Austrian People's Party

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Austrian People's Party
Logo of the ÖVP
Federal party chairman Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz (2018-02-28) (cropped) .jpg
Vice Chairman Barbara Eibinger-Miedl
Veronika Marte
Thomas Stelzer
Secretary General Axel Melchior
Club chairman August Wöginger
founding April 17, 1945
Place of foundation Vienna
Headquarters Lichtenfelsgasse 7
1010 Vienna
National Council mandates
Federal Council mandates
Seats in state parliaments
Government grants 61.8 million euros (2018)
Number of members 600,000 (total of the sub-organizations (2017) )
Party structure 9 regional groups
2359 city / community groups
Minimum age 15 years
Alignment Christian Democracy
Economic Liberalism
International connections International Democratic Union (IDU)
Mandates in the European Parliament
European party European People's Party (EPP)
EP club Group of the European People's Party
colour Black , turquoise (since 2017)

The Austrian People's Party ( ÖVP , People's Party ), also known as The New People's Party since 2017 , is one of the traditional large parties in Austria . It represents the bourgeois , conservative spectrum and is traditionally considered to be close to the economy, the farmers and the Roman Catholic Church .

The ÖVP is territorial with its nine national organizations and with its six sub-organizations ( Young ÖVP , Austrian Workers' Union  (ÖAAB), Austrian Farmers' Union , Austrian Senior Citizens ' Union , Austrian Business Association and ÖVP Women) functionally structured, which results in different interest groups with partly contradicting claims within the party. Due to the indirect party, membership is mainly acquired through one of the sub-organizations and only in exceptional cases through direct accession to the ÖVP. This means that most ÖVP members pay, with clear differences in the amount of contributions, to their respective sub-organization and not directly to the party. All membership fees are divided between the party and the sub-organization in accordance with the ÖVP party statute.

Since 1945, the ÖVP has provided the Federal Chancellor in 15 of 32  federal governments . Six of the nine provincial governors of Austria (in Lower Austria , Upper Austria , Salzburg , Tyrol , Vorarlberg and Styria ) are members of the ÖVP; it is also part of the provincial government of Carinthia . From the federal government Vranitzky II (1987), the ÖVP was represented in the federal government without interruption until the dismissal of the federal government Kurz I in 2019. In the incumbentIn addition to the Federal Chancellor, the ÖVP also provides the Foreign Minister, the Finance Minister, the Interior Minister, the Education Minister and the Ministers for Digitization and Economy, for National Defense, for Agriculture and Tourism, for Work, Youth and Family, for Integration and Women as well for European politics, plus a state secretary in the environment department. With Franz Fischler , Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Johannes Hahn, the People's Party provided all Austrian commissioners in the European Union. With Kurt Waldheim and Thomas Klestil , two of their candidates were elected Federal President and served a total of 18 years.


Even when it was founded in 1945, the ÖVP understood itself - also based on the teachings of the First Republic, which had led to Austrofascism and National Socialism - as a broad, bourgeois people's party that was supposed to combine Catholic social doctrine , conservatism and liberalism . It differed from its predecessor, the Christian Social Party  (CS), in its commitment to parliamentary democracy and the Austrian nation . Their commitment to nations was directly linked to that of Austrian action in the interwar period.

The close relationship to the Catholic Church initially persisted in terms of staff and the social structure, but the evangelically oriented Landbund  (LB) , for example, was also part of this party, which was still part of the German national camp in the First Republic . Overall, the focus was placed on a bourgeois collecting party in the middle, which was also reflected in the choice of the name. Although the religious reference no longer appears in the name in the second republic in order to take account of the consistent separation of church and state , the ÖVP is still linked to Christian democratic values today , and as such has been part of the since Austria's accession to the EUGroup of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) in the European Parliament.

The basic program of 1945 ( 15 guiding principles ) was followed in 1972 by the Salzburg program , which was supplemented in 1985 by the future manifesto.

