Austrians in EU Institutions
Austrians are represented in all bodies and institutions of the European Union and contribute to shaping its policy.
As a member of the European Commission Benita Ferrero-Waldner is responsible for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy since 22 November 2004. Hubert Weber was elected president of the European Court of Auditors on January 14th, 2005. The Austrians Peter Jann and Josef Azizi are judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (CFI) respectively. Renate Tumpel-Gugerell was appointed member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank in 2003.
The 18 Austrian Members of the European Parliament are directly elected. As a result of the 2004 enlargement of the European Union the overall number of MEPs increased from 626 to732. Election results of June 10-13, 2004: Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) 6 seats, the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) 7, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) 1, the Greens 2 and Liste Hans-Peter Martin 2 seats. For the names of the Austrian MEPs and for further information, please refer to the homepage of the European Parliament.
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a consultative body and as such a forum for the representation of regional and local interests regarding European integration. The Committee is made up of 222 representatives from the Member States’ regional and local authorities and prepares its opinions in a total of five technical commissions, the so-called CoR Commissions. Austria is represented by 12 members in this body. The Austrian national delegation is composed of the nine Governors of the Federal Provinces and three members of the Austrian Association of Towns and Cities and the Austrian Association of Municipalities.
The Economic and Social Committee is a consultative body established to incorporate the interests of the representatives of business and social life into the law-making process of the EU. The 317 members of the Economic and Social Committee are organized in "employers", "employees" and "various interests" groups. Austria is represented by twelve members. In 2004 the Austrian Anne-Marie Sigmund was elected president of the Committee for a term of two years.