copy the linklink copied!1. Austria’s global efforts for sustainable development

This chapter looks at how Austria is demonstrating global leadership on issues important to developing countries. It also explores Austria’s efforts to ensure domestic policies are coherent and in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and considers Austria’s work to raise awareness of global development issues at home.

It begins by reviewing Austria’s efforts to support global sustainable development, focusing on Austria’s engagement and leadership on global public goods and challenges, such as international peace and security, refugees and migration, and climate, environment and resilience. It then looks at whether Austria’s own policies are coherent with sustainable development in developing countries. It concludes by exploring how Austria is promoting global awareness of development and citizenship at home.

    
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In Brief

Austria prioritises peace and security, and climate in its international engagements. Its strategic interests in Southeast Europe underpin its leadership in the region. Austria’s approach to irregular migration is sometimes at odds with the global consensus, and political leadership and engagement is required if Austria is to move forward with its implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Federal Development Co-operation Act provides the legal basis for policy coherence for development. However, Austria lacks formal systems and structures with the mandates and resources to pursue this in practice. A general misconception among ministries that policy coherence for development is primarily about co-ordination further hampers action. Austria makes positive contributions globally on technology and security but could do more to address emissions reduction targets and measures related to its finance and banking sectors.

Austria benefits from a vibrant civil society, yet struggles with a lack of awareness and commitment to sustainable development among its citizens and at the political level. The slow rollout of an updated strategy for development communication and education, and the lack of government engagement with important stakeholders such as the private sector, are limiting the impact of Austria’s efforts to raise development awareness.

copy the linklink copied!Efforts to support global sustainable development

Regional security and stability are mainstays of Austria’s international engagement

Austria has a tradition of supporting efforts to address global risks and challenges. Its policy of neutrality, established by constitutional law after the Second World War and maintained in recent government programmes (Government of Austria, 2017[1]), ensures that nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, arms control and rule of law remain central to its foreign policy. While Austria’s international engagement has shifted towards its immediate neighbourhood over the past two decades (Lightfoot and Obrovsky, 2016[2]), as a medium-sized European state, Austria recognises that its own security rests on a strong, rules-based and effective multilateral system (Government of Austria, 2017[1]).

Austria continues to make important contributions to international crisis management and peacekeeping efforts. It engages actively in the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and was Chair in 2017 (MFA, 2017[3]). It has also supported initiatives led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), despite not being a member.1 Austria’s engagement within the United Nations system emphasises human rights and the rule of law. As a member of the Human Rights Council for 2019-2021, priorities include the rights of minorities, freedom of speech and the safety of journalists (MFA, 2018[4]). Austria is a candidate for the United Nations Security Council in 2027-2028 – if successful, its fourth term. It is also represented on the International Law Commission for the term 2017-2021.2

Vienna hosts several post-war multilateral organisations, including hosting a World Bank unit since 2004. With support from the Austrian government,3 the office expanded in 2013 to include management of the Western Balkans programme, a key strategic interest that Austria also pursues within the European Union (Government of Austria, 2018[5]).

Austria also shows leadership in advocating for environment and climate-related issues, such as sustainable energy (Box 1.1) and climate change adaptation.4 Urban development and sustainable energy are consistent priorities in its engagement with the International Energy Agency, and implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Union’s 2030 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are among its priorities within the European Union (Government of Austria, 2018[5]).

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Box 1.1. Austria’s support for the global sustainable energy agenda

Austria has sought to position Vienna as a platform for international energy diplomacy, with several Vienna-based organisations working to accelerate electricity access and increase the share of renewable and affordable energy.

The Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, hosted in Vienna by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and supported by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)5, represents an innovative South-South and triangular multi-stakeholder partnership. Austria’s support since 2010 has led to the establishment of seven regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE) Centres covering West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific Region, Central America and the Himalayas. In addition to providing financial support in the form of risk capital, and seconding experts, high-level political engagement by Austria has helped to bring in the support of other donors.

The centres aim to create an enabling environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a focus on de-risking and scaling up clean and safe energy business models to create integrated and inclusive regional markets for sustainable energy. The focus on working in partnership with participating states as well as other regional actors – such as utility organisations, regulatory authorities, and financial institutions – helps to generate long-term national and regional ownership.

