Federal Government (Austria)

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Federal government
Coat of arms of the Republic of Austria Federal Chancellery
Seat of the government
Coat of arms of the Republic of Austria Federal Chancellery Seat of the government
position One of the highest federal organs
State authority executive
founding October 30, 1918 prov. ; Oct. 1, 1920 B-VG (entry into force Nov. 10); Nov. 20, 1920 Appointment of the first federal government ; (originally founded as a Council of State in 1760 )

Seat Vienna 1 , Ballhausplatz
Chair Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
Guarantee of existence Art. 44 para. 3 B-VG
(principle of separation of powers )
Website www.bundesregierung.at

In Austria , according to the Federal Constitutional Law, the federal government is one of the highest organs of the federal administration alongside the Federal President . In its entirety, it is a collegial body that makes decisions. Its members are the Federal Chancellor , the Vice Chancellor and the Federal Ministers . The state secretaries often mentioned in connection with the government are formally not members of the government, but auxiliary organs of the ministers, as are the heads of cabinet . Not all ministers also head a ministry .

Function and position in the political system

Appointment and dismissal

The Federal Government has been appointed by the Federal President since 1929 (until then it had been elected by the National Council since 1920 ), although he is not bound by any legal requirements when appointing the Federal Chancellor. When appointing the other members of the Federal Government, he is dependent on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor (although he can refuse the appointment). With their appointment and swearing in, the government is immediately fully operational. A separate confirmation by the National Council is not required. However, since the Federal President would be obliged to dismiss the Federal Government as a result of a vote of no confidence by the National Council, the parliamentary majority ratios are of decisive importance in their appointment. (In National Council elections, the parties tend to advertise their top candidates as future Federal Chancellors; in reality, depending on the election results, this is the default for the Federal President.)

Apart from this legal obligation, the Federal President can dismiss the Federal Chancellor or the entire Federal Government at any time. (However, this would only make sense if the Federal President can be sure that the alternative he is aiming for will be accepted by the National Council.) The dismissal of individual members of the Federal Government, like their appointment, is bound to the proposal of the Chancellor and takes place formally even if Ministers voluntarily declare their resignation.

Legal status of the federal government

Meeting room of the Council of Ministers

In its sphere of activity, the Federal Government is an administrative authority established as a collegial or collective body. It meets in the so-called "Council of Ministers" to pass resolutions . At least half of its members must be present for resolutions. Although not legally stipulated, in political practice decisions must be taken unanimously. This corresponds to the highest court case law. In view of this convention rule, State Chancellor Karl Renner in 1945 ordered two communist members of the government who did not want to support a resolution to leave the government, to which they no longer objected.

The minutes of the Council of Ministers have been publicly available on the website of the Federal Chancellery since August 30, 2016.

Legal status of members of the government

The Austrian Federal Chancellor is chairman of the federal government (in the sense of a primus inter pares ). The Austrian system of government does not provide for a formal authority to issue guidelines or a right of the head of government to issue instructions to the ministers. However, its legal position within the federal government is strengthened by its right of nomination for the appointment and dismissal of its individual members. His political position depends on whether he leads the sole government of a party or has to show consideration for his coalition partners.

In addition to the Federal President and the Federal Government as a whole, their individual members (i.e. Federal Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister) also belong to the highest organs of the federal administration ( monocratic organs ). As such, they are themselves only bound by decisions of the Federal Government - represented in the Council of Ministers - and otherwise free of instructions, i. H. Not subject to any order from whomever, and only they are authorized to issue instructions to the subordinate authorities (departmental principle) . It is to be understood not as a legal but rather as a political mandate when the National Council requests a federal minister by means of a resolution to act in a certain sense, e.g. B. Submit a bill.

State secretaries can be added to the federal ministers to support them in the official business , who act as auxiliary bodies of the respective federal minister and are therefore bound by his instructions. Legally, they are not members of the federal government, nor do they have voting rights as such, but take part in government meetings. In coalition governments, federal ministers are not infrequently assigned state secretaries from the other governing party. In this case the Secretary of State is bound by instructions remains theory; in practice he functions as a kind of political “watchdog” for the party that does not lead the department.

