Navigation path

You are in the principal navigation of the site

Austria

Austria is a largely mountainous country due to its location at the eastern end of the Alps. This mountain range dominates the western and southern parts of Austria while the country’s lower-lying eastern provinces are in the Danube basin.

The most important sectors of Austria’s economy in 2012 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.3 %), industry (21.8 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (17.7 %).

Austria’s main export partners are Germany, Italy and the US, while its main import partners are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

Capital: Vienna

Geographical size: 83 879.0 km²

Population: 8 408 121 (2012)

Population as % of total EU population: 1.7 % (2012)

GDP: € 307 billion (2012)

Official EU language(s): German

Political system: federal parliamentary republic

EU member country since: 1 January 1995

Seats in the European Parliament: 18

Currency: Eurozone member since 1 January 1999

Passport-free travel? Yes, Schengen Area member since: 28 April 1995

Presidency of the Council: Austria has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU twice: in 1998 and 2006. The next time will be in 2019.

Austria in the EU

European Parliament

There are 18 members of the European Parliament from Austria. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Austria Deutsch

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Austrian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Austrian presidencies:

Jul-Dec 1998 | Jan-Jun 2006 | Jan-Jun 2019

More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Austria to the European Commission is Johannes Hahn, who is responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Commission representation in Austria

European Economic & Social Committee

Austria has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Committee of the Regions

Austria has 12 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Austria also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Austria's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Austria contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole. 

Breakdown of Austria's finances with the EU in 2012: 

  • Total EU spending in Austria: € 1.856 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Austrian GNI: 0.60 %
  • Total Austrian contribution to the EU budget: € 2.765 billion
  • Austrian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.89 % 

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Austria

The money paid into the EU budget by Austria helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Austria benefits from EU funding.

Practical information