Note: Other Vienna-based organisations and initiatives include the Vienna Energy Club, the Vienna Energy Forum, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 3E initiative, and the SEforAll hub supported by ADC.

Source: (MFA, 2019[6]), DAC Peer Review Memorandum; (UNIDO, 2015[7]), UNIDO Energy Programme: The Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, https://www.unido.org/sites/default/files/2015-12/14._Regional_Sustainable_Energy_Centres_0.pdf.

Austria’s approach to irregular migration is sometimes at odds with the global consensus

Austria took several measures following the significant rise in refugees transiting through or seeking asylum in the country in 2015 and 2016. With 10.3 asylum seekers for every 1 000 inhabitants, Austria became the second highest destination country in the European Union (EU) at that time relative to its populations size.6 Externally, Austria has advocated actively for stronger EU border management to prevent and decrease migration. External border management – including the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX – repatriation, countering people smugglers and enhanced co-operation with African states were key priorities during its 2018 Presidency of the Council of the European Union (Government of Austria, 2018[5]).

Austria has the third highest number of regular migrants in the European Union with some 16% of its population not born in Austria. Its support for global frameworks on migration is shaped by the distinction between seeking international protection and regular and irregular migration. While Austria has signed up to the Global Compact for Refugees, it was one of just 12 countries to abstain during the United Nations General Assembly vote in December 2018 on the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration, out of concern that the compact might lead to the recognition of migration as a human right (United Nations, 2018[8]).7 Domestically, the negative portrayal of migration in media coverage (Migration Council for Austria, 2016[9]), and the linking of migration to national security, have had an impact on social cohesion in Austria (Expert Council for Integration, 2017[10]), (Konle-Seidl, 2018[11]) and (Caritas Austria, 2019[12]).8 Austria’s position on migration has at times deviated from its commitment to multilateral solutions; for example, the Western Balkans Conference, Managing Migration Together, excluded key actors such as Greece.9

In contrast to its commitment to support measures in developing countries relating to refugees and people who have been forcibly displaced (MFA, 2019[13]), Austria has restricted its own refugee integration measures since 2015-16. Strengthening the legal structures to support recognised refugees (e.g. length of residence permits, access to citizenship) may help Austria to bring its policies in line with its international and EU commitments, including the 2030 Agenda.

Leadership is needed to improve Austria’s approach to the 2030 Agenda

The Austrian Government has committed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Federal Chancellery, 2017[14]), but has not appointed leadership or established an effective mechanism to oversee progress. While an inter-ministerial working group was established, it functions primarily as a platform for information exchange and to co-ordinate reporting but has no mandate to develop a national implementation strategy or mechanism.10 The government’s narrative on the 2030 Agenda emphasises domestic implementation, paying limited attention to Austria’s work to advance sustainable development globally (Federal Chancellery, 2017[14]). All ministries are tasked with implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their policies, strategies and programmes (Federal Chancellery, 2017[14]). The Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism is the only ministry to date to have developed an action plan.11 The Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy shows how Austria’s five thematic priorities contribute to the SDGs (Chapter 2).

The Austrian Court of Audit recently found that the absence of a cross-government strategy and clear division of responsibilities, has made it difficult to monitor and evaluate progress on the 2030 Agenda (Rechnungshof, 2018[15]). Additional critical shortcomings include the lack of systematic consultation with civil society, the absence of a public relations campaign, and failure to make the results of implementation publicly accessible (Rechnungshof, 2018[15]) (SDG Watch, 2018[16]).12 There was also no structured mechanism to involve the nine Länder, local communities or other stakeholders making efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda.13 These stakeholders have subsequently been included in the process of formulating Austria’s voluntary national review.

Austria might consider assigning political leadership for SDG implementation and giving the inter-ministerial working group a clear mandate to develop a national implementation strategy, monitor progress and report on its implementation. A gap analysis across all federal ministries could identify where significant effort is needed to implement the SDGs (ÖkoBüro, 2018[17]).

copy the linklink copied!Policy coherence for sustainable development

Better institutional arrangements would enable Austria to make progress on policy coherence for development

The Federal Development Co-operation Act (2002, amended in 2003) includes a commitment to policy coherence for development, as a key aspect of supporting sustainable development (Government of Austria, 2002[18]). This is reiterated in recent three-year programmes on Austrian development policy (MFA, 2019[13]). The Federal Ministries Act (1986, amended in 2018) also provides for policy coherence, requiring all ministries to take into account points of view important to the Federal Government (Government of Austria, 2018[19]). In practice, while there are processes to assess domestic impacts of policies and regulations, Austria does not systematically assess whether draft, proposed and existing policies and regulations impede or create opportunities for developing countries to pursue their sustainable development aspirations (OECD, 2008[20]) (OECD, 2019[21]).