Federal Governments (Cabinets) of the Republic

See also: List of Federal Chancellors of the Republic of Austria

First Republic (1918–1934) and Federal State (1934–1938)

State governments were elected in 1918–1920:

Federal governments existed from November 10, 1920 ( entry into force of the Federal Constitutional Law, see Federal Government Mayr I ) to March 13, 1938 (entry into force of the " Anschluss " to the German Reich )

From March 5, 1933, the Dollfuss federal government ruled without a parliament, switched off the opposition in connection with the February battles on February 12, 1934 and put the authoritarian constitution of the federal state of Austria into effect on May 1, 1934 . In addition, all parties besides the Fatherland Front  (VF) were banned as a unitary party, so that all subsequent governments were formally VF governments.

Second Republic (since 1945)

The provisional state government Renner 1945 held office without parliamentary control from April 27, 1945 ( Austrian Declaration of Independence ) to December 20, 1945 and prepared the National Council election on November 25, 1945 . It was replaced by the Federal Government Figl I , which was in office from December 20, 1945 (the day the Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG) came into full force after the Second World War ).

Federal Governments of the Second Republic
government appointment Removal after
Entrustment according to
Art. 71 B-VG *) to
of office
Election day **) Duration of
formation **)
Coalition / parties
Government Renner 1) Apr. 27, 1945 December 20, 1945 - 237 days
(0.65 years)
- 1) - 1) ÖVP - SPÖ - KPÖ
Government Figl I 2) December 20, 1945 Oct 11, 1949 Nov 8, 1949 1419 days
(3.89 years)
Nov 25, 1945 25 days ÖVP - SPÖ - KPÖ 2)
Government Figl II Nov 8, 1949 Oct 28, 1952 - 1085 days
(2.97 years)
Oct 9, 1949 30 days ÖVP - SPÖ
Government Figl III Oct 28, 1952 Feb 25, 1953 Apr 2, 1953 156 days
(0.43 years)
- - ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Raab I Apr 2, 1953 May 14, 1956 June 29, 1956 1184 days
(3.24 years)
Feb 22, 1953 39 days ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Raab II June 29, 1956 May 12, 1959 July 16, 1959 1112 days
(3.05 years)
May 13, 1956 47 days ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Raab III July 16, 1959 Nov 3, 1960 - 476 days
(1.30 years)
May 10, 1959 67 days ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Raab IV Nov 3, 1960 Apr 11, 1961 - 159 days
(0.44 years)
- - ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Gorbach I Apr 11, 1961 Nov 20, 1962 March 27, 1963 715 days
(1.96 years)
- - ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Gorbach II March 27, 1963 Apr 2, 1964 - 372 days
(1.02 years)
Nov 18, 1962 129 days ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Klaus I Apr 2, 1964 Oct 25, 1965 Apr 19, 1966 747 days
(2.05 years)
- - ÖVP - SPÖ
Government of Klaus II Apr 19, 1966 March 3, 1970 Apr 21, 1970 1463 days
(4.01 years)
March 6, 1966 44 days ÖVP
Kreisky government I 3) Apr 21, 1970 Oct 19, 1971 Nov 4, 1971 562 days
(1.54 years)
March 1, 1970 51 days SPÖ
Kreisky II government Nov 4, 1971 Oct 8, 1975 Oct 28, 1975 1454 days
(3.98 years)
Oct 10, 1971 25 days SPÖ
Kreisky III government Oct 28, 1975 May 9, 1979 5th June 1979 1316 days
(3.61 years)
Oct. 5, 1975 23 days SPÖ
Kreisky IV government 5th June 1979 Apr 26, 1983 May 24, 1983 1449 days
(3.97 years)
May 6, 1979 30 days SPÖ
Sinowatz government May 24, 1983 June 16, 1986 - 1119 days
(3.07 years)
Apr. 24, 1983 30 days SPÖ - FPÖ
Vranitzky I government June 16, 1986 Nov 25, 1986 Jan. 21 1987 219 days
(0.60 years)
- - SPÖ - FPÖ
Vranitzky II government Jan. 21 1987 Oct 9, 1990 Dec 17, 1990 1426 days
(3.91 years)
Nov 23, 1986 59 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Vranitzky III government Dec 17, 1990 Oct 11, 1994 Nov 29, 1994 1443 days
(3.95 years)
