Austria Government and Political Parties

By | March 13, 2023

According to Politicsezine, Austria is located in Central Europe and is bordered by eight countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. To the north of Austria lies Germany. It shares a 784 km long border with the country, resulting in a strong cultural influence from German language and culture. To the northeast of Austria lies the Czech Republic. The two countries have had close ties since 1993 when they established a border-free zone between them. The border between Austria and Slovakia measures 91 km long. Slovakia is located to the east of Austria and both countries share a common language – Slovakian. Hungary is located to the southeast of Austria and their shared border measures 366 km long. The relationship between these two countries has been friendly for centuries and they currently enjoy close economic ties as well as cultural exchanges. Slovenia lies to the south of Austria and shares a 330 km long border with it. This small nation was formerly part of Yugoslavia until it declared its independence in 1991. To the southwest of Austria lies Italy which shares a 430 km long border with it. This connection has resulted in strong cultural influences from both sides such as food, music and art styles being exchanged between them for centuries now. To the west of Austria lies Switzerland which shares a 164 km long border with it. Lastly, Liechtenstein is situated to the northwest of Austria and their shared border measures 35 km long making it one of the shortest international borders in Europe today!

Government of Austria

According to Programingplease, the government of Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy. The Federal President is the head of state, while the Chancellor is the head of government. The Federal President is elected by popular vote for a term of six years, and the Chancellor is appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament. The legislative power rests in both the government and Parliament, which consists of two chambers: the National Council and Federal Council. The National Council has 183 members who are elected for five-year terms; it has exclusive powers to pass laws related to taxes, foreign policy, public health and welfare, and other matters concerning national interests. The Federal Council has 62 members who are appointed by an electoral college composed of representatives from each state; it serves as a check on legislation passed by the National Council. In addition to these two bodies, there is a Constitutional Court which reviews legislation for compliance with constitutional law.

Recent heads of government of Austria

Since 1945, the Federal Republic of Austria has been a democratic country and its government has been headed by a Chancellor. The current Chancellor of Austria is Sebastian Kurz, who was sworn in on December 18th, 2017 as leader of the Austrian People’s Party. He is the youngest head of government in Europe at the age of 32 and is the first person to lead a majority government since World War II. Prior to Kurz, Christian Kern held office as chancellor from May 2016 until December 2017. Kern was leader of the Social Democratic Party and focused on economic reforms during his time in office. Before him, Werner Faymann served as chancellor from 2008 to 2016 and was also leader of the Social Democratic Party. During his tenure, Faymann sought to strengthen Austria’s economic ties with Europe while still maintaining its independence from other countries. His efforts were largely successful and he left office with high approval ratings. From 2000 until 2008, Wolfgang Schüssel held office as chancellor after being elected with a coalition between his conservative People’s Party and Jörg Haider’s far-right Freedom Party. His leadership marked an important period for Austria’s relations with other European countries as well as its own internal politics.

Major political parties in Austria

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) is one of the two major political parties in Austria, and is the larger of the two. It has traditionally been a center-right party, but has recently shifted to a more moderate stance. The party currently holds 62 seats in the National Council and is led by Sebastian Kurz. The ÖVP seeks to promote economic growth, reduce taxes, and strengthen Austria’s traditional values of family and faith. It also supports closer ties with the European Union.

The Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) is the other major Austrian political party. It is a center-left political party that seeks to promote social welfare policies as well as economic growth and employment opportunities for all Austrians regardless of their background or socio-economic status. The SPÖ currently holds 53 seats in the National Council and is led by Pamela Rendi-Wagner. In addition to its social welfare policies, the SPÖ also advocates for stronger environmental protections and measures to combat climate change. It also supports closer ties with other European countries as well as increased integration within the EU framework.

Austria Government