Guidance exists to support the coherence of domestic policies with development policy in Austria’s priority areas of security and environment, and this is currently being revised following evaluations in 2016 and 2017 (Chapter 2).14 Since the last peer review in 2015 Austria has established several inter-ministerial working groups; however, efforts have focused on achieving whole-of-government co-ordination for setting policy, rather than on addressing the transboundary effects of domestic policies and regulations.15 Recent responses to policy coherence surveys conducted by the OECD and European Union confirm that little has been done to address the actions recommended in the last review (OECD, 2015[22]).16

A primary challenge for Austria is the need to find evidence and raise awareness across the government of how domestic policies might support or impede other countries’ sustainable development. To this end Austria could:

  • ask research institutions to identify critical areas of incoherence (OECD, 2015[22])

  • encourage embassies and Austrian Development Cooperation co-ordination offices to engage with partner countries and territories to identify issues of concern (Annex C)

  • increase the political relevance of Austria’s regular reporting to the European Union and the OECD.

In addition, mandating an institution to lead on policy coherence for development – whether the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Chancellery, or another relevant actor or body – would help to address the lack of leadership across the federal government. In considering this, Austria could look at organisational approaches adopted by other Development Assistance Committee members.17 Presenting an annual report on policy coherence to parliament, as is done in Finland and Sweden, may also encourage greater political engagement.

There are opportunities for Austria to improve policy coherence for development in several areas

Austria performs well in a number of areas in the Commitment to Development Index, which measures the dedication of countries to policies that benefit people living in poorer nations. In 2018, it ranked 11th out of the 27 countries assessed, performing well on technology (4th) and security (7th) (CGD, 2018[23]).18

Austria is on track to meet the European Union renewable energy target for 2020, although it faces some challenges in meeting emissions reduction targets (European Commission, 2019[24]) (UNFCCC, 2019[25]). The new climate and energy strategy, Mission 2030, signals Austria’s concerted effort to support climate protection and environmental sustainability domestically (Government of Austria, 2018[26]). Further actions Austria might take include decarbonising the transport sector and investing in new technologies and renewable electricity generation (European Commission, 2019[24]). There is also a need to strengthen understanding across government that environment is a cross-cutting issue, a challenge raised in the evaluation of the inter-ministerial strategic guidelines (Chapter 2).

Austria is party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions [OECD/LEGAL/0293] (OECD, 2010[27]), yet compliance has been weak. Austria only partially complies with some aspects of the Financial Action Task Force’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures (FATF, 2018[28]). Despite human rights being a consistent foreign policy priority, Austria has not yet developed a national action plan on business and human rights. Austria performs relatively poorly on metrics relating to trade (CGD, 2018[23]), explained by its high agricultural subsidies as a member of the European Union. Reference in the new trade strategy to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and its commitment to sustainable and fair economic partnerships are positive steps. As noted above, Austria could also consider whether its domestic policies relating to migration align with its development policy, to support refugees and host communities in partner countries.

copy the linklink copied!Global awareness

Raising public development awareness will require a fresh strategy and new partnerships

The current Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy promotes development education and public relations, albeit less prominently than in previous years (MFA, 2019[13]). ADA is responsible for managing development communication and education in Austria. The budget for this has remained stable at EUR 4.2 million a year from 2010 to 2017. Other Austrian entities are also engaged in communicating with and educating the public.19 ADA runs an annual call for proposals for projects covering learning, engagement and awareness raising, and co-finances national projects supported by the European Commission. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research also recently launched a Master’s programme in global citizenship education, which is an innovative approach.20 Proposals to include development awareness in national school curricula have to date been unsuccessful, however.

