Alliance Future Austria

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Alliance Future Austria
Logo of the BZÖ
Party leader Vacant
founding April 17, 2005
Place of foundation Salzburg
National Council mandates
Federal Council mandates
Seats in state parliaments
Government grants None (2014)
Minimum age 16
Alignment Right-wing populism
EU skepticism
Mandates in the European Parliament
colour orange

The Alliance Future Austria ( BZÖ ) is a right-wing populist Austrian party . It was founded in April 2005 by members of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) around Jörg Haider . In the National Council elections in 2006 and 2008 , the BZÖ made it into parliament , and in the European elections in 2009 , it also made it into the European Parliament with one of a total of 19 mandates from Austria. In contrast, the party failed in the 2013 National Council election because of the 4% hurdle.

With the exception of Carinthia , the party is hardly represented at the state and municipal level. In December 2009 the Carinthian regional group broke away from the mother party and cooperated under the name Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten with the FPÖ until July 2013 , after which it was completely absorbed into the FPÖ. Since the death of Jörg Haider, the top management of the BZÖ has tried to address more and more economically liberal voters. Party chairman (federal alliance chairman ) was Josef Bucher from 2009 to October 2013 . After his resignation, Gerald Grosz was elected as the new chairman of the alliance, who was followed on March 30, 2015 by Johanna Trodt-Limpl , who, however, was excluded from the Carinthia regional group in July 2017 due to internal disputes. Officially, this had no effect on their function in the federal party. The BZÖ Vienna was dissolved in July 2019. Currently, the party practically only exists in Carinthia under its regional chairman Helmut Nikel , a councilor from Grafenstein .

In the national elections in Austria in 2019 the BZÖ planned according to the Carinthian Secretary General Karlheinz Klement a comeback at the federal level, but there was lack of support statements only in Carinthia for election. Within Carinthia, the party received 0.2% of the vote.

Content profile

Since the unexpected death of Jörg Haider, the party has tried to give itself a profile that is independent of his person and that can be distinguished from the newly strengthened FPÖ. Josef Bucher tried to position the party as "right-wing liberal" - liberal, above all in questions of economic policy, but restrictive on issues such as migration. This was only partially successful. In 2011, Andreas Krischhofer analyzed from Linz's opinion institute IMAS the public perception of the BZÖ as follows: "The BZÖ is not perceived as a liberal party, but as moderate Freedom Party." It should be the party leader not succeeded in gaining self-employed, entrepreneurs and professionals as a group of voters , but skilled workers and employees. The BZÖ does not address the young like the FPÖ, but the 30- to 50-year-olds. On the other hand, women prefer the BZÖ more than men in elections.

Positions as a National Council party

The following positions come from the BZÖ's party program from 2010, when the party was still represented in the National Council.

Economic policy

In the field of economic policy, the BZÖ takes a classically liberal line according to its self-image. It is committed to the freely competitive social market economy based on private property . Willingness to perform is the top priority for the BZÖ and should therefore be encouraged. This idea should follow social hammocks are out of the way and an incentive system be created, the so-called power unwilling animated. The current tax system must be reformed in favor of the middle class and a single tax introduced for companies. In addition, the BZÖ wants to initiate privatization steps in order to create different framework conditions for the Austrian economy . The establishment of an infrastructure company or generally freer entrepreneurship should also contribute to this. On the other hand, the BZÖ rejects the privatization of the basic supply, for example with water, and speaks out against the fracking method for energy generation . In addition, the BZÖ has presented the foreigner check for migrant workers, which uses a clearly defined point system based on the example of Canada and Australia . Immigrants who meet the needs, have a good knowledge of German and a high level of education and are able to work should receive the right to stay. Entitlement to social benefits should only exist after a long period of employment in Austria. The aim is for short forms of residence that only allow family immigration and permanent residence after repeated success.

Foreign policy

The basic program of the BZÖ, approved in 2010, advocates a pro-European, but EU-critical stance. It calls for more transparency, public participation and a reduction in bureaucracy within the European Union. In addition, since the party was founded, there has been a desire to create a so-called core Europe , around which countries should exist that are less able to help shape the policy of the Union . In order to set up such a model, the basic program requires the introduction of three different levels. At the first level are the countries that want to work on the whole of the Union, the second are those that only implement parts of it, and the third are those - such as Turkey - for which only a partnership is possible. For the BZÖ, however, it is also clear that the freedom of the individual citizen always takes precedence over the further development of the integration process. The alliance aims to secure economic and social prosperity through cooperation with neighboring countries. In terms of foreign policy, the BZÖ was the only party in the National Council that specifically called for NATO membership. In its current program, however, the BZÖ rejects Austria's accession to NATO and an EU army.

Security policy

In addition to a strong state hand, the BZÖ also wants to involve the private sector in the fight against crime in the area of ​​internal security. Savings and downsizing are rejected, as strengthening the police is superficial. To protect freedom, the BZÖ calls for the expansion of video surveillance systems , but speaks out clearly against unjustified surveillance by the state. In particular, the party wants to stop the transmission of data to the United States. Great importance is attached to the fight against drug crime and Islamic fundamentalism , which the BZÖ sees as a threat to security. A standardization of the building regulations should therefore exclude the construction of mosques and minarets . In terms of asylum, the BZÖ is committed to Austria's humanitarian tasks, but wants to end the influx of so-called economic refugees. One also wants to prevent overloading by enforcing compliance with the Dublin Agreement. The focus is on the participation of asylum seekers in the proceedings; Severely delayed processes should be resolved by checking the degree of integration. In addition, asylum seekers should be obliged to do community service.

