What types of Austrian representations are there?

Our Embassies play a central role in all areas of Austrian foreign affairs. Embassies represent Austria abroad and provide services and support to Austrian citizens in the respective host state.

For Austrian citizens

  • Consular services for Austrian tourists and Austrians living abroad
  • Helping Austrians in emergencies
  • Crisis management to protect Austrians abroad


For Austrian Government and Business

  • Gathering information and supporting the decision making process of Austrian authorities, businesses and policymakers
  • Support of Austrian companies in the host state vis-à-vis public authorities and private sector
  • Encouraging a business-friendly climate for Austrian and European business
  • Preparing and organising high level visits from Austria


For Austrian Science and Culture

  • Furthering cultural and scientific exchange
  • Point of contact for students from Austria and from the host state


For Austria as a host state

  • Encouraging tourism to Austria and enhancing Austria’s image abroad (information and PR-events etc)
  • Point of contact for questions of asylum and migration


Austria enjoys diplomatic relations with 196 states but has Embassies in only 80 of them. The number of diplomats working at any given Embassy varies and depends on the size of the country and its importance for bilateral relations.

Consulates General cover a certain region within a host country as opposed to Embassies that operate in one country or even in several countries. A Consulate General primarily helps Austrians abroad. Consulates General offer advice and support to Austrian citizens in emergency situations as well as various consular services (civil registrar, certificates, passports etc.). Apart from legal and consular issues the Consulates General promote business ties as well cultural cooperation and the image of Austria abroad.

There are eight Austrian Consulates General in cities or regions abroad that serve as hubs.

Around 300 Honorary Consulates in over 120 countries are an invaluable addition to the Austrian career representations (embassies, consulates general and cultural forums). Honorary Consuls are individuals that are voluntarily engage in the interest of Austria. They provide the staff, premises and resources necessary for their function at their own expense.

Austrian Honorary Consulates are the first contact point for Austrians travelling or living abroad in places where no Austrian career representation exists.

Opening of an Honorary Consulate and the appointment of Honorary Consuls require a formal process ("Bestallungsverfahren"): Any new Honorary Consul has to be approved by the Austrian government and appointed by the Austrian Federal President. The head of a consular post is admitted to the exercise of his/her functions by an authorization from the receiving State termed an exequatur (Article 12 of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations). Before commencing their function Honorary Consuls sign a contract of appointment for the duration of five years, extensions are possible.

The Austrian Permanent Representations represent Austria in the various international organizations. In contrast to the “bilateral missions” (the embassies and consulates), the Permanent Representations are also called “multilateral missions”. The largest Permanent Representations of Austria are the Permanent Representations to the EU in Brussels, to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, to the international organizations based in Vienna and to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Other Austrian Permanent Representations are the Permanent Representations to the League of Arab States in Cairo, to the African Union in Addis Ababa, to the UNESCO in Paris, to the OSCE in Vienna and to the OPCW in The Hague. In some locations, the tasks of the Head of a Permanent Representation are performed by the Head of the respective embassy.

The Austrian Permanent Representations liaise between Austria and the international organizations, negotiating with and within the organizations. They participate in the organizations’ day-to-day work, such as meetings of working groups or preparation and adoption of resolutions and decisions, and report thereon to the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs as well as to other authorities. Thereby, they represent the Austrian interests towards the international organization and the other member states. As a member of an international organization, Austria can thus play an active part in shaping the organization’s policies and activities.

Austrian Cultural Forums

Conceptually and organizationally, the dossier of "international cultural policy" is overseen by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. The network of currently 29 Austrian Cultural Forums in a total of 27 countries plays an important role for its practical implementation.

Every year, the Cultural Forums organize and oversee a large part of the approx. 6,000 cultural and academic projects that are presented within the network of "international cultural policy" at many locations throughout the world. This is done in order to build and preserve meaningful cultural bridges to the world. The focus is thereby on the contemporary and creative production in culture and academia from Austria.

There are Cultural Forums which share the same space with the respective Austrian Embassy or the Consulate General, others (e.g. Rome, London, New York, and Tehran) have their own premises and event locations. Many events and projects are organized in collaboration with local partner institutions.

Austrian Cultural Forums can therefore be defined as decentralized focal points of Austrian cultural activities abroad ("Embassies for culture"). They develop locally adjusted programs and projects together with cultural practitioners and institutions of culture and academia in their respective host countries.

Austrian Cultural Forums also act as service providers for Austrian cultural practitioners and academics supporting them with their efforts at establishing international contacts and networks from home and when abroad.

 

Reducing poverty, ensuring peace and preserving the environment are the priorities of Austrian Development Cooperation. To make sure this happens in coordination with our partner countries, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, has established its own foreign offices in eleven priority countries.

The staff of these offices in Kosovo, Albania, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique and the Palestinian Territories work closely with the respective governments, non-governmental organizations, companies and other partners on the ground.

To date, countless people have benefitted from Austrian Development Cooperation: They have gained access to potable water, received training in their mother tongues, started a micro enterprise with the help of a microcredit or improved their agricultural production. From 2004-2014, ADA has implemented around 3000 programs and projects with a total financial volume of almost 900 Mio Euros.