Despite significant efforts, there has been no meaningful change in public development awareness or support for development co-operation in recent years. Since government policy linked official development assistance to reducing migration (Government of Austria, 2018[5]) (MFA, 2019[13])21 there has been a slight increase in support for official development assistance amongst Austrian respondents to recent Eurobarometer polls. There has also been a significant increase in respondents who consider peace and security as the most pressing issue (European Commission, 2018[29]). Austria might consider whether linking development co-operation to reducing migration to Austria is a sustainable approach to building and strengthening public and political support for development co-operation. Engaging the general public in the SDGs may contribute more broadly to enhancing global awareness and citizenship among the population.

An evaluation of Austria’s overall approach to development communication and education, including the 2010 strategy on Development Communication and Education in Austria (ADA, 2010[30]), was completed in 2014 (Loriska, Risler and Beamish, 2014[31]). An updated strategy is yet to be finalised. Both the evaluation and previous peer reviews raised the need for ADA to better identify various target groups within Austrian society, including through the use of differentiated communication tools (OECD, 2015[22]).22 Undertaking public attitudes research to identify audiences and ensure efforts are addressing evolving needs would be a useful first step.

Previous reviews also noted that the strategy does not specify how ADA can support the political debate on development in Austria. In the absence of strong leadership for the 2030 Agenda, and limited parliamentary oversight and debate on development more generally – a point also raised in the 2009 peer review (OECD, 2009[32]) – a strategic plan is needed more than ever. Austria could look to the experiences of other DAC members in scaling-up support through high-level political participation.23 Recent initiatives led by civil society and academia to promote the 2030 Agenda and humanitarian policy24 are also positive examples that could be built upon by the government through a long-term strategic approach. For instance, while the Federal Government is not involved in organising or funding a regular humanitarian congress in Vienna (Humanitarian Congress, 2019[33]), the event situates Austria well on the international humanitarian policy stage. Engaging strategically with similar civil society-led initiatives could help the government to build greater public awareness of its efforts.

Linking ADA’s efforts to issues that may have wider support, such as action on climate and environment, and stimulating a broader public debate by engaging systematically with actors other than the traditional Austrian organisations (OECD, 2015[22]), would reinforce this. Sweden’s work with investors and companies may also offer a useful example of how Austria could leverage the legitimacy of other actors in these efforts.25

References

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[12] Caritas Austria (2019), Common Home: Migration and Development in Austria, Caritas Austria, Vienna, https://www.caritas.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CommonHomeAustriaEN.pdf (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[23] CGD (2018), Commitment to Development Index - Austria, Center for Global Development, https://www.cgdev.org/cdi-2018/country/AUT (accessed on 9 April 2019).

[24] European Commission (2019), Country Report Austria 2019, European Commission, Brussels, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/2019-european-semester-country-report-austria_en.pdf (accessed on 30 July 2019).

[29] European Commission (2018), “EU citizens and development cooperation” Special Eurobarometer 476, European Commission, Brussels, http://dx.doi.org/10.2841/449921.

[40] European Commission (2018), Austria Response to the Joint EU questionnaire to Member States Part II - Information on Policy Coherence for Development, European Commission, Brussels, https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/at_0.pdf (accessed on 30 July 2019).

[44] European Commission (2018), Biennial Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - Submission by Austria and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union, European Commission, Vienna, https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/SubmissionsStaging/Documents/201810041701---AT-10-04-EU%20Submission%20on%20Strategies%20and%20Approaches.pdf (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[10] Expert Council for Integration (2017), Integration Report 2017: Evaluating refugee integration - Refocusing on regular integration, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, https://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Zentrale/Integration/Integrationsbericht_2017/Integration_Report_2017.pdf (accessed on 6 September 2019).

[28] FATF (2018), Anti-money Laundering and Counter-terrorist financing measures - Austria - 2nd Enhanced Follow-up Report and Technical Compliance Re-Rating, Financial Action Task Force, Paris, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/FUR-Austria-2018.pdf (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[14] Federal Chancellery (2017), Beiträge der Bundesministerien zur Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung durch Österreich, Federal Chancellery, Vienna, https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/dam/jcr:253e6174-2bbf-4f38-b23a-08764d01a71e/Agenda2030_BF.pdf (accessed on 22 July 2019).

[37] Government of Austria (2019), Auslandseinsätze des Bundesheeres, http://www.bundesheer.at/ausle/zahlen.shtml (accessed on 22 July 2019).

[26] Government of Austria (2018), Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, https://mission2030.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Klima-Energiestrategie_en.pdf (accessed on 19 July 2019).