Social policy

The BZÖ takes different positions on socio-political issues. While there is a tendency towards so-called gay marriage in terms of equality for homosexual couples , the position on the protection of ethnic minorities is significantly less liberal. For the pension system , the BZÖ wants the introduction of a 3-pillar model consisting of a state pension, employee provision and private pension provision, and the abolition of privileges and benefits in state-affiliated companies. This is to prevent several systems from hitting at the same time. The BZÖ particularly wants to promote the private pension system. In order to narrow the income gap between the sexes, the BZÖ calls for more women in top positions and the introduction or increase of statutory minimum wages.

Educational policy

According to the BZÖ program, the education system should ensure that no individual gaps arise when entering professional life. Therefore, education should start in kindergarten . Among other things, they want to start with German courses there to eradicate the language weaknesses of many children so that they can be better integrated into society. In addition, the BZÖ sees it as a necessity to introduce a limit on the proportion of children who are non-German native speakers in school classes. In addition, the party calls for the introduction of a common school for 6 to 15 year olds with internal differentiation. There should be enrollment and tuition fees at universities to prevent the rush. Furthermore, one wants to promote private universities.

Current positions

Today's BZÖ still sees itself in the political tradition of Jörg Haider and in some cases continues to pursue positions similar to those mentioned above. At the latest since the attempted comeback under Karlheinz Klement and Helmut Nikel, more radical positions have also found their way into the party program, the BZÖ positions itself much further to the right on some issues than during its time in the National Council. The party actively fuels conspiracy theories surrounding the accidental death of its party founder, Karlheinz Klement himself, in lectures immediately before his appointment as general secretary , represented positions that clearly belong to the extreme right-wing spectrum, such as the thesis of a "Jewish-Masonic world conspiracy". For a short time, Martin Sellner , spokesman for the Identitarian Movement Austria , was in discussion as the top candidate for the BZÖ and its Alliance of Patriots in the 2019 National Council election. In the course of the ensuing debate, the Alliance of Patriots was described as a group "... including anti-vaccination opponents, anti-abortion opponents, and opponents of smart meters (a" smart "electricity meter" that is supposed to emit dangerous radiation). And now also from identities. "


Foundation and beginnings (2005–2006)

The party statute was deposited in the Federal Ministry of the Interior on April 3, 2005 in accordance with the Austrian Political Parties Act , and the founding was announced on April 4 by former top politicians of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). On April 6, 2005 the statutes of the BZÖ were published in the official gazette of the Wiener Zeitung , which is necessary for the establishment of a new party. The founding convention of the party, with the resolution of a party program, took place on April 17th in Salzburg.

At the party's founding convention on April 17, 2005, Jörg Haider was elected chairman of the alliance. Vice Chancellor and Infrastructure Minister Hubert Gorbach became the party chairman , Heike Trammer and Karin Gastinger became vice chairmen. The member of the National Council and former FPÖ General Secretary Uwe Scheuch was appointed as the “Alliance Spokesman” . In the initial phase, Gernot Rumpold , a long-time companion of Jörg Haider, was initially responsible for marketing the BZÖ .

Jörg Haider at a BZÖ event (2006)

The BZÖ explicitly committed to the work of the government, to the implementation of the coalition agreement with the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and emphasized its willingness to take on government responsibility to this day as a major difference compared to the FPÖ. Another important reason for the separation of the BZÖ was mentioned by its top representatives as the need to separate from the German nationalist functionaries of the FPÖ. Some of the “alliance positions” formulated when it was founded differed from those of the FPÖ, such as demands for the introduction of the Tobin tax and a uniform tax or the proposal to establish a “core Europe” within the EU with Austria participating. In many areas, so u. a. in immigration and family policy, the positions represented by the BZÖ differed only slightly from those of the former FPÖ. Historically, according to the founding party statute, the BZÖ saw itself in the tradition of the revolution of 1848 . But then in 2005, the statements of caused a sensation and outrage Carinthian Federal Siegfried Kampl , the Wehrmacht - deserters as "comrade murderers" and the denazification as "brutal Nazi persecution" called.

In the run-up to the National Council election in 2006 , the BZÖ began to focus more on “classic” issues of the freedomists, e. Sometimes using the earlier FPÖ slogan Austria first . For example, a 30% reduction in the number of foreigners was called for, as was a limitation of the proportion of foreigners in schools or stricter laws against “sex offenders”. Since then, Turkey's accession to the EU has also been categorically rejected.

In September 2006 the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit published an article about a conversation that the sociologist Oliver Geden (Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University of Berlin ) had with Eduard Mainoni , State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and chairman of the BZÖ regional group Salzburg , for a study on discourse strategies in right-wing populism . Mainoni gives insights into the strategies of the FPÖ and the later BZÖ. So he explained the instrumentalization of the problem of foreigners as a means to win new groups of voters: “What is the background? It is the fear of the people [...] All political parties, even part of the economy, function through fear, through business with fear [...] If we raise this issue in Austria, we have sympathies, we have a constituency that is deeply insecure. It was not for nothing that we made the referendum . ”The fact that the coalition government began to negotiate the Compensation Act for Forced Laborers during the Nazi era , according to Mainoni, was a reaction to the international isolation of the federal government as a result of the participation of the FPÖ. He says: “The ÖVP and the Freedom Party, I wasn't there myself, sat down and thought: Okay! How many billions does that cost us? And then we did that. With that we also had our backs free to deal with the Jewish organizations [...] We bought our way there. "

Naming and main color

The party's name is striking in two ways. On the one hand, the word party is avoided in the official name . The reason for this lies in the past political rhetoric of party founder Jörg Haider, who in the 1990s repeatedly referred to the political opponents SPÖ and ÖVP as "old parties". The traditional "parties" became old, rigid, encrusted, dusty and the like. provided. At the same time an attempt was made (thus still the FPO) to give the own grouping a modern, youthful and fresh image by a certain time, the name long FPÖ was hidden in political speech and instead called the Freedom and with the appropriate symbol F a "Movement" should be conveyed. (Until 2009, the BZÖ regional organization of Carinthia entered the elections with the party designation Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten .) The word alliance, representative of party , consistently continues this political intention, especially with an "alliance" a voluntary membership of independent persons in a Association is associated.

