Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Logo Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres.svg
Agency overview
Formed 20 November 1920; 96 years ago (1920-11-20)
Jurisdiction Austrian Federal Government
Headquarters Minoritenplatz, Innere Stadt, Vienna
Agency executive
Website Website of the Ministry
Coat of arms of Austria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Judicial system
Foreign relations

The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (German: Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres, abbreviated BMEIA, colloquially Außenministerium) is Austria's foreign ministry. As a department of the Austrian Federal Government, it is responsible for the country's foreign policy, its diplomatic missions and relations to international organisations, especially the European Union.

The current Foreign Minister of Austria (Bundesminister für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten) is Sebastian Kurz, who was appointed upon the 2013 legislative election.


Foreign Ministry building on Minoritenplatz, Vienna

On 1 March 2007 the former Federal Ministry for External Affairs (Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, BMaA) was renamed "Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs" which, as of 1 March 2014, changed to "Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs". It is responsible for a variety of matters concerning Austria’s foreign policy and relations, including matters of public international law, treaties and Austria's international representation in receiving states as well as to international organisations. It grants support for Austrian citizens staying or living abroad and foreign aid by mutual legal assistance treaties.

The ministry is also concerned with economic integration, European Union law, the Austrian relations to Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as development aid. It is responsible for matters of the International Atomic Energy Agency with its seat in Vienna, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Red Cross. The Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, formerly part of the ministry, since 1996 forms an autonomous organisation.


The history of international diplomacy is closely connected to Vienna. Diplomats were for the first time classified as such at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Furthermore, the United Nations' conferences which led to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) were both held in Austria's capital city.

The year 1720 is considered to be the origin of an independent Austrian diplomatic service, which was when Emperor Charles VI assigned the administration of foreign relations of the Habsburg Monarchy to a separate minister. For about 200 years, the external relations of the Austrian Empire proclaimed in 1804 and succeeding Austria-Hungary remained the monarch's prerogative and his assigned minister not accountable to the Imperial Council nor the Diet of Hungary. From 1809 until the Revolutions of 1848, the office of the Austrian Foreign Minister was shaped by Prince Klemens von Metternich. Upon the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Imperial and Royal (k. u. k.) Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary was one three common ministries responsible for both parts of the real union. In 1882 Foreign Minister Count Gustav Kálnoky forged the Triple Alliance with the German Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, which, however, could not arrest the proceeding Austrian isolation nor internal nationalist unrest. During the July Crisis of 1914, Minister Count Leopold Berchtold, urged by Chief of Staff Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, issued the fatal ultimatum to Serbia, followed by the declaration of war a few days later.

After World War I and the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, foreign affairs were attended to by the Federal Chancellery. It was not before 1959 that a separate Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs (German: Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten or BMaA) was established.

With the government under Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, the former BMaA was renamed "Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs" in 2007 to better reflect and express "the interconnection, networking, partnership and solidarity characterising Austria's international relations," as former Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik put it. The old name had "rather conveyed the additional nuance of a demarcation."

As part of the amendment to the Federal Ministries Act and the swearing-in of Sebastian Kurz as Foreign Minister on 16 December 2013, the responsibilities of the former State Secretariat for Integration were transferred to the Foreign Ministry. Effective March 1, 2014, it was therefore renamed "Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs".

List of Austrian Foreign Ministers[edit]

First Republic, 1918 to 1938[edit]

Foreign Ministers of the First Republic
Name Term of Office Party
Victor Adler 1918 SDAPÖ
Otto Bauer 1918–1919 SDAPÖ
Karl Renner* 1919–1920 SDAPÖ
Michael Mayr* 1920–1921 CS
Johann Schober* 1921–1922 public official
Walter Breisky* 1922 public official
Leopold Hennet 1922 public official
Alfred Grünberger 1922–1924 CS
Heinrich Mataja 1924–1926 CS
Rudolf Ramek** 1926 CS
Ignaz Seipel** 1926–1929 CS
Ernst Streeruwitz** 1929 CS
Johann Schober** 1929–1930 public official
Ignaz Seipel 1930 CS
Johann Schober 1930–1932 public official
Karl Buresch** 1932 CS
Engelbert Dollfuß** 1932–1934 CS/VF
Stephan Tauschitz 1934 Landbund/VF
Egon Berger-Waldenegg 1934–1936 VF
Kurt Schuschnigg** 1936 VF
Guido Schmidt 1936–1938 VF
Wilhelm Wolf 1938 NSDAP

*also State or Federal Chancellor
**as Federal Chancellor

Second Republic, since 1945[edit]

Foreign Ministers of the Second Republic
Name Term of Office Party
Karl Gruber 1945–1953 ÖVP
Leopold Figl 1953–1959 ÖVP
Bruno Kreisky 1959–1966 SPÖ
Lujo Tončić-Sorinj 1966–1968 ÖVP
Kurt Waldheim 1968–1970 no party affiliation
Rudolf Kirchschläger 1970–1974 no party affiliation
Erich Bielka 1974–1976 no party affiliation
Willibald Pahr 1976–1983 no party affiliation
Erwin Lanc 1983–1984 SPÖ
Leopold Gratz 1984–1986 SPÖ
Peter Jankowitsch 1986–1987 SPÖ
Alois Mock 1987–1995 ÖVP
Wolfgang Schüssel 1995–2000 ÖVP
Benita Ferrero-Waldner 2000–2004 ÖVP
Ursula Plassnik 2004–2008 ÖVP
Michael Spindelegger 2008-2013 ÖVP
Sebastian Kurz 2013- ÖVP

External links[edit]