the National Council. Each federal minister is also responsible for his or her own ministry, and may be supported by one or more state secretaries (junior ministers), who also participate in the cabinet's meetings. State secretaries are not considered members of the government, and have no right to vote during cabinet meetings.
The incumbent government of Austria is a grand coalition government formed by the left-wing Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) and the right-wing Austrian People's Party (ÖVP). It was appointed on 18 May 2016 by outgoing President Heinz Fischer (SPÖ) upon the resignation of the former Chancellor Werner Faymann after disappointing results of his party in the 2016 Austrian presidential election. Most of the ministers kept their job, however, some decided to step down or were replaced.
After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the provisional national assembly of German Austria on 30 October 1918 elected a State Council (Staatsrat) executive, which itself appointed a state government with the Social Democratic politician Karl Renner as head of the State Chancellery. The Renner ministry was composed of representatives of the three main political parties—Social Democrats, the Christian Social Party (CS) and German Nationalists (Greater Germans)—according to the Proporz doctrine. As acting executive body it remained in office until the Constitutional Assembly of the Austrian First Republic on 15 March 1919 elected Renner's second cabinet, a coalition government of Social Democratic and Christian Social ministers.
State Chancellor Renner had signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, whereafter his cabinet retired en bloc. Re-elected by the Constitutional Assembly on 17 October 1919, his third cabinet finally was overturned with the break-up of the SPÖ-CS coalition on 7 July 1920. Renner was succeeded by the Christian Social politician Michael Mayr, who with the commencement of the Austria Constitution on 10 November 1920 became first Federal Chancellor of Austria. Mayr and his successors proceeded with the support of the Christian Social Party and the Greater German nationalists, while the Social Democrats remained in opposition.
From 5 March 1933 onwards, the Christian Social chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß kept on ruling by suppression of the National Council parliament. In the course of the Austrian Civil War he brought down the opposition and on 1 May 1934 implemented the authoritarian Federal State of Austria. All parties were banned, except for the Fatherland's Front supporting Dollfuß' Austrofascist government. The Federal Government discontinued with the Anschluss incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 13 March 1938.
On 27 April 1945 an provisional Austrian national unity government, again under a State Chancellor Karl Renner, declared the Anschluss null and void. It prepared the The elections to the Austrian National Council held on 25 November. On 20 December 1945, the Austrian Constitution was officially re-enacted, with ÖVP founder Leopold Figl forming the first post-war Federal Government.
List of cabinets since 1945:
|Governments of Austria|
|Name of Government||Duration of Government||Chancellor||Vice-Chancellor||Parties Involved|
|Renner||April 27, 1945 – December 20, 1945||Karl Renner1||N/A||ÖVP, SPÖ, KPÖ|
|Figl I||December 20, 1945 – November 8, 1949||Leopold Figl (ÖVP)||Adolf Schärf (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ, KPÖ|
|Figl II||November 8, 1949 – October 28, 1952||Leopold Figl (ÖVP)||Adolf Schärf (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Figl III||October 28, 1952 – April 2, 1953||Leopold Figl (ÖVP)||Adolf Schärf (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Raab I||April 2, 1953 – June 29, 1956||Julius Raab (ÖVP)||Adolf Schärf (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Raab II||June 29, 1956 – July 16, 1959||Julius Raab (ÖVP)||Adolf Schärf (SPÖ), Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)²||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Raab III||July 16, 1959 – November 3, 1960||Julius Raab (ÖVP)||Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Raab IV||November 3, 1960 – April 11, 1961||Julius Raab (ÖVP)||Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Gorbach I||April 11, 1961 – March 27, 1963||Alfons Gorbach (ÖVP)||Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Gorbach II||March 27, 1963 – April 2, 1964||Alfons Gorbach (ÖVP)||Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Klaus I||April 2, 1964 – April 19, 1966||Josef Klaus (ÖVP)||Bruno Pittermann (SPÖ)||ÖVP, SPÖ|