On the other hand, it is noticeable in the name that it is a sequence of three nouns in the nominative , so that no syntactic relationship is established between the words. Even if it is unmistakably clear that the political grouping is supposed to be an “alliance for / in the service of Austria's future”, this unconnected string of words creates a striking and therefore haunting setting of terms. In addition to the exchange of parties by alliances , a term that became fashionable around the end of the 1990s and has since also been considered important from a political point of view will in future be used.

In the party's logo , the Ö is replaced by an O at first glance . This approach has a long tradition. This substitution was often made in abbreviations or names of institutions. (This is the official name of the central financial institution is still Oesterreichische Nationalbank ) With the absence of the Ö dashes or dots above the letter O and their incorporation into its rounding, together with the design of the three abbreviations in the logo, a "rounder", not so bulky and at the same time gives a dynamic, urgent impression with the slight incline of the letters to the right.

Although ideologically the BZÖ belongs to the Third Camp , whose main color is traditionally blue, the decision was made - again to distinguish it from traditional political symbolism - not to use a variant of blue (as the Liberal Forum, which was also split off from the FPÖ in 1993 , did ), but instead used a color that has hitherto hardly been used in political color symbolism, even in Europe: orange. The warm orange color was ideologically largely unaffected and therefore suitable at least to convey a “new beginning”, if not “political warmth”. In addition, the color is well suited for advertising purposes. There was another advantage associated with choosing orange. While it was not possible for the Liberal Forum , whose main color was mostly light blue and yellow at the time of its dissolution in 2014 like that of the FDP , to obtain its own designation of the party using color names (analogous: “the reds” for the SPÖ and “the blacks "For the ÖVP), the BZÖ was able to record a success in this regard within a short time with the new nickname" the oranges ".

First elections under Westenthaler and Haider (2006–2008)

Since the results of the state elections in Styria, Burgenland and Vienna in September / October 2005, the coalition of ÖVP and BZÖ no longer had a majority in the Federal Council , but the majority in the National Council was sufficient to maintain the coalition with the ÖVP until the planned end of the legislative period to be continued in autumn 2006. After the founding of the BZÖ, Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel initially did not rule out new elections, but then announced on April 5, 2005 that the coalition would be continued.

Since the BZÖ was only founded after the National Council election in 2002 by members who were elected as candidates of the FPÖ, it is the first party in the Second Republic to participate in a federal government ( coalition with the ÖVP, with Vice Chancellor and two other ministries) without having ever participated in an election.

In legal terms, the Federal Government is not composed of parties, but of persons who are appointed as government members by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor. These must also enjoy the confidence of the National Council, otherwise a vote of no confidence would be possible. Belonging or not belonging to a party or changing to another party and, if applicable, the question of whether this party is represented in the National Council or not, is not legally decisive.

On May 22, 2006, the former FPÖ club chairman, Peter Westenthaler , was presented as the top candidate and future party chairman and on June 23, 2006, he was also elected "Alliance chairman" at a federal convention in Salzburg. Trammer and Gastinger were confirmed as deputy chairpersons. Club chairman Herbert Scheibner was also elected to deputy Westenthaler, as was Stefan Petzner , press spokesman for Jörg Haider. Vice Chancellor Gorbach and Haider himself no longer held high party offices. Uwe Scheuch remained the Alliance's spokesman at the time. Westenthaler was considered a beacon of hope within the party, but massive improvements in the polls due to the so-called "Westenthaler effect" by the media did not materialize. In October 2006, after Uwe Scheuch left the Carinthian state government, the previous Styrian BZÖ chairman Gerald Grosz was appointed general secretary - previously the alliance spokesman.

In the course of the election campaign for the Austrian National Council election in 2006 , the BZÖ resorted to the term “freedom”. It stood for election nationwide under the name "Die Freiheitlichen - List Westenthaler - BZÖ" (in Carinthia as "Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten - List Jörg Haider - BZÖ"). In addition, blue, the traditional color of the FPÖ, was brought to the fore next to orange in publications, election brochures and advertising materials.

On September 1, 2006, the Freedom Party achieved a the Vienna Regional Court injunction , after which the BZÖ not using the property free and allowed to advertise. The BZÖ was asked to remove all election posters with the imprint "Die Freiheitlichen - List Westenthaler - BZÖ" within eight days, which was also done. The court saw in the name extension an "unlawful interference with a protected name right". The BZÖ saw it differently in Carinthia, which saw itself as the legal successor of the "Freedom Party" (the old FPÖ) and was not subordinate to the federal organization of the BZÖ, as it was its own registered association. The Carinthian BZÖ therefore continued to add the name regardless of the court ruling. Two days earlier, the federal electoral authority had awarded the FPÖ third place on the ballot papers for the National Council election for “reasons of continuity”.

On September 25, 2006, six days before the National Council election, Minister of Justice Karin Gastinger, BZÖ Vice-Chairwoman and top candidate of the party in Styria , announced that she would be leaving the BZÖ. She justified this decision with the fact that she “does not want to be active in any political movement that is xenophobic, that operates with fears” , and cited the intention of the BZÖ party chairman and top candidate Peter Westenthaler to deport 300,000 foreigners in the next few years want. In doing so, she also referred to the interview with Eduard Mainoni, published just a few days earlier, in which he had stated that the FPÖ and BZÖ were instrumentalizing the “foreigner policy” as a “business with fear” in order to win over new groups of voters.

