Austria Government and Politics

According to, Austria a parliamentary- democratic federal republic.


The constitution in Austria dates from 1920, changed in 1929, but it was set aside in 1934 when Austria introduced an authoritarian regime. From 1938, the country was incorporated into Germany after Anschluss, but the constitution was reintroduced in 1945. The country first gained full independence in 1955 against committing itself to foreign policy neutrality. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc in 1991, this commitment has lost much of its importance, and Austria joined the EU in 1995.

Austria Country Flag

Reference: Austria Flag Meaning

President and Government

Austria’s head of state is a president, elected in the general election for six years and with the possibility of one re-election. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AT and its meanings of Austria. The president has formal authority to take special measures in emergency situations, but in reality he primarily plays a ceremonial role. The real executive lies with the Chancellor and the Government. Formally, a chancellor candidate gets the job of forming government from the president, but in reality it is the party political situation in the National Council (National Council) that decides who gets the job.

The Chancellor and the Government are responsible to the National Council. It has 183 members elected in the general election for five years. The mandates are distributed proportionally between the parties. The National Council, together with the Federal Council, has legislative authority. Bills are first presented in the National Council. The Federal Council (Bundesrat) may oppose a decision in the National Council, but the latter can review the Federal Council’s decision by a simple majority. The Federal Council has 62 members elected for different periods of the nine national days and so that the parties are proportionally represented. The President can dissolve the National Council.

Politics has been dominated throughout the post-war period by the conservative center party ÖVP (Österreichische Volkspartei) and the Social Democratic Party SPÖ (Social Democratic Party Österreichs). During the period 2000-2003 and 2017-2019, ÖVP has ruled with the third major Austrian party, the right-wing nationalist FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs). After the 2019 election, a coalition government was formed by ÖVP and Die Grünen with Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) as Chancellor and Werner Kogler (Die Grünen) as Vice Chancellor. Check Countryaah for other countries that start with A.

Administrative division

Austria is divided into nine countries (Länder), each led by a people-elected country day. The executive has been appointed a parliamentary responsible land government, whose leader is called Landeshauptmann. The Constitution defines the areas of government and countries. In general, however, the political system is fairly centralized. However, the states are free to enact their own laws in all areas where the state is not explicitly given the authority. The municipalities are governed by elected councils, mayors elected by councils and executive committees.


Legislation dates back to the 19th century. Private law was codified in 1811, the criminal law dates from 1852 and 1873 (the Criminal Procedure Act), while the laws on judicial organization were passed in 1895-1896. The judicial system is common to civil and criminal cases and normally falls into three stages. The first paragraph is formed by around 200 local courts (Bezirksgerichte) and 17 national and district courts (important cases). In serious criminal cases, the courts are set by jury. The second instance consists of four higher courts (Oberlandesgerichte). The supreme court of ordinary justice is the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof). It is also a district court and a constitutional court.

Heads of State in Austria

Heads of Austria comprises h Ertug of Austria in the period 1156-1453; archduke of Austria in the period 1453–1493; German-Roman emperors in the period 1493-1806; emperors of Austria in the period 1806–1918; and presidents since 1918.

The house Habsburg
1278-1282 Rudolf (German King 1273–1291)
1282-1308 Albrecht (German King from 1298)
1308-1330 Frederick 3 the beautiful (German King from 1314)
1330-1358 Albrecht 2 the lame
1358-1365 Rudolf 4 The founder
1365-1379 Albrecht 3 and Leopold 3
1379-1395 Albrecht 3 (alone)
1395-1404 Albrecht 4
1404-1439 Albrecht 5 (King of Bohemia and Hungary 1437, German King as Albrecht 2 – from 1438)
1439-1457 Ladislaus Posthumus (King of Bohemia and Hungary)
1457-1493 Frederick 5 (German King 1440, Emperor – Frederick 3 – 1452)
1493-1519 Frederick 3 (German-Roman Emperor from 1493)
1519-1521 Karl 5 (German Roman Emperor 1519–1556)
1521-1564 Ferdinand 1 (King of Hungary and Bohemia 1526, German Roman Emperor from 1556)
1564-1576 Maximilian 2
1576-1612 Rudolf 2
1612-1619 Matthias
1619-1637 Ferdinand 2
1637-1657 Ferdinand 3
1657-1705 Leopold 1
1705-1711 Joseph 1
1711-1740 Karl 6
1740-1780 Maria Teresia (French Stefan German-Roman Emperor 1745–1765)
The house Habsburg-Lorraine
1780-1790 Joseph 2 (German-Roman Emperor from 1765)
1790-1792 Leopold 2
1792-1835 Frans 2 (German-Roman Emperor to 1806; Emperor of Austria – Frans 1 – from 1806)
1835-1848 Ferdinand 1
1848-1916 Franz Joseph 1
1916-1918 Karl 1
Federal Republic
1919-1920 Karl Seitz
1920-1928 Michael Hainisch
1928-1938 Wilhelm Miklas
Part of the Great German Empire
1938-1945 Adolf Hitler (Chancellor)
Federal Republic
1945-1950 Karl Renner
1951-1957 Theodor Körner
1957-1965 Adolf Sharp
1965-1974 Franz Josef Jonas
1974-1986 Rudolf Kirchschläger
1986-1992 Kurt Waldheim
1992-2004 Thomas Klestil
2004-2016 Heinz Fischer
2016- Alexander Van der Bellen

Austria Head of Government

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