The Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union is Austria's "embassy" at the EU so to speak; and it is the largest of all Austrian diplomatic missions worldwide. Some 110 people represent Austria's interests here, including foreign ministry staff and experts from each of the federal ministries, the Liaison Office of the Federal Provinces as well as representatives of the social partners, the Federation of Austrian Industry, the Austrian National Bank, the Association of Municipalities and the Association of Cities and Towns. Ambassador Mag. Walter Grahammer is the head of the Permanent Representation that was established in 1995 when Austria joined the EU.
The information cycle
Ambassador Grahammer and his staff represent Austria's positions in the daily negotiations with our European partners in Brussels in daily meetings of the Council Working Parties and in the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The outcome of these deliberations and negotiations is then communicated to the Austrian Government. Based on the reports and analyses of our Permanent Representation, the Austrian Government decides on the position that Austria will take in upcoming meetings. The position is coordinated via a liaison of the Foreign Ministry in Vienna and referred to the Permanent Representative.
Support for the ministers
The Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU is up-to-date and familiar with all the topical issues and knows very well the position that other member states have taken in the Working Parties and/or the Committee of Permanent Representatives. At the Councils of Ministers when the government representatives of the 28 member states of the EU meet in Brussels to take final decisions, Ambassador Mag. Walter Grahammer or his deputy Dr. Harald Günther sit next to the Austrian minister at the negotiating table to provide him or her with input.
Cooperation with the media
As the majority of laws that apply in Austria are today laid down in Brussels, it is very important that the public is informed about proposed legislation of the EU 28, and therefore the press department of the Permanent Representation supports Brussels-based EU correspondents of Austrian newspapers, TV and radio.
The Permanent Representation also gives interested citizens the opportunity to learn about its daily work. The visitor service welcomes groups of visitors from Austria and provides insight into EU matters and Austria's role within the EU.