The BZÖ achieved 4.1% in the National Council election on October 1, 2006, making it the smallest party represented in parliament. In eight of the nine federal states, the party remained below the four percent hurdle required for entry into the National Council with results of 1.7 to 3.3% . In Carinthia, where Haider was provincial governor , the BZÖ accounted for 25.9%, which was enough nationwide to barely exceed the minimum limit.

On February 1, 2007, a political academy was founded, which bears the name "Future Academy Austria". Herbert Scheibner became its president and the former Viennese councilor Gerold Sassmann was the managing director.

One month before the National Council election on September 28, 2008 , Jörg Haider was elected as the new party chairman on August 30, 2008 - unanimously, but without opposing candidates. During the election campaign, the party called for a reduction in the mineral oil tax in connection with the prevailing topic of “inflation” and nevertheless led an election campaign that largely addressed the issue of foreigners. According to the official final result, the BZÖ received 10.7% of the vote; the number of mandates was thereby increased from 7 to 21.

After Haider's death

On October 11, 2008, Federal Party Chairman Jörg Haider was killed in a traffic accident. The next day, the BZÖ's executive committee nominated the previous general secretary and deputy party chairman Stefan Petzner as Haider's successor. In a first statement after his election, Petzner stated that reunification with the FPÖ, as discussed by many political observers immediately after Haider's death, was not on the agenda. He also stated that he wanted to stick to Haider's political line.

On October 22, 2008, Josef Bucher was elected club chairman of the BZÖ in the National Council. On November 19, 2008, Petzner resigned from the position of acting party leader, and Herbert Scheibner took up the business as interim party leader. On April 26, 2009, the new party chairman was elected at the party conference in Linz with 99.4 percent of the delegate's votes. The choice fell on Josef Bucher, who had already been designated before, but who also ran without an opponent.

On October 14, 2009, in a board meeting, a “right-wing liberal course of the party decided” according to the BZÖ's self-image. Accordingly, economic policy issues should be acted liberally, but the socio-political positions will remain conservative. It was made clear that “in the asylum and immigration policy […] liberal has lost nothing”.

In the same year, the BZÖ (together with the FPÖ) voted in the Austrian parliament against the law on the rehabilitation of convicted or murdered deserters of the German armed forces and other victims of Nazi justice .

In December of the same year, the Carinthian BZÖ parliamentary group, which dominates the party, under Uwe Scheuch and Heinz-Christian Strache announced the split of the Carinthian state party from the BZÖ and the cooperation at the federal level with the FPÖ. The Freedom Party in Carinthia was blue again and the oranges lost their strongest and most important regional group with the Carinthian governor.

In March 2010, the new “right-wing liberal program” presented by the board was approved at a party convention. In addition to the economically liberal approaches, the program is linked with “a little law and order and a sense of home ”. In terms of immigration policy, it is stressed that the party is “against rampant immigration” . "Those who [however] integrate should be allowed to stay within the framework of our green card model [...]" , says Stefan Petzner. It is also emphasized that the BZÖ, in contrast to the FDP, is also against nuclear power plants .

Achievement, economy and middle class , civil rights as well as the personal freedom of the citizen as the highest maxim (abolition of all "state constraints", which in the opinion of the party limit human freedom, the suspension of military service and replacement of this with a professional volunteer army, the standing up against The new program of the BZÖ focuses on efforts that are perceived as unjustified and perceived by the state surveillance, such as storage and flight passenger data storage. The alliance particularly wants to stand up against new taxes and for reforms (e.g. a comprehensive administrative reform ).

At the beginning of 2011, the BZÖ started the citizens' initiative “Paid enough!” Based on tax payments due to the European stabilization mechanism and new taxes on the part of Finance Minister Josef Pröll .

In the run-up to the National Council elections in 2012 and 2013, some BZÖ members switched to the newly founded Stronach team , which, thanks to these orange defectors, was able to achieve club status in parliament. The billionaire’s new parliamentary group included Robert Lugar , Stefan Markowitz , Elisabeth Kaufmann-Bruckberger , Erich Tadler , Christoph Hagen and Martina Schenk . Most of them had an FPÖ past in addition to the BZÖ. In addition, the Carinthian MPs Martin Strutz , Maximilian Linder and Josef Jury moved to the liberal parliamentary group as early as 2009 in the course of the reunification of Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten with the FPÖ . In the National Council, the BZÖ had lost around half of its original MPs.

On June 30, 2013 Josef Bucher was nominated as a top candidate at the extraordinary federal convention in Vienna and called for the creation of a north and a south euro , earmarking of housing subsidies and a simplification of the tax system.

Failed re-entry into the National Council and descent to the smallest party

Profits and losses in the elections from 2009 until leaving the National Council in 2013

In the National Council election on September 29, 2013, the BZÖ could not jump the 4% hurdle with 3.5% and thus failed to make it into parliament again. Three days later, Bucher resigned from the post of party chairman. With Stefan Petzner and Ewald Stadler, two prominent party members were excluded from the BZÖ after a dispute over the direction. On October 19, 2013, at the party convention in Linz, the Styrian alliance chairman Gerald Grosz was elected as the new party chairman.

For the European elections on May 25, 2014, Jörg Haider's daughter, Ulrike Haider-Quercia , was chosen as the BZÖ's top candidate at a federal convention in Vienna. On March 27, it was announced that the former list candidate Dr. Martin and EU parliamentarian Angelika Werthmann are running for second place in the list. On April 8, 2014, Haider-Quercia declared that he would withdraw from the candidacy for the EU election.

