Austrian Foreign Cultural Policy

The Austrian Foreign Ministry has the primary responsibility for foreign cultural policy. The Cultural Policy Section is an office of the ministry, and it is one of seven sections that derive their jurisdiction over cultural policy from the Austrian Federal Ministries Act. In dealing with questions of cultural policy, the Foreign Ministry works closely together with other departments, such as the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts, and Culture, and the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, as well as with the governments of Austria's states, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and the Austrian National Tourist Office. There are all told 30 Cultural Forums in a number of countries. Where no forums exist, the Austrian diplomatic and consular missions handle the implementation of cultural policy. Since Austria joined the European Union in 1995, the country has actively participated in European bodies and programmes that promote cooperation in the areas of culture, education and research. Austria makes a particular effort to engage in cooperation in the areas of culture and education with the countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. In 2001 a new approach to international cultural policy was formulated, with underlying priorities in the areas of geography and policy aims.
The distinguishing characteristics for the geographic priorities include global centres of culture (New York, London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Berlin), cultural neighbours – countries with a traditionally close relationship to Austria (for example, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Italy, Israel) with the inclusion of Southeastern Europe (for example, Croatia, Bulgaria, the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey), and development partners (with a focus on countries covered by Austria's Development Cooperation Act and its Osthilfe programme of assistance to Eastern European countries, and on the southern Caucasus).
The priorities with regard to policy aims include Europe and European values, innovation arising from tradition, examination of Austrian history in the 20th century, and Culture for Enlargement, or Austria as a partner of its Central European neighbours (for example, joint projects in the areas of art and culture); the aim of Culture for Stability is to contribute to the stabilisation of the Balkan countries (for example, through projects to strengthen democracy and civil society, new Austria Libraries in the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldavia) as well as Culture for Development with partner countries in the Third World.
In 2004 the Office for Cultural Intermediation and the Austrian Culture Service were consolidated into a single organisational structure now called KulturKontakt Austria, an Austrian competence centre for cultural education.

Basics on Foreign Cultural Policy


governmental authorities

Cultural Institutions in Austria