Austrian Presidency

Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

In the second half of 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time. The Austrian Presidency will be the last full Presidency prior to the European Parliament elections in the spring of 2019. It will therefore be expected that as many EU legislative proposals as possible are taken forward or brought to a conclusion during this period. Austria views its role during the Council Presidency as that of a neutral broker. In line with its traditional role as bridge builder, during its Council Presidency Austria will endeavor to contribute to the unity within the EU.

A Europe that protects

In order to achieve its motto: “A Europe that protects”, Austria’s approach will be based on the reinforcement of the principle of subsidiarity. The European Union should focus on big issues requiring a joint solution and take a step back when it comes to smaller issues where the Member States or regions are in a better position to take decisions. In this way, this approach aims at taking account of the motto of the European Union, “United in Diversity”.

Austrian Priorities in the area of Security

Security and the fight against illegal migration.

It is envisaged to create a functioning and fair EU asylum and migration system in order to prevent uncontrolled migratory movements. Another objective is strengthening the protection of EU’s- external borders also by intensifying entry controls. Interoperability of databases to improve the interconnection of LE Authorities is a major goal with this regard. Concerning the fight against Terrorism Austria supports the establishment of an EU Centre to prevent and combat radicalization and will push forward and, if possible, complete the ongoing progress on this.

Stability in the European neighbourhood – Rapprochement of Western Balkans/Southeastern Europe

A European Union that offers its citizens stability, peace and security is only possible in a stable and secure neighborhood. To this end, during its Presidency Austria will focus on promoting the good relationships between the EU and its neighbors. In this context, the Western Balkan/Southeastern European states take center stage. It is particularly in the interest of Austria’s economy and security that the future of the Western Balkans/Southeastern Europe lays within the European Union.

The “Vienna Process”

During its presidency, Austria would like to promote the “Vienna Process” that has already started with two high-level meetings followed by a ministerial meeting. It is a process that should be most meaningful and will address key challenges the EU is facing. The Circle of participants should include presidency countries up to the years 2020/2025.

We would like to put emphasis on the importance of the Vienna process, as there are some challenges that require mid-term approach, but there exists not a single mid-term concept in the EU until now. As the EU is currently facing a challenging political situation f.ex. the loss of trust by many citizen in the EU architecture and uncertainties with regard to the BREXIT, it will certainly also profit from the Vienna Process. Therefore, the need for a pro-active comprehensive security policy will also be addressed. The main goal of this process is to reach more sustainability and to come up with citizen-focused solutions crisis-resistant and future-oriented Security Union by 2020/2025.

The first steps to realize this vision have been completed and the following listed key challenges as well as cross-cutting issues have already been identified during the first two phases of the process:

Key challenges

  • Strengthening the EU’s external border protection
  • Developing a crisis resistant EU asylum system
  • Removing the breeding ground for extremism and terrorism
  • Strengthening European police cooperation (promoting Community Policing, fighting human smuggling…)
  • Safeguarding digital security

Cross-cutting issues

  • Promoting and protecting European values
  • Fostering integrity in the EU / Member States (state, administration, society)
  • Strengthening cooperation with third countries
  • Strengthening cooperation with respect to internal and external security

The process includes various key actors in the field of internal and external security, like European commission, European Parliament, participating MS and regional security partnerships, external experts as well as scientific analysis. The end of the process aims at drawing up a “Vienna Programme” which should imply an Integrated Internal Security Strategy for a citizen-focused, crisis-resistant, future-oriented Security Union.

Video - Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018

Contact details

Federal Ministry of the Interior - Security Academy (.SIAK)

Herrengasse 7, 1010, Vienna, AUSTRIA


Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032