Oct 7, 1990 71 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Vranitzky IV government Nov 29, 1994 Dec 18, 1995 March 12, 1996 469 days
(1.28 years)
Oct 9, 1994 51 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Government of Vranitzky V March 12, 1996 Jan. 20 1997 Jan 28 1997 322 days
(0.88 years)
Dec 17, 1995 86 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Government climate Jan 28 1997 Oct 5, 1999 Feb. 4, 2000 1102 days
(3.02 years)
- - SPÖ - ÖVP
Government Bowl I. Feb. 4, 2000 Nov 28, 2002 Feb 28, 2003 1120 days
(3.07 years)
Oct 3, 1999 124 days ÖVP - FPÖ
Government Bowl II 4) Feb 28, 2003 Oct 3, 2006 Jan. 11 2007 1413 days
(3.87 years)
Nov 24, 2002 96 days ÖVP - FPÖ / BZÖ 4)
Gusenbauer government Jan. 11 2007 Dec 2, 2008 - 691 days
(1.89 years)
Oct 1, 2006 102 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Government of Faymann I Dec 2, 2008 Oct 1, 2013 Dec 16, 2013 1840 days
(5.04 years)
28 Sep 2008 65 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Government of Faymann II Dec 16, 2013 May 9, 2016 17th May 2016 883 days
(2.42 years)
29 Sep 2013 78 days SPÖ - ÖVP
Government core 17th May 2016 17th Oct 2017 Dec 18, 2017 580 days
(1.59 years)
- - SPÖ - ÖVP
Government Short I 5) Dec 18, 2017 May 28, 2019 6) - 526 days
(1.44 years)
Oct 15, 2017 64 days ÖVP - FPÖ
ÖVP - Experts 5)
government Löger
*) 6)
May 28, 2019 - June 3, 2019 *) 6 days
(0.02 years)
- - ÖVP - Experts 6)
Government Bierlein 7) 3rd June 2019 Oct. 1, 2019 7 Jan 2020 218 days
(0.60 years)
- - Officer
Government Brief II 7 Jan 2020 - - running 29 Sep 2019 100 days ÖVP - GREEN
*) Art. 71 B-VG : “If the Federal Government has left office, the Federal President has to entrust members of the outgoing Federal Government with the continuation of the administration and one of them with the chairmanship of the provisional Federal Government until the formation of the new Federal Government. [...] The person in charge of continuing the administration bears the same responsibility as a federal minister ( Art. 76 ). "
**) Without election date and therefore without duration: After the resignation of the Federal Chancellor and / or the entire Federal Government, the government was reorganized with the old or in most cases with a new Federal Chancellor.
1)Provisional state government with full executive and legislative power, but initially only deployed in the Soviet occupation zone and without a ballot.
2) On November 20, 1947, the KPÖ left the federal government.
3) Kreisky I government: the first minority government since 1945 and the only one until 2019 (see Kurz government).
4) According to official information from the Federal Chancellery, on April 17, 2005 the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition became an ÖVP-BZÖ coalition.
5)On May 22, 2019, in the wake of the so-called Ibiza affair, the FPÖ Vice Chancellor and the other FPÖ ministers left the federal government. At the suggestion of ÖVP Chancellor Kurz, the resigned members of the government were replaced by non-party experts (three men and one woman); Instead of the outgoing Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache , the ÖVP Federal Minister Hartwig Löger was appointed Vice Chancellor. The government thus became an ÖVP sole and minority government .
6)On May 28, 2019, the entire Kurz government was removed from office. At the same time (short-term) Vice Chancellor Hartwig Löger was entrusted with the chairmanship of the provisional federal government and the continuation of the administration.
7) Was installed on June 3, 2019 as atransitional governmentuntil after the earlyNational Council electionon September 29, 2019. After the resignation, the Federal President entrusted the Federal President with the continuation of the administration on October 1, 2019, and the Federal Chancellor also with the chairmanship of this provisional Federal Government.