In the basic program of 1995 the “Christian Democratic Party” and “Party of the Eco- Social Market Economy ” tried to take social and political developments into account: “Party of the liberal constitutional state and the open society”. The “Austrian Party in Europe” represented the following values, among others: “ Freedom , responsibility , performance , security and subsidiarity ”, as well as “Preserving the natural foundations of life for future generations”.

In 2015 the party gave itself a new basic program and organizational statute and speaks of itself as the "New People's Party". In this, the ÖVP sees itself anchored in the political center: “We are the party of the political and social center.” The People's Party is still committed to the Christian-humanist image of man, but now equates the various religions “as sources of values” almost equally ; it also faces the possibilities “of biotechnology at the beginning of human life” and does not want to dictate to people “how they have to live”.

In addition, the party is seen in principle as close to the economy. The economic figure of the honorable businessman is not only elevated to the status of a model in the economy, but “in all areas of society”. A middle way between conservatism and economic liberal orientation is being propagated , with more personal provision and less “state-guaranteed solidarity”. The traditional representation of the rural peasantry - in contrast to the urban workers by the left - lost in importance over time.


Foundation and beginnings

Leopold Figl, co-founder, first Federal Chancellor of the Second Republic, later Foreign Minister of the State Treaty and Governor of Lower Austria

The ÖVP was founded on April 17, 1945 in the Schottenstift (Schottenhof, 1st district) in Vienna by Leopold Kunschak (chairman), Hans Pernter (managing chairman), Lois Weinberger , Leopold Figl , Julius Raab and Felix Hurdes (general secretary).

A broad spectrum of positions should have a place in the collective movement “Austrian People's Party”. Essentially, it was about a balance between home guard-oriented "patriotic", who at the beginning of the 1930s, still on the basis of the " Korneuburg oath " of the home guard , had dismantled parliamentarism in Austria, and those Christian socials who now , after the time of National Socialism , confessed to parliamentary democracy and renounced the authoritarian course under Engelbert Dollfuss . In terms of economic policy, the ÖVP represented according to Catholic social teachinginitially an attitude critical of capitalism (comparable to the Ahlen program of the German CDU) and only from 1949 onwards clearly admitted to market economy concepts.

An alliance structure has established itself as the foundation for the new party. Even before the ÖVP in April were 1,945 workers and employees Bund and Bauernbund early May (apostrophized as the "cradle of the People's Party"), founded Wirtschaftsbund .

Five days before the founding of the ÖVP, the Red Army marched into Vienna. Karl Renner , who was already prominently involved in the founding of the First Republic in 1918, took up talks with all three parties, the newly founded ÖVP, the SPÖ , of which he was a member, and the KPÖ , with the consent of Stalin , to form a government.

The government, which he headed as State Chancellor, ultimately comprised 29 members (State Secretaries with the rank of current ministers, undersecretaries with the rank of current state secretaries). The three founding parties of the Second Republic were represented equally and controlled each other because there was no parliament yet. The ÖVP had nine members, initially party chairman Kunschak at the top of the government, soon Figl (as state secretary without a portfolio). The ÖVP had secured the economic departments in this government: trade and transport, agriculture and, from September 26th, the foreign office.

In mid-June, the federal ÖVP formulated its “15 programmatic guiding principles”, and in September it carried out the generation change at its head: Figl became federal party leader, Kunschak honorary chairman.

On October 20, 1945, the Renner government was recognized by the Western Allies, and shortly afterwards it announced elections to the National Council . In the election campaign, the ÖVP positioned itself as “ the Austrian party” with the national colors, in a pioneering and constructive spirit , decidedly anti-Marxist . With 49.8% of the valid votes and 85 mandates, the ÖVP won an absolute majority. On the basis of this election result, Leopold Figl again formed a concentration government (instead of a possible sole government), which included seven ÖVP members, five SPÖ members (Vice Chancellor: Adolf Schärf ), but only one KPÖ member.