After the BZÖ received only 0.5 percent of the vote in the European elections and thus recorded a loss of 4.1 percentage points, Alliance Chairman Grosz announced that a “comprehensive discussion” and “open-ended reflection process” should be held by the autumn Decide the future and the continuation of the alliance. Nevertheless, he wants to run in the municipal council elections in Carinthia, Upper Austria and Styria.

According to a report by an auditor, as of October 31, 2014, the BZÖ had cash assets of 5,450 euros and fixed assets of around 8,000 euros.

On November 30, 2014, the BZÖ decided on a new party program at an alliance convention in Pörtschach . In the following March, Gerald Grosz resigned as chairman of the alliance after a year and a half. His successor was Johanna Trodt-Limpl, Member of the Carinthian State Parliament .

On July 20, 2017, after internal disputes between the newly elected board of the Carinthia regional group, represented by the chairman Helmut Nikel and the two MPs Mag.Johanna Trodt-Limpl and Wilhelm Korak, the name of the BZÖ interest group in the Carinthian state parliament was changed. As a result, the BZÖ was no longer represented in any state parliament. In the course of the inconsistencies, both MPs were also excluded from the regional organization of the BZÖ-Carinthia. However, this had no impact on the federal party due to the independent legal personality of the individual groups.

The BZÖ did not run for the 2017 National Council election in Austria . In November 2017 the BZÖ announced that it would run for the state elections in Carinthia in 2018 with Helmut Nikel as the top candidate. The party achieved 0.38% in this election.

In the National Council election in Austria 2019 , the BZÖ only competed in Carinthia under the list name Alliance of Patriots and the short name BZÖ . In the run-up to the election, there was violent turbulence within the party. Members of the party executive announced in a press release that chairman Helmut Nikel, general secretary Karlheinz Klement and the top candidate Martin Rutter had been expelled from the party. In return, Nikel announced the expulsion of the undersigned board members. With the presentation of the program for the National Council election, the content was also repositioned. Instead of the former "right-wing liberal" course, the BZÖ mainly focuses on "sensitive peripheral issues". Among other things, one speaks out against a "compulsory vaccination" or demands the exit from the EU and the repatriation of migrants.

National organizations

After the BZÖ split off, the FPÖ country organizations behaved very differently. In Lower Austria , Salzburg and Burgenland there were hardly any noteworthy conversions to the BZÖ, the BZÖ regional groups there were launched relatively late.


The FPÖ Carinthia , which enjoys extensive autonomy according to the statutes, joined the BZÖ almost unanimously under the name “Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten” and formed by far the strongest state group until it left the BZÖ in December 2009. State party chairman was Jörg Haider . Franz Schwager, member of the state parliament, the prominent former FPÖ functionaries Alois Huber and Kriemhild Trattnig, and Andreas Mölzer remained with the FPÖ. In the state elections in March 2009 , the BZÖ with top candidate Gerhard Dörfler was able to achieve 44.9% of the votes, while the FPÖ, which was massively weakened as a result, failed to pass the 5 percent hurdle. However, the BZÖ Carinthia split off from the federal party in December 2009 after internal party conflicts and founded Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten as a partner of the FPÖ.

In December 2009 the then Carinthian BZÖ chairman Uwe Scheuch announced the split of the Carinthian state party from the BZÖ during a joint press conference with the chairman of the FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache , and announced that he would work together with the FPÖ at the federal level in the future. The cooperation should follow the German CDU-CSU model . The Freedom Party in Carinthia emphasized that it was not a merger, but that it would continue to exist as an independent state party, which in future should operate under the acronym FPK . One of the reasons given for the separation from the BZÖ was the right-wing liberal course taken by the alliance chairman Bucher. On the other hand, the federal leadership of the BZÖ resisted the step, which - according to Bucher - had "no legal basis". At the regional party conference of the Carinthian Freedom Party in January 2010, the BZÖ aimed for a ballot on the future direction of the regional party. Uwe Scheuch was re-elected (unopposed) with 90.15 percent of the delegate's votes as chairman of the Freedom Party in Carinthia, Heinz-Christian Strache's approval of cooperation with the FPÖ was unanimous in an open vote.

On January 30, 2010, the founding convention of the new Carinthian BZÖ followed after the FPK spin-off. A party statute based on the program of the federal party was adopted, federal party chairman Bucher was unanimously elected as BZÖ regional party chairman with 99.6 percent of the delegate's votes (also without opposing candidates) and Stefan Petzner was unanimously elected executive chairman of the Carinthian state party. In the former stronghold of Haider there were 1200 members, whereby the structures were rebuilt by the federal party, which was primarily intended for candidacy in the next National Council election. On March 25, 2011, Sigisbert Dolinschek was appointed the executive chairman of the BZÖ Carinthia and his predecessor Petzner was replaced as the state party leader due to massive speeding without a license.

In the course of the campaign for the Carinthian state elections on March 3, 2013 , which was headed by Stefan Petzner , the BZÖ attracted attention by publishing a YouTube video entitled Paths to Freedom , in which FPK Governor Gerhard Dörfler and other members of the state government also participated Erich Honecker , Nicolae Ceaușescu , Hosni Mubarak , Slobodan Milošević and George W. Bush can be compared. On February 15, 2013, the video had to be taken offline. Deputy governor and FPK boss Kurt Scheuch had previously obtained an injunction.

