The Austrian Legislative Election

The Austrian Legislative Election

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After the lengthy presidential elections in 2016 that put the former Green party leader Alexander Van der Bellen at the head of Austria, there was barely any time to rest for the country’s electoral campaign managers. With Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz calling for a snap election in May this year, the alpine republic is heading towards the next political event of major importance.

Current election forecasts predict substantial gains for the far-right FPÖ. Entering anew into coalition with the Austrian People’s Party could give the nationalists a very possible second shot at power after their defeat in the presidential elections. Considering the populist wind of change blowing through Europe, it is very unlikely that the far right’s participation in government will trigger the same ‘pariah state’ treatment on the part of the European Union as it used to do before. But once again a national election will become a litmus test for how far Europe is swinging to the right.

Entering the final phase of the election campaign rising tensions between the political parties overshadow substantial issues and hinder discussion about possible coalitions. Will the centre-right again enter into coalition with the FPÖ? Or is the country heading towards another big coalition? What are the repercussions on the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union?

When: 18 October 2017, 12:30 – 14h (a light lunch will be served at 12:00)

Where: Hotel Leopold Rue du Luxembourg 35, 1050 Brussels

Speakers:

  • Michel Reimon, Member of the European Parliament, The Greens/ EFA, European Parliament
  • Ingrid Steiner-Gashi, Brussels correspondent, Kurier
  • Prof. Marlis Prinzing, Professor of journalism, Macromedia University in Cologne

Moderation:

Klaus Linsenmeier, Director, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union

Please confirm your participation until Monday, 16 October 2017 here. The working language is English.