The visit of the Austrian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Intelligence in Washington, DC and New York City.
Members of the Austrian Standing Committee on Intelligence visited Washington, DC from January 27 to 30, 2019, to discuss parliamentary oversight of security and intelligence agencies with their U.S. counterparts.
Led by their chairman Werner Amon, representatives of all five parties in the Austrian Parliament had tightly scheduled meetings with a number of Members of Congress, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as well as former Chairman and present ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA22).
Following their meeting, Senator Feinstein invited the delegation to attend the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing with the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence welcomed the Austrian delegation during the hearing:
“I want to acknowledge that we have a distinguished group with us, joining us this morning from Austria who come from their government (…) and we are delighted to have them with us, being part of the United States Senate today.”
The Director of the Austrian Office for Protection of the Constitution and the Fight Against Terrorism Peter Gridling, traveling with the delegation, personally observed the proceedings. The Austrian delegation gained further insights meeting with the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
In order to prepare the delegation for their marathon on Capitol Hill, the leaders of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group and the Congressional Institute had kindly made themselves available to brief the Austrian Parliamentarians on trade, migration and security policies of the U.S.
After their meetings in Congress, the delegation travelled to New York City for meetings at the New York Police Department and at the United Nations. At the latter, they held a talk with the USG for Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov to discuss practical cooperation initiatives with Austria, also in the framework of Vienna-based international organizations like OSCE and UN programs like UNODC.
Before heading home, the delegation paid a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.