Non-Governmental Organizations and Quasi-International Organizations

International Peace Institute (IPI)

Non-Governmental Organizations, or NGOs as they are commonly called, not only do enjoy the esteem of the civil society, they also enrich the thematic work of International Organizations. Further to encourage the settlement of International Organizations, Austria traditionally gives incentives to Non-Governmental Organizations, too, to choose Austria as their seat.

A legal framework has been created through the Federal Law on the Granting of Privileges to Non-Governmental International Organizations: upon request of an organization the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs may grant the legal status of a Non-Governmental Organization by decree.

Beyond that, since 2016, NGOs have the possibility to apply for recognition as Quasi-International Organizations. For recognition the law stipulates certain requirements to be fulfilled by the applicant: the organization must have non-profit character, its structures have to be similar to those of an International Organization it must entertain a permanent and staff–wise appropriately equipped office in Austria and it's work must be related to an established Interantional Organization. The legal status of a Quasi-International Organization entails certain tax exemptions.

Among the first Quasi-International Organizations that chose their seat in Vienna, counts Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), which started its activities in summer 2013 and established its permanent headquarters in Vienna in 2015. SE4All is headed by Rachel Kyte, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for “Sustainable Energy for All”. Other established Quasi-International Organizations are the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, the International Secretariat of the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).