Wind turbines, Picture: Wikipedia/Dirk Goldhahn

Wind turbines, Picture: Wikipedia/Dirk Goldhahn

The Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) is committed to making safe, affordable and sustainable energy accessible in Austria. By doing so, the BMEIA is active in areas, where energy and international relations coincide.

The bilateral level is a suitable forum to discuss topics of common interest, to form types of cooperation, and address concerns where necessary. One focus in this regard is to jointly establish a fully integrated Central and Eastern European gas market, with Baumgarten in Lower Austria as the central gas hub. Another objective is to regularly advocate Austria’s position against nuclear power. Therefore, the BMEIA regularly organizes bilateral expert meetings on nuclear power with 11 partner countries.

The BMEIA advocates a strong foreign energy policy at EU level. Internal coordination and coherence are important to assure that decisions made by EU Member States do not contradict overall European interests in the field of energy. This is highly relevant, as it allows the EU to speak with one voice on the international stage. To assure this, the BMEIA is active in different fora of the EU such as the Foreign Affairs Council, the Political and Security Committee, the Strategic Group for International Energy Cooperation, the EU Energy Council, the Working Group on Energy and Climate Change, and the Working Group on Atomic Questions.

Global energy issues are addressed at the multilateral level. Austria is host to 10 multilateral organizations that cover a wide range of energy issues. Therefore, Austria plays a central role as an energy hub in international energy debates. Furthermore, the Vienna Energy Forum, co-hosted by the BMEIA, promotes the international dialogue on pressing issues in the field of energy and allows the city of Vienna to present itself as a modern conference city.