In the National Council election on October 9, 1949 , both the ÖVP and the SPÖ lost significant shares of the vote: the ÖVP around five percent, the SPÖ around six percent. In contrast, the newly founded Association of Independents (VdU), the reservoir of the “national third camp ”, made it into the National Council straight away with 11.6% of the votes (in Austria, the national camp always means the German nationals). Leopold Figl then formed his second coalition government with the SPÖ under Adolf Schärf .

The "Raab-Kamitz Course"

Julius Raab

After the defeat of the ÖVP candidate Heinrich Gleißner in the first popular election of the Federal President in May 1951, there was open criticism of the party leadership in the ÖVP and finally the successive takeover of the party leadership by the economic wing around Julius Raab . In June 1952 Raab was elected managing director and at the end of February 1953 party chairman. As a result, there were further personnel changes in the government and a strengthening of the "patriotic" in the ÖVP at the expense of the Christian social direction.

Finance Minister Reinhard Kamitz's economic program was geared towards thrift and a hard schilling currency. The SPÖ refused their approval. So there were early elections on February 22, 1953 , in which the ÖVP again lost significantly and fell behind the SPÖ in terms of votes . Due to the right to vote, however, she had a lead of one mandate over the SPÖ. Federal President Körner commissioned Raab to form a government, on April 2, 1953, the ÖVP-SPÖ government Raab-Schärf took office.

The implementation of the economic concerns of the ÖVP took place in the development of the social market economy under Kamitz in the attempt to simultaneously reorganize the state budget through thrift and investment promotion of consumer goods production (according to the propagated motto: "First earn, then spend": the "Raab-Kamitz course "). Decades later, the ÖVP criticized Bruno Kreisky's and the SPÖ's debt policy , referring to the frugal Kamitz, who had advocated a largely balanced state budget .

In 1955 the Raab-Schärf government conducted negotiations in Moscow, during which, according to legend, the hard-drinking Austrians Raab and Figl “drank under the table” (“Now d 'phylloxera, then san s' waach!” Quoted a German newspaper in a cartoon). The government promised the Soviet Union neutrality based on the Swiss model. As a result, on May 15, 1955, the State Treaty with the four occupying powers, who left the country that same year, was signed in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna . Foreign Minister Leopold Figlshowing the state treaty on the balcony of the castle to thousands of compatriots beaming with joy, has since been featured in every Austrian history book. His moved exclamation “Austria is free!” Was actually heard in the hall, as there was no microphone on the balcony.

In early elections on May 13, 1956 , the ÖVP was able to win again significantly in votes and won 82 mandates. The government was again formed with the SPÖ. When the Hungarian Revolution was crushed by the Red Army in autumn 1956 , the ÖVP-led government left no doubt that the persecution of Hungarian refugees on Austrian territory by foreign soldiers would not be tolerated. The newly formed armed forces were ordered to the eastern border. Refugee Hungarians were welcomed with open arms.

In the election to the Federal President in 1957, the ÖVP candidate Wolfgang Denk was only barely defeated by Vice Chancellor Adolf Schärf . In its basic program “What we want” from 1958, the ÖVP emphasized education, the family, the own home for every family, propagated a “people of owners” and saw the “economic future of Austria in Europe”.

In the National Council election in 1959 , the crisis of the ÖVP became visible: Again, the ÖVP fell behind the SPÖ in terms of votes, but had a lead of one mandate. Another grand coalition under Julius Raab came about ; Bruno Pittermann had been Vice Chancellor since 1957 and remained until 1966 .

With the “New Austrian Society”, under Josef Krainer senior and Karl Gruber, the first major reform movement emerged within the ÖVP. This moment of renewal led to the replacement of Raab. The new federal party chairman was Alfons Gorbach from 1960 , who also became Federal Chancellor on April 11, 1961.

In the National Council election in 1962 , the ÖVP won two additional mandates. On April 2, 1964, Josef Klaus took over government as Federal Chancellor. On October 22, 1965, budget negotiations in the Council of Ministers of the grand coalition failed . As a result, early elections were scheduled.