In the state elections on March 3, 2013, the newly founded BZÖ Carinthia only achieved 6.48%, which clearly lagged behind the almost 17% of the FPK and was the smallest force with two members in the state parliament. After the BZÖ no longer entered the Austrian parliament in the National Council election at the end of September 2013 (despite a 10.8% result in Carinthia), the BZÖ regional party leader Sigisbert Dolinschek also withdrew from politics. Stefan Petzner and Ewald Stadler had previously been excluded from the party. Johanna Trodt-Limpl , one of the two BZÖ representatives in the Carinthian state parliament, and Helmut Nikel , councilor of Grafenstein , led the Carinthian BZÖ until the state party conference on November 30, 2013. At this, Trodt-Limpl won 63.3% of the votes elected new regional chairwoman.

In July 2017, Johanna Trodt-Limpl and Wilhelm Korak, the last two federal state parliament members of the BZÖ , resigned from the BZÖ Carinthia regional group after internal disputes and allegations of abuse. The new chairman of the BZÖ-Carinthia has been the Grafenstein municipal councilor Helmut Nikel since June 2017. In the 2018 state election, the alliance with Nikel lost 6.03% and only achieved 0.37% under Nikel; in his home parish the BZÖ managed at least 8.36%. Since the election, the BZÖ Carinthia has continued its work at the municipal level, where local groups continue to exist.

Since the dissolution of the Vienna regional organization, the BZÖ Carinthia is the only remaining part of the former National Council party. In the summer of 2019, BZÖ regional party leader Karlheinz Klement called an "Alliance of Patriots" into being, consisting of vaccination opponents , anti-abortionists and opponents of the smart meter , an electricity meter that is supposed to emit dangerous radiation. The head of the right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement in Austria, Martin Sellner , also joined. Sellner was supposed to be the top candidate for the National Council election , but turned it down because he wanted to stick to "patriotic actionism". He wanted to continue to support the BZÖ as a “patriotic party”. At the beginning of September 2019, ORF Carinthia received a letter according to which Nikel, Klement and Rutter had been excluded from the party. The letter was signed by deputy chairman Karl Heinz Nadasdy "and two other board members". In a communication received shortly afterwards by Nikels, however, it was stated that Nadasdy and the two board members were the excluded; the exclusions mentioned in their letter had "nothing to do with official resolutions of the BZÖ Carinthia". In Carinthia, the BZÖ (which only ran there) won 0.2 percent of the vote in the National Council election on September 29, 2019. In December 2019, Nikel was confirmed as regional chairman at the National Convention, with Elisabeth Steiner and Siegfried Plausteiner acting as his deputies, Jürgen Laßnig is the financial advisor.


In the early years of the Burgenland , the BZÖ regional group was led by Jörg Steiner, who followed in 2008 BZÖ Burgenland founder and ex-state secretary Karl Schweitzer . Michael Weismayr became the deputy chairman. The BZÖ did not take part in the state elections in 2005 or 2010 , and was therefore rarely represented in Burgenland. On November 9, 2010 it was announced that they would run in the 2012 municipal council elections in some communities, including Eisenstadt and Oberwart. But this did not happen. In July 2012, the former state spokesman Dieter Herist became the executive chairman of the Burgenland state party. A group of remaining members of the BZÖ Burgenland re-formed in June 2017 as Die Orangen Burgenland (DOB) . The regional group is committed to the third camp and Jörg Haider. They define themselves as "orange freedom" and see themselves as "edgy advancement" of the BZÖ Burgenland. Among other things, an end to the climate lie or an exit from the EU are called for. The oranges announced in autumn 2019 that they would take part in the state elections in Burgenland 2020 . In December, the group announced on Facebook that the "undemocratic signature hurdle" was too high. There was also an election recommendation for the Burgenland list , where ex-BZÖ state chief Jörg Steiner is running for second place on the list.

Lower Austria

In January 2006 the BZÖ was founded in Lower Austria . The chairman was Anton Wattaul , Member of the National Council , and after his early resignation, Thomas Bauer was in charge of business in the meantime. Since the regional convention on November 24, 2007, Peter Staudigl has been chairman of the BZÖ Lower Austria. After the catastrophic election result in the Lower Austrian state elections with top candidate Hans Jörg Schimanek , Staudigl resigned as chairman. Christine Döttelmayer led the BZÖ Lower Austria on an interim basis until a new chairman was elected. With this election, a generation change should take place in order to help the alliance appearing as a “new movement” with new faces to a better public image. In the state elections in Lower Austria in 2008 , the BZÖ only received 0.72% of the vote.

On April 3, 2009, Ewald Stadler took over the post of chairman of the BZÖ Lower Austria. The BZÖ did not run for the state elections in Lower Austria in March 2013. After the defeat in the National Council election in 2013, Stadler was expelled from the BZÖ for “behavior that was harmful to the party”. The then MEP subsequently formed an alliance with the CPÖ - Christian Party of Austria and ran under the name The Reform Conservatives in the 2014 European elections .

Dominik Lutz was elected as the new regional chairman at a new founding convention on December 7, 2013 in St. Pölten. In addition, the federal chairman of the party, Grosz, announced the beginning of a cooperation and partnership with the citizens' movement Die Mutbürger (M) in Lower Austria.

Upper Austria

The FPÖ regional group of Upper Austria initially decoupled from the federal party (Linz Declaration) in order to go its own way and not be drawn too deeply into the disputes between the two federal groups. After lengthy negotiations and a vote at the state party congress, however, the state group rejoined the federal FPÖ. The BZÖ, which had long hoped to get the Upper Austrian freedom on its side, finally founded its own regional group in November 2005. Ursula Haubner was elected regional chairwoman . In the state elections held in Upper Austria in 2009 , the BZÖ came to 2.83% in its candidacy with the name “Alliance Future Austria - List Uschi Haubner (BZÖ)” and missed entry into the Upper Austrian state parliament by 1.27%. The former BZÖ politician Rainer Widmann ran in the 2017 National Council election as Upper Austria's top candidate for Karl Schnell's Free List Austria (FLÖ). He is certain “that if Jörg Haider were still alive, he would head the Free List Austria”. In January 2017, Haubner handed over the state party to Siegfried Berlinger , the mayor of Sankt Roman , in this context the party name was changed to Bündnis für Oberösterreich (BfO).