|Klaus II||April 19, 1966 – April 21, 1970||Josef Klaus (ÖVP)||Fritz Bock (ÖVP), Hermann Withalm (ÖVP)³||ÖVP|
|Kreisky I||April 21, 1970 – November 4, 1971||Bruno Kreisky (SPÖ)||Rudolf Häuser (SPÖ)||SPÖ|
|Kreisky II||November 4, 1971 – October 28, 1975||Bruno Kreisky (SPÖ)||Rudolf Häuser (SPÖ)||SPÖ|
|Kreisky III||October 28, 1975 – June 5, 1979||Bruno Kreisky (SPÖ)||Rudolf Häuser (SPÖ), Hannes Androsch (SPÖ)4||SPÖ|
|Kreisky IV||June 5, 1979 – May 24, 1983||Bruno Kreisky (SPÖ)||Hannes Androsch (SPÖ), Fred Sinowatz (SPÖ)5||SPÖ|
|Sinowatz||May 24, 1983 – June 16, 1986||Fred Sinowatz (SPÖ)||Norbert Steger (FPÖ)||SPÖ, FPÖ|
|Vranitzky I||June 16, 1986 – January 21, 1987||Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ)||Norbert Steger (FPÖ)||SPÖ, FPÖ|
|Vranitzky II||January 21, 1987 – December 17, 1990||Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ)||Alois Mock (ÖVP), Josef Riegler (ÖVP)6||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Vranitzky III||December 17, 1990 – November 29, 1994||Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ)||Josef Riegler (ÖVP), Erhard Busek (ÖVP)7||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Vranitzky IV||November 29, 1994 – March 12, 1996||Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ)||Erhard Busek (ÖVP), Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)8||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Vranitzky V||March 12, 1996 – January 28, 1997||Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ)||Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Klima||January 28, 1997 – February 4, 2000||Viktor Klima (SPÖ)||Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Schüssel I||February 4, 2000 – February 28, 2003||Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)||Susanne Riess-Passer (FPÖ)||ÖVP, FPÖ|
|Schüssel II||February 28, 2003 – January 11, 2007||Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)||Herbert Haupt (FPÖ), Hubert Gorbach (FPÖ/BZÖ)9||ÖVP, FPÖ, BZÖ|
|Gusenbauer||January 11, 2007 – December 2, 2008||Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ)||Wilhelm Molterer (ÖVP)||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Faymann I||December 2, 2008 – December 16, 2013||Werner Faymann (SPÖ)||Josef Pröll (ÖVP), Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP)10||SPÖ, ÖVP|
|Faymann II||December 16, 2013 – May 17, 2016||Werner Faymann (SPÖ)||Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP)||SPÖ, ÖVP|
1) Karl Renner acted only as a supervisor of the provisional government
2) As Adolf Schärf was elected as the President of Austria, Bruno Pittermann acted as the vice-chancellor from May 22, 1957.
3) From January 19, 1968 afterwards, Hermann Withalm acted as the vice-chancellor.
4) Rudolf Häuser acted as the vice-chancellor until September 30, 1976. From October 1, 1976, Hannes Androsch acted as the vice-chancellor.
5) Fred Sinowatz acted as the vice-chancellor from January 20, 1981.
6) Until April 24, 1989, Alois Mock acted as the vice-chancellor. From April 24, 1989, Josef Riegler acted as the vice-chancellor.
7) From July 2, 1991, Erhard Busek acted as the vice-chancellor.
8) From May 4, 1995, Wolfgang Schüssel acted as the vice-chancellor.
9) Until October 20, 2003, Herbert Haupt acted as the vice-chancellor. From October 21, 2003, Hubert Gorbach acted as the vice-chancellor. Until April 17, 2005, Gorbach's party affiliation was FPÖ, then BZÖ.
10) Until April 20, 2011, Josef Pröll acted as the vice-chancellor. From April 21, 2011, Michael Spindelegger acted as the vice-chancellor.
|Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, ÖVP)|
|Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs, SPÖ), until 1991: Socialist Party of Austria|
|Communist Party of Austria (Kommunistische Partei Österreichs, KPÖ)|
|Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ)|
|Alliance for the Future of Austria (Bündnis Zukunft Österreich, BZÖ)|
|Source: Kanzler und Regierungen seit 1945. Federal Chancellery of Austria Web Site. Vienna, Federal Chancellery of Austria 2006. German English|