The sole government of the ÖVP Klaus 1966–1970

Josef Klaus

In the National Council elections on March 6, 1966 , the ÖVP won four additional seats and thus achieved an absolute majority. After brief negotiations with the SPÖ, Josef Klaus formed the first sole government of the Second Republic ( Federal Government Klaus II ). After 21 years of a grand coalition, this was unusual for Austria. In his government statement, Klaus named the successful conclusion of negotiations with the EEC and took the first steps towards a treaty as the first problem to be solved . In 1966, the ÖVP proposed the first female member of the government since the founding of the republic in 1918 to the Federal President : Social Affairs Minister Grete Rehor .

In 1964 a radio referendum was launched outside the parties, supported by newspapers. The aim was to free state broadcasting (later: ORF ) from the proportional representation of the large parties or from government dependency. The huge support that this referendum received from the people prompted the Klaus government and the ÖVP in 1967 to carry out a broadcasting reform in accordance with the intentions of the request.

This step was intended to damage the ÖVP politically: The new oppositional challenger Klaus, Bruno Kreisky , was a lot more eloquent and telegenic than the Federal Chancellor. The TV journalists, temporarily exempted from political tutelage, saw no reason to withhold this from TV viewers.

In 1968 Finance Minister Stephan Koren felt compelled to raise some taxes in order to avoid higher national debts. The opposition SPÖ considered this step to be an attack on the "little man"; it scored points in the election campaign for the National Council election on March 1, 1970 by opposing the tax increase and became (81 of the 165 seats) the strongest party in the next National Council.

1970: The turning point - 17 years of opposition

The social change at the end of the 1960s led to a change of political power in Austria in 1970. In the National Council election on March 1, 1970 , the SPÖ won the majority of votes and seats, the ÖVP lost seven seats. The SPÖ formed a minority government with the support of the FPÖ , while the ÖVP played the role of the opposition party. Josef Klaus resigned the chairmanship of the party. In his place came the former Vice Chancellor Hermann Withalm , who in turn was replaced by Karl Schleinzer on June 4, 1972 .

In order to become the strongest force again, the People's Party under Schleinzer initially pursued the strategy of a targeted opening to the right. As in Julius Raab's time, attempts were made to “inhale” the FPÖ and, like the German CSU, to become the sole bourgeois collecting movement. For this purpose, candidates for the National Council election in 1971 with the prominent international lawyer Felix Ermacora and the right-wing conservative journalist Ernst Strachwitz were nominated who were respected in national circles. Early National Council elections took place on October 10, 1971, in which the SPÖ achieved an absolute majority with 93 seats, while the ÖVP only had 80 seats. Schleinzer's calculation did not work out.

1972 was declared the “year of party work”, in which the opportunity to program a new profile could also be used. In the “Salzburg Program” adopted, the ÖVP committed itself to a “partnership-based society”, to the ideological self-positioning as “progressive center” and “Christian” party (foundation of Catholic social teaching) and presented the person as the highest value in politics (image of man in the tradition of the ahistorical Christian doctrine of natural law).

In the middle of the National Council election campaign, the party chairman and top candidate Karl Schleinzer had a fatal accident on July 19, 1975 . The bank manager Josef Taus was elected as the new party chairman. The SPÖ under Bruno Kreisky was able to regain an absolute majority in the 1975 National Council election. In the National Council elections in 1979 , the ÖVP again lost votes and three seats.

The renaissance of the ÖVP under Alois Mock

Alois Mock as a guest at the CDU federal party conference in 1983
Party logo from the 1980s

Josef Taus resigned as federal party leader on June 13, 1979. He was followed by Alois Mock on. This began a broad-based party reform: “Not the voters, the ÖVP has to change!” The party presidium acted as the new decision-making body at the top, the primacy of the entire party was defined over the leagues and the financial sovereignty of the party headquarters was strengthened. A “mock plan” provided for “securing jobs” through a “strong economy”, “less taxes” and “more purchasing power”.

