European Union



Flag of Austria

Political system

Austria is a federal parliamentary republic with a head of government - the chancellor - and a head of state - the president. The country consists of 9 states (Bundesländer).  Both regional and federal governments exercise executive power. The federal Parliament consists of 2 chambers: the Lower House (Nationalrat) - directly elected - and the Upper House (Bundesrat) - elected by regional parliaments. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Austria’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.9 %), industry (21.6 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (17.5 %).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 71% of Austria’s exports (Germany 30%, Italy 6%, and Slovakia 4%), while outside the EU 6% go to the United States and 5% to Switzerland.

In terms of imports, 78% come from EU Member States (Germany 43%, Italy 6% and Czech Republic 4%), while outside the EU 6% come from Switzerland and 3% from China.

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

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 | July-Dec 2018

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent 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.

European Committee of the Regions

Austria has 12 representatives on the European 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 2016: 

  • Total EU spending in Austria: € 1.940 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Austrian gross national income (GNI): 0.56 %
  • Total Austrian contribution to the EU budget: € 2.763 billion
  • Austrian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.79 % 

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.

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