The visit featured a number of activities at the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU along with a visit to the European Parliament and the European Commission. The visit, which lasted for several days, focused primarily on dialogue about current affairs in the EU. The visitors’ meeting with representatives of the European Parliament centred on information about the 2019 European Parliament elections. The discussions during the visit to the European Commission concerned budget planning and the EU’s multiannual financial framework.
The “Europe starts at the local level” initiative was set up in 2010 to enable mayors and local councillors in as many Austrian towns and municipalities as possible to become “European local councillors”. More than 900 of these European local councillors are now in regular contact with the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and receive tailored information about ongoing developments in Europe. The European local councillors have the knowledge, experience and contacts they need to actively provide information on EU matters in their communities. This makes Europe more accessible to Austrian citizens, brings expertise to discussions about their concerns, and enables councillors to answer any questions they may have.