The great success of the ÖVP referendum for the "enactment of a conference center savings law", shortly before the 1983 elections announced taxes and charges for broad strata of the population ("Mallorca package"), the growth of the green movement and the continued crisis of the nationalized Industry led to the loss of the absolute majority of seats in the SPÖ. The ÖVP was able to win four mandates. It came to the coalition of the SPÖ under Fred Sinowatz with the FPÖ.

In 1986 the ÖVP candidate Kurt Waldheim won the elections for Federal President. Federal Chancellor Fred Sinowatz resigned, followed by Finance Minister Franz Vranitzky . This terminated the coalition after the change of chairman in the FPÖ to Jörg Haider . In the new elections on November 23, 1986 , the ÖVP was just behind the SPÖ.

Grand coalition and EU accession

After lengthy negotiations, Franz Vranitzky and Alois Mock agreed on January 15, 1987, on a joint government with eight members each and a non-party Justice Minister. The most urgent issues of this government were democracy reform and European politics with the aim of full membership in the EC / EU . In 1989 the governing parties reached an agreement on the further procedure for joining the EC.

Domestically and within the party, however, the ÖVP fell into a crisis that culminated on October 17, 1989 with the replacement of Alois Mock by Josef Riegler as federal party leader and vice-chancellor, who positioned the concept of the eco-social market economy - a kind of "reconciliation" between ecology and economy , which found its way into the basic program of the party.

In the elections to the National Council on October 7, 1990 , the ÖVP lost 17 seats. At the end of June 1991, Erhard Busek replaced Riegler as party chairman.

In the referendum on joining the EU in June 1994, a clear two-thirds majority of Austrian voters voted in favor of joining the EU . On January 1st, 1995 Austria joined the European Union together with Sweden and Finland .

The ÖVP's hope of doing better as a successful “European party” in the elections on October 7, 1994 was not fulfilled. It slipped to 27.7% and lost another eight seats, and the SPÖ also lost votes. The losses of the two major parties were due to the political rise of Jörg Haider . Its FPÖ received 22.5% of the vote.

On November 29, 1994, the Vranitzky government was sworn in. Due to the low popularity of the grand coalition, it was feared that the ÖVP would slip into third place behind the FPÖ. At the beginning of 1995 another chairman discussion broke out in the ÖVP and a discussion about the continuation of the coalition with the SPÖ. On April 22, 1995, Wolfgang Schüssel was elected party chairman.

The era Schüssel - coalition with the FPÖ and the BZÖ

Wolfgang Schüssel , from 1995 to 2000 Vice Chancellor and from 2000 to 2007 Federal Chancellor of Austria

As a result of ongoing disputes over the budget, the ÖVP terminated the coalition, but failed to achieve its goal in the National Council election on December 17, 1995 . The ÖVP was able to increase slightly to 28.3% of the vote, but remained well behind the SPÖ. It came back to the grand coalition , 1997 Vranitzky was replaced by Viktor Klima .

In the election to the European Parliament on October 19, the ÖVP became Austria's party with the most votes for the first time since 1966. Nevertheless, in the 1999 National Council elections , the ÖVP fell slightly behind the FPÖ in terms of votes (with the same number of seats). During the election campaign, Schüssel announced that the ÖVP would go into opposition as the third strongest force, but revised this statement after the election. After long negotiations between ÖVP and SPÖ failed, ÖVP and FPÖ agreed in January 2000 to form the new government. The participation of the FPÖ in government led to harsh domestic criticism and foreign policy to the EU-XIV sanctions against Austria. As a result, Eva Petrik and Hermann Lein left the ÖVP, among others .

In 2002, two members of the FPÖ government and the FPÖ club chairman resigned due to major conflicts between the more liberal wing represented in the government and Jörg Haider's supporters . There were early elections on November 24, 2002 , in which the ÖVP achieved a great electoral success: it gained around 15 percent and was by far the strongest party with 42.3 percent of the vote. Again the ÖVP and FPÖ, which had lost a lot of votes, formed a coalition.