In March 2006 the Salzburg regional group was founded . The former state secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Eduard Mainoni , was elected chairman of the country. After leaving the federal government, he retired to the private sector and resigned from his party functions. The Salzburg party chairmanship is currently held by the former GZÖ chairman Robert Stark. In the state elections of 2009, the BZÖ achieved through a list cooperation with the Salzburg Councilor Doris Tazl 3.7%, which is the entry into the state legislature could not be reached at the same time held municipal and mayoral elections in Salzburg again scored in five municipalities of Entry into the municipal council. The BZÖ did not run for the state elections in Salzburg in May 2013. In 2014, ex-BZÖ State Secretary Mainoni took part in the municipal council elections in the city of Salzburg as Team Salzburg - Edi Mainoni (EDI) . The move into the Salzburg town hall was clearly missed with 847 votes. In July 2017, the Free Voters Salzburg formed , which were founded by the Salzburg ex-BZÖ member and ex-Team Stronach member Helmut Naderer .


In Styria , three of the seven FPÖ members of the state parliament switched to the BZÖ. In June 2005, the Styrian BZÖ was founded with chairman Gerald Grosz as the first regional group after Carinthia. In the following October state elections in Styria , the BZÖ with top candidate Michael Schmid only received 1.72% of the votes. In the municipal council elections in Graz in 2008 , the BZÖ received 4.3% of the votes and was thus represented in Graz with two mandataries in the municipal council. The campaign slogan, which was apparently part of the political program, was “We clean Graz.” The Research Center for Austrian German voted him Unspruch of the year 2007 because the party thus contributed to the exclusion and dehumanization of people. She wanted to "cleanse Graz of 'undesirable' people and thus fall back on times that were considered to have been overcome in terms of both the choice of words and the intentions".

In the state elections held in Styria in September 2010 , the BZÖ with top candidate Gerald Grosz received 2.98% of the vote and again failed to make it into the state parliament. Grosz had resigned from his local council mandate in the course of the state elections and had announced that he would not move in: "Then I will no longer be in politics". Contrary to his own statement, Grosz remained in politics and stood as the top candidate of the BZÖ - Gerald Grosz (BZÖ) list for the municipal council election in Graz 2012 , in which the party achieved 1.35% and thus left the municipal council.

From December 4, 2012 to March 15, 2013, the Styrian regional association was headed by the managing regional chairwoman Martina Schenk , before Schenk switched to the Stronach team on March 15, with immediate effect . Several dissatisfied party members from Styria resigned from the BZÖ after the National Council election in October 2013, and the only Styrian regional office in Voitsberg was also closed. Former orange councilors continue their work as independent elected officials at the local level. In the municipal elections in Styria on March 22, 2015, the BZÖ did not run.


The last of the regional organizations was the BZÖ Tirol , headed by Hans Jörg Stock . After the BZÖ split off at the federal level, the two FPÖ members of the state parliament initially committed themselves to the BZÖ, but later founded a “Landtag Club of the Free” that was independent of the FPÖ and BZÖ. The former Tyrolean FP chief, member of the state parliament, Willi Tilg, resigned from the BZÖ after just a few weeks and founded the golden yellow Free Party of Tyrol (FPT) , which primarily aimed to address medium-sized businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises. In the upcoming state elections in Tyrol there was an electoral alliance of the “Landtag Club of the Free” and the BZÖ under the common list name Bündnis Free Tiroler (BFT) . However, under pressure from the federal party, the electoral alliance was dissolved, whereupon BZÖ-Tirol chairman Hans Jörg Stock resigned from his position. The BZÖ Tirol therefore did not run in the state elections.

On April 19, 2009 the East Tyrolean Gerhard Huber was elected chairman of the Tyrolean BZÖ. On June 18, 2011 it was announced that the new Innsbruck city party will be led by Udo Brunner and will run for the 2012 municipal council elections. This did not happen, however, because she did not manage to run, as in the subsequent state elections.


The FPÖ regional group of Vorarlberg initially announced an independent path, but decided a few days later to stay with the FPÖ. The BZÖ founded its own national group in March 2006. The first chairman was the former FPÖ federal manager Arno Eccher. From May 8, 2009 until his move to the Stronach team on October 12, 2012, Christoph Hagen , member of the National Council, was elected regional chairman. Manfred Dorn currently heads the regional group as regional chairman. In the Vorarlberg state elections in 2009 , with just 1.2%, they clearly failed because of the five percent hurdle required for entry into the state parliament . In 2015, BZÖ state chief Dorn announced that as soon as a suitable candidate appeared and enough money was available, BZÖ-Vorarlberg would again compete in election campaigns. Above all, the lack of party structures are a problem. You did not stand for election in the 2019 state elections.


In Vienna , shortly after the split from the Federal FPÖ, an independent BZÖ regional group was formed, which 8 of the 21 FPÖ MPs in the state parliament / municipal council also joined. Under the leadership of the chairman Günther Barnet , the BZÖ Vienna entered the state elections with top candidate Hans Jörg Schimanek in October 2005 , but only achieved 1.15% of the votes and thus lagged far behind the FPÖ. Since the regional convention on June 2, 2007, Michael Tscharnutter was elected regional chairman of the BZÖ-Vienna. In the Viennese election in 2010, the BZÖ recorded a slight gain of 1.33% of the votes with the non-partisan top candidate Walter Sonnleitner , but this was far from being enough to move into the town hall.

