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World > Europe > Austria > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Austria - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
The 1955 Austrian State Treaty ended the four-power occupation and recognized Austria as an independent and sovereign state. In October 1955, the Federal Assembly passed a constitutional law in which 'Austria declares of her own free will her perpetual neutrality.' The second section of this law stated that 'in all future times Austria will not join any military alliances and will not permit the establishment of any foreign military bases on her territory.' The date on which this provision passed--October 26--became Austria's National Day. From then, Austria shaped its foreign policy on the basis of neutrality.


In recent years, however, Austria began to reassess its definition of neutrality, granting overflight rights for the UN-sanctioned action against Iraq in 1991, and, since 1995, contemplating participation in the EU's evolving security structure. Also in 1995, it joined the Partnership for Peace with NATO, and subsequently participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia.


Austrian leaders emphasize the unique role the country plays both as an East-West hub and as a moderator between industrialized and developing countries. Austria is active in the United Nations and experienced in UN peacekeeping efforts. It attaches great importance to participation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other international economic organizations, and it has played an active role in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Austria has participated in the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since 2002. In August 2005, Austria deployed 93 soldiers to the northern Afghan city of Kunduz to help support the parliamentary and provincial elections. Austria has also participated in international reconstruction assistance efforts and has provided about 8.5 million euros since 2002 to combat drugs, to strengthen women's rights and for mine removal.


Vienna hosts the Secretariat of the OSCE and the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the UN Drug Control Program. Other international organizations in Vienna include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, and the Wassenaar Arrangement (a technology-transfer control agency).

Austria traditionally has been active in 'bridge-building to the east,' increasing contacts at all levels with eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. Austrians maintain a constant exchange of business representatives, political leaders, students, cultural groups, and tourists with the countries of central and eastern Europe. Austrian companies are active in investing and trading with those countries as well. In addition, the Austrian Government and various Austrian organizations provide assistance and training to support the changes underway in the region.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Euro Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Euro Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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