In April 2005 there was a split in the FPÖ coalition partner: While the group around Heinz-Christian Strache , Andreas Mölzer and Ewald Stadler opposed staying in the government and subsequently sought a "new" FPÖ, the members loyal to the government around Jörg stepped up Haider and Hubert Gorbach left the party and founded the “ Alliance Future Austria ”. The ÖVP then continued the coalition with the BZÖ.

In 2005 the ÖVP celebrated its 60th anniversary. She was represented in the federal government for 44 years, mostly in a coalition. Schüssel also led the ÖVP in the 2006 National Council elections , where it lost massively and, with 34.33 percent, slipped behind the SPÖ as the second strongest party.

Another grand coalition with the SPÖ

Results of the ÖVP in national elections from 1945 to 2019

Negotiations with the SPÖ lasted over three months under the leadership of Wolfgang Schüssel . On January 9, 2007, two days before the inauguration of the new federal government, Schüssel resigned as federal party leader of the ÖVP. The party executive appointed Wilhelm Molterer as his provisional successor. On April 21, 2007, a party congress took place in Salzburg , at which Molterer was elected Schuessel's successor with around 97% of the votes. Molterer had been under Chancellor Gusenbauer since January 11, 2007holds both the office of Vice Chancellor and the finance department. In the opinion of some newspaper commentators in the government program of the Gusenbauer I cabinet, the ÖVP was able to assert itself in many areas. (e.g. in questions of Eurofighter procurement, retention of tuition fees ).

At the end of June 2008, the designated party chairman of the SPÖ, Werner Faymann , and Alfred Gusenbauer announced in a letter to the editor to the Neue Kronen Zeitung that they wanted to hold referenda on EU treaties in the future. Subsequently, Wilhelm Molterer took this as an opportunity on July 7th, 2008 to demand immediate new elections, the SPÖ agreed. Wilhelm Molterer ran as the top candidate of the ÖVP in the elections.

In the National Council election on September 28, 2008 , the ÖVP incurred heavy losses and again remained the second strongest force behind the SPÖ. Wilhelm Molterer then announced his resignation and proposed the previous Minister of Environment and Agriculture, Josef Pröll , nephew of Lower Austrian Governor Erwin Pröll , as his successor and executive federal party chairman. On November 28, 2008, Pröll was elected the youngest federal party leader of the ÖVP to date with 89.6% of the delegate's votes.

Even before the election of Pröll as the new federal party chairman, he and Werner Faymann of the SPÖ had agreed on a new edition of the grand coalition with Faymann as Federal Chancellor . The ÖVP was assigned the ministries for finance, interior affairs, justice, economy, science, agriculture and foreign policy, Pröll became finance minister and vice chancellor.

In the surveys, the ÖVP under Pröll was initially in first place, until the scandals of the black-and-blue era ( BUWOG affair , Eurofighter affair , Telekom affair , Ernst Strasser ) brought the upswing to an end . On April 13, 2011, Josef Pröll resigned from all political offices for health reasons.

He was succeeded as party chairman by Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger of the Workers 'and Employees' Association of the party, who led the ÖVP with 24 percent in the 2013 National Council elections but only came second. He switched from the foreign ministry to the finance ministry, but soon found himself exposed to massive criticism from within the party, especially from the western federal states and the economic association. He therefore resigned in August 2014, his successor as party chairman and vice chancellor was Minister of Economics and Science Reinhold Mitterlehner, who announced a comprehensive party reform process. In mid-April 2015, the party celebrated its 70th anniversary at a fair and a ceremony in the Schottenstift. At the party congress on May 12th and 13th, 2015, a new basic program was adopted, which represents the end point of "Evolution People's Party". In the state elections of 2015 there were consistently significant losses of votes for the ÖVP. In Burgenland she had to leave the state government and make way for a red-blue coalition. In Styria it was only the second strongest party, but with Hermann Schützenhöfer it won the post of governor again. In Upper Austria she lost votes, Josef Pühringerbut remained governor and won a new political cooperation partner with the FPÖ instead of the Greens . The losses in the federal capital Vienna were particularly painful , where the previous General Secretary Gernot Blümel became the new party chairman after the fall into the uniqueness. In the federal presidential election in Austria in 2016 , ÖVP candidate Andreas Khol suffered a heavy defeat with 11.12% in the first ballot and was unable to qualify for the second ballot. The People's Party gave no recommendation for the runoff between Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) and Alexander Van der Bellen (Greens).