In 2010, Viennese BZÖ functionaries split off and founded a Free Alliance Future (FBZ) , which committed itself to classical liberal principles. Two years later the party of freedom (PDF) was re-established through a merger with other ex-BZÖ and ex-FPÖ representatives, with Mathias Brucker again serving as federal chairman. A blue district council from Hietzing switched to PDF. Among other things, the market-liberal-libertarian party demanded a halving of the state and the termination of 150,000 civil servants or the privatization of the school system.

In March 2015, the BZÖ announced that they would be running for the state and municipal council elections in Vienna on October 11th. On July 23, 2015, Dietmar Schwingenschrot was unanimously confirmed as chairman of the BZÖ Vienna at the extraordinary regional convention in Floridsdorf. In August the BZÖ announced that it would not stand for the Vienna election. The regional chairman Dietmar Schwingenschrot then announced his support for a new list and acted as its press spokesman. On this list he was in second place behind the top candidate Heinz Pollischansky. With the support of five members of the National Council of the Stronach team, this list was able to stand for election in all districts without further declarations of support or lists of signatures. This list WWW - We want freedom of choice (WWW) reached 0.21%. On July 18, 2019, the BZÖ Vienna disbanded. Ex-BZÖ Vienna top candidate Hans Jörg Schimanek has been a district councilor in Floridsdorf since 2010 with his independent list We for Floridsdorf .


Financing the BZÖ was initially considered difficult. The alliance did not take on any legacy issues from the FPÖ when it was founded, but at that time it was also not entitled to party funding, as this is based on the proportion of votes in the National Council election. At the beginning, only the approx. 1.976 million euros a year from the club funding of the "Freedom National Council Club", which changed from the FPÖ to the alliance when the BZÖ was founded, remained. The opposition at the time also criticized various advertising campaigns by the BZÖ-led ministries, especially the Ministry of Social Affairs, as covert party funding. Only since the NR election on October 1, 2006, in which the BZÖ achieved 4.1% of the vote and thus moved into the National Council, the BZÖ was entitled to party funding. From this, the BZÖ received around 8 million euros per year. In addition, the parliamentary club of the BZÖ receives the club funding. However, these funds were tied to the Parliamentary Club.

Since 2006, the BZÖ has maintained an educational institution, the “Future Academy Austria”, analogous to the other parties. This institution received the academy funding of the federal government and was u. a. responsible for the political education of the members. In 2019, the Austrian Court of Auditors criticized the fact that in 2013 funding from the party academy had been misused for election campaign purposes.

In addition, the alliance is primarily financed from donations and membership fees (according to the chairman of the alliance, Josef Bucher, around 8,000 members across Austria; as of 2011). Larger donors have not yet been named.

Since the founding of the BZÖ in 2005, when the Carinthian regional group of the FPÖ had almost completely changed to the BZÖ, the regional group of the BZÖ, "The Freedom in Carinthia", also received party funding of around 1.7 million euros. The funds from Carinthia formed an essential pillar of the party after the gradual disintegration of the federal party and most of the regional groups. When the last two members of the state parliament (Johanna Trodt-Limpl and Wilhelm Korak) left the BZÖ in 2018, the BZÖ lost its club status in the Carinthian state parliament and the right to party funding in the high six-digit range.

Party chairmen

Main article: List of alliance chairmen of the Alliance for the Future of Austria

  • Jörg Haider (April 17, 2005 - June 23, 2006)
  • Peter Westenthaler (June 23, 2006 - August 30, 2008)
  • Jörg Haider (August 30, 2008 - October 11, 2008)
  • Stefan Petzner (October 12, 2008 - November 19, 2008)
  • Herbert Scheibner (November 19, 2008 - April 26, 2009 Executive Party Leader)
  • Josef Bucher (April 26, 2009 - October 2, 2013)
  • Gerald Grosz (October 19, 2013 - March 30, 2015)
  • Johanna Trodt-Limpl (March 30, 2015 - June 3, 2017)
  • Helmut Nikel (since June 3, 2017 in Carinthia)
Helmut Nikel Johanna Trodt-Limpl Gerald Grosz Josef Bucher Herbert Scheibner Stefan Petzner Jörg Haider Peter Westenthaler

Apron organizations

The BZÖ had a number of apron organizations. These included:

Generation future Austria

Logo of the GZÖ

In August 2005 the “Generation Future Austria” (GZÖ) was founded, which is responsible for the youth work of the BZÖ. It was structurally based on the youth organizations of the other parties. From 2007 regional groups existed temporarily in all federal states.


  • Georg Lux, Uwe Sommersguter: The Jörg Haider Experiment. Party of Life Men - Alliance with a Future? Carinthia-Verlag, Klagenfurt 2009, ISBN 978-3-85378-651-2 .
  • Oliver Geden : Discourse strategies in right-wing populism - Freedom Party of Austria and Swiss People's Party between opposition and participation in government . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-15127-4 .
  • Dieter Grillmayer: National and Liberal. The history of the Third Force in Austria . Edition Genius, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-9502238-0-0 .
  • Kurt Richard Luther: The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). In: Herbert Dachs u. a. (Ed.): Politics in Austria. The manual. Manz, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-214-07679-5 , pp. 364-388.
  • Oswald Panagl , Peter Gerlich (Hrsg.): Dictionary of political language in Austria. Keywords “BZÖ”, “FPÖ”, “F” and “Blauer”. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-209-05952-9 .
  • Lionel Baland: Jörg Haider le phénix: Histoire de la famille politique libérale et nationale en Autriche, Paris, Éditions des Cimes, coll. «Politica» 2012, ISBN 979-1-09-105802-5 .

Web links

Commons : Alliance Future Austria  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: BZÖ  - in the news

Individual evidence

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