Timeline of federal governments, federal chancellors and vice chancellors since 1945

Werner Kogler Clemens Jabloner Hartwig Löger Heinz-Christian Strache Wolfgang Brandstetter Reinhold Mitterlehner Michael Spindelegger Josef Pröll Wilhelm Molterer Hubert Gorbach Herbert Haupt Susanne Riess-Passer Wolfgang Schüssel Erhard Busek Josef Riegler Alois Mock Norbert Steger Fred Sinowatz Hannes Androsch Rudolf Häuser Hermann Withalm Fritz Bock Bruno Pittermann Adolf Schärf Sebastian Kurz Brigitte Bierlein Hartwig Löger Sebastian Kurz Christian Kern Werner Faymann Alfred Gusenbauer Wolfgang Schüssel Viktor Klima Franz Vranitzky Fred Sinowatz Bruno Kreisky Josef Klaus Alfons Gorbach Julius Raab Leopold Figl Karl Renner Bundesregierung Kurz II Bundesregierung Bierlein Einstweilige Bundesregierung Löger 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

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Finding of the VwGH 0245/62 of May 24, 1963 (VwSlg 6035 A / 1963), legal sentence 4 .
  2. ^ Anton Pelinka: The Austrian political system . In: The Political Systems of Western Europe . 4th edition. VS, Verl. Für Sozialwiss., Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16464-9 , p. 1019 , p. 614 .
  3. Bernd-Christian Funk: Introduction to Austrian Constitutional Law. 10th edition. Leykam, Graz 2000, p. 257.
  4. Decision of the VwGH 0245/62 of May 24, 1963 (VwSlg 6035 A / 1963), legal sentence 3 with reference to the decision of the VfGH of June 25, 1951 (VfSlg 2149).
  5. ^ Ministers Council Minutes of the XXV. Government period - Federal Chancellery Austria. December 19, 2017, accessed January 22, 2019 .
  6. The Austrian constitution provides in Art. 19 Para. 1 B-VG: "The highest organs of enforcement are the Federal President, the Federal Ministers and State Secretaries as well as the members of the state governments." This is to be interpreted as meaning that Federal and Vice Chancellors are to the Ministers count in terms of their position as a state body .
  7. a b c Manfried Welan , Bernhard Moser: Government formation 2006/2007. Discussion paper DP-21-2007, Institute for Sustainable Economic Development (Ed.). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna , Department for Economic and Social Sciences, March 2007, p. 25: Appendix 3: The provisional federal governments (1945-2000). - That is Federal Government Figl I (1949) to Federal Government Gusenbauer (2007). ( Full text online ; PDF page 26 of 33.)
  8. a b c d Who is Who - Federal Government on the website of the Austrian Parliament, without date, accessed on June 1, 2019. See here the note that the “Update of the list of members of the Federal Government […] will only [probably also only] after receipt of an official notification from the Federal President or the Federal Chancellery . "(Italic for emphasis, note)
  9. a b c d Federal governments since 1918 on the website of the Austrian Parliament, undated, accessed on June 1, 2019. Therein:
    • in the government column : “Short” and in the mouse over below : “18.12.2017 - 28.05.2019”;
    • in the Government column : "Temporary Federal Government Löger" and in the mouse over below : "May 28, 2019 - June 3, 2019". For Hartwig Löger in the function column : "Entrusted with the chairmanship of the provisional federal government and the continuation of the administration 28.05.2019 - 03.06.2019".
  10. »This togetherness will also be important now«. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen entrusted the federal government with the provisional continuation of the administration on Tuesday. The government of Chancellor Bierlein will remain in office until a new government is formed. In: website of the presidential chancellery bundespraesident.at, October 1, 2019, accessed on January 6, 2020.