Era in short: "The New People's Party"

On May 15, 2017, Reinhold Mitterlehner resigned from all his political offices, whereupon Sebastian Kurz took over the leadership of the party and the National Council decided to dissolve itself. The ÖVP's electoral party for the 2017 National Council election was named List Sebastian Kurz - The New People's Party (ÖVP) ; Briefly, the right to nominate non-party candidates was assured for them. In the National Council elections on October 15, 2017, the ÖVP was again the strongest party before the SPÖ and FPÖ with 31.5 percent for the first time since 2002 . The ÖVP also changed its political color from black toturquoise . After the exploratory talks with the other four parliamentary parties, Sebastian Kurz announced on October 24th that he wanted to start coalition negotiations with the FPÖ. On December 18, 2017, the turquoise-blue Federal Government Kurz I was appointed and sworn in by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen . On May 18, 2019, Kurz announced early elections because of the " Ibiza affair " surrounding FPÖ Vice Chancellor Strache. Since Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was dismissed from the government at the suggestion of the Federal Chancellor, the FPÖ also withdrew its other ministers from the federal government. The ÖVP-led minority governmentwas overthrown in parliament on May 27, 2019 with the votes of the SPÖ, the FPÖ and the list now and on June 3, the Federal President swore in the Federal Government Bierlein as a transitional government.

For the 2019 election campaign, the ÖVP announced in August of that year that it would forego donations entirely. In September 2019, Der Falter published documents that were leaked to the medium after a proven hacker attack , according to which the ÖVP had again deliberately exceeded the statutory election campaign cost limit of 7 million euros in 2017. In fact, she spent 13 million euros on the election. Inadmissibly high donations were hidden by denominations and the published list of donations was incomplete. Because of this affair, the ÖVP sued the Falter for incorrect reporting and falsified documents. There is still no judgment in the ongoing legal dispute.

In the National Council elections on September 29, 2019 , the ÖVP was clearly the strongest party with 37.5% (+6.0) and achieved a majority in all federal states except Vienna. It was also ahead in all districts with the exception of Linz, Wels and Steyr and 18 districts of Vienna. On October 7, 2019, Federal President Van der Bellen gave Kurz the mandate to form a government. On January 7, 2020, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen praised the turquoise-green federal government under Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz . In addition to the Chancellor, the ÖVP provides 10 ministers and 1 state secretary.


Last election wins and losses
Countries in which the ÖVP is represented in the state parliament
  • as a member of the state government and the governor .
  • as a member of the state government
  • as an opposition party
  • The ÖVP is represented almost everywhere in Austria . It traditionally achieved particularly high proportions of votes in rural regions and in the western federal states. In four federal states (Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg) the ÖVP has provided the governor without interruption since 1945 ; it has also provided the governor in Burgenland from 1945 to 1964, in Carinthia from 1991 to 1999, in Salzburg from 1945 to 2004 and again since 2013 and in of Styria from 1945 to 2005 and again since 2015 the governor.

    Traditionally , their core voters are self-employed , entrepreneurs , farmers, civil servants and executives . As a federally structured party, it is an indirect party , that is, membership is usually acquired through membership in one of the large sub-organizations, the so-called leagues , that shape the ÖVP.

    These include the Austrian Workers' Union (ÖAAB), the Austrian Business Union (ÖWB) and the Austrian Farmers' Union (ÖBB), which are largely autonomous, as well as the Young ÖVP (JVP), the ÖVP Women and the Austrian Seniors ' Union (ÖSB).

    Many other, especially Catholic organizations, such as the Mittelschüler-Kartell-Verband or the Austrian Cartellverband , are close to the ÖVP.

