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 2015 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.9 %), industry (21.9 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (17.4 %).
Austria’s main export partners are Germany, the US and Italy, while its main import partners are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
83 879 km²
8 576 261 (2015)
1.7 % (2015)
€ 337.162 billion (2015)
federal parliamentary republic
1 January 1995
Euro. Member of the eurozone since 1 January 1999
Yes, Schengen Area member since 1 December 2007.
Austria has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU twice: in 1998 and 2006. The next time will be in 2018.
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.
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
More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
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.
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.
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.
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 2015:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
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.