    Federal party leaders and Federal Chancellor since 1945

    Bundesregierung Kurz II Bundesregierung Bierlein Bundesregierung Kurz I Bundesregierung Kern Bundesregierung Faymann II Bundesregierung Faymann I Bundesregierung Gusenbauer Bundesregierung Schüssel II Bundesregierung Schüssel I Bundesregierung Klima Bundesregierung Vranitzky V Bundesregierung Vranitzky IV Bundesregierung Vranitzky III Bundesregierung Vranitzky II Bundesregierung Vranitzky I Bundesregierung Sinowatz Bundesregierung Kreisky IV Bundesregierung Kreisky III Bundesregierung Kreisky II Bundesregierung Kreisky I Bundesregierung Klaus II Bundesregierung Klaus I Bundesregierung Gorbach II Bundesregierung Gorbach I Bundesregierung Raab IV Bundesregierung Raab III Bundesregierung Raab II Bundesregierung Raab I Bundesregierung Figl III Bundesregierung Figl II Bundesregierung Figl I Provisorische Staatsregierung Renner 1945 Sebastian Kurz Reinhold Mitterlehner Michael Spindelegger Josef Pröll Wilhelm Molterer Wolfgang Schüssel Erhard Busek Josef Riegler Alois Mock Josef Taus Karl Schleinzer Hermann Withalm Josef Klaus Alfons Gorbach Julius Raab Leopold Figl Leopold Kunschak

    ÖVP general secretaries since 1945

    The general secretary of the ÖVP manages the organizational issues of the federal party, maintains contacts with the state party leaderships of the federal states and plans information and election campaigns. In everyday political life he is responsible for press releases and responses to statements by other parties.

    organization structure

    The ÖVP is structured both territorially and functionally. Territorially, it follows the state structure levels of the federal states, political districts and, in some cases, also the judicial districts and municipalities . Functionally, it has a structured structure.

    ÖVP membership is usually acquired through membership in one of the sub-organizations. According to the party statutes, direct membership is possible through a “direct membership” in one of the nine state parties; however, this seldom occurs in practice. Due to their small number, the direct members are not a relevant group in the internal party power structure. The relationship between the party as a whole and sub-organizations is the subject of many attempts at reform and disputes, since the sub-organizations often represent opposing interests and make it difficult for the party to appear cohesive to the outside world.

    National organizations

    Country organizations ( "country parties" ) are the


    The ÖVP is further divided into six sub-organizations:

    The confederations are independent organizations and largely autonomous due to their financial strength. Ordinary members of the leagues are also ÖVP members in accordance with the party statutes.

    Related organizations

    "Related associations"

    Up to the 2007 version, the federal party organization statute used the term “affiliated associations” for “organizations that represent the principles of the ÖVP and are in a political community of interests with the party”. These had to be recognized by the federal party executive and were represented in the organs of the ÖVP by functionaries who also had to be party members. The federal party organization statute of 2015 no longer provides for "related associations", but some of them still exist in the statutes of the state parties. These organizations include or were:

    The Political Academy of the ÖVP is still mentioned in the statute .


    Other organizations are formally independent from parties, but are linked to the ÖVP in terms of personnel and ideology and are therefore sometimes referred to as ÖVP “environment” or “ apron organizations ”. These are far more numerous and important than the officially related associations. Usually they are active in a certain social area parallel to a “red”, ie SPÖ-related counterpart. This is an expression of the pronounced political camp formation and corporatism in Austria .

    Party organs of the ÖVP

    Since March 2005, the ÖVP has had only one regional party newspaper, the Neuen Volksblatt (Upper Austria), up to which point the Salzburger Volkszeitung was also party-owned. Both newspapers only play a subordinate role in the daily newspaper market in the respective federal states .


    In April 2007, the ÖVP was the first Austrian party to invite bloggers to its federal party conference (the 33rd, it took place in Salzburg ) and to accredit them as journalists .

    Known members


    Web links

    Commons : Austrian People's Party  - collection of images, videos and audio files
     Wikinews: ÖVP  - in the news

    Individual evidence

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