[19] Government of Austria (2018), Federal Act on the Number, the Powers and the Organisation of Federal Ministries (Federal Ministries Act 1986 – BMG), Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, Vienna, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokument.wxe?Abfrage=Erv&Dokumentnummer=ERV_1986_76 (accessed on 28 August 2019).

[5] Government of Austria (2018), Programme of the Austrian Presidency: Presidency of the Council of the European Union 1 July –31 December 2018, Government of Austria, Vienna, http://file:///C:/Users/king_a/Downloads/Programme%20of%20the%20Austrian%20Presidency.PDF (accessed on 24 July 2019).

[1] Government of Austria (2017), Zusammen. Für unser Österreich. Regierungsprogramm 2017–2022, https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/documents/131008/569203/Regierungsprogramm_2017%E2%80%932022.pdf/b2fe3f65-5a04-47b6-913d-2fe512ff4ce6 (accessed on 2 May 2019).

[18] Government of Austria (2002), Bundesgesetz über die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (Entwicklungszusammenarbeitsgesetz, EZA-G), https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20001847 (accessed on 22 July 2019).

[39] High Level Political Forum (2018), Compendium of Contributions from National Stakeholders in Ireland - Inputs to the High-Level Political Forum, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/196092018.06.29_Compendium_of_Irish_Stakeholder_Contributions_Final.pdf (accessed on 28 August 2019).

[33] Humanitarian Congress (2019), Humanitarian Congress Vienna - The Future of Humanitarian Aid, https://humanitariancongress.at/ (accessed on 12 July 2019).

[11] Konle-Seidl, R. (2018), ““Integration of Refugees in Austria, Germany and Sweden: Comparative Analysis””, European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament, Brussels, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/614200/IPOL_STU(2018)614200_EN.pdf (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[2] Lightfoot, S. and M. Obrovsky (2016), “Austrian development policy - from global to neighbourhood policy?”, Austrian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 45/2, p. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.15203/ozp.1088.vol45iss2.

[31] Loriska, I., M. Risler and S. Beamish (2014), Evaluation: Development Communication and Education of the Austrian Development Policy and Development Cooperation (ADC) 2006-2013 Final Report, ADA, Vienna, http://www.entwicklung.at (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[6] MFA (2019), DAC Peer Review Memorandum, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna.

[13] MFA (2019), Working together. For our world. Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2019-2021, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/3_JP/Englisch/3JP_2019-2021_EN.pdf (accessed on 25 June 2019).

[4] MFA (2018), Austria Candidate for the UN Human Rights Council 2019-2021: Pledges and Commitments, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna, https://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Zentrale/Aussenpolitik/Menschenrechte/Pledges_and_commitments__AT_HRC_candidacy_edited.pdf (accessed on 17 July 2019).

[3] MFA (2017), Closing Statement by H.E. Sebastian Kurz, Chairperson-in-Office, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, https://www.osce.org/de/chairmanship/362081?download=true (accessed on 29 July 2019).

[35] MFA (2011), Security and Development in Austrian development policy Strategic Guideline, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/Strategien/Englisch/EN_Guideline_Security_and_Development.pdf (accessed on 25 July 2019).

[34] MFA (2009), Strategic Guideline on Environment and Development in Austrian Development Policy, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Vienna, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/Strategien/Englisch/EN_Strategic_Guidelines_Environment.pdf (accessed on 2 August 2019).

[9] Migration Council for Austria (2016), Report by the Migration Council for Austria: Understanding Migration - Managing Migration, https://bmi.gv.at/Downloads/files/Bericht_des_Migrationsrats_PDF_komplett_ENG_23_3_17.pdf (accessed on 24 September 2019).

[41] Murphy, F. and M. Zuvela (2016), Defiant Austria, Balkan states agree further steps to turn away migrants, Reuters, https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-migrants-austria/defiant-austria-balkan-states-agree-further-steps-to-turn-away-migrants-idUKKCN0VX1C5 (accessed on 16 July 2019).

[36] OECD (2019), International Development Statistics, https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=crs1 (accessed on 19 July 2019).

[42] OECD (2019), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Norway 2019, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/75084277-en.

[21] OECD (2019), Recommendation of the Council on Good Institutional Practices in Promoting Policy Coherence for Development, OECD, Paris, http://legalinstruments.oecd.org (accessed on 10 April 2019).

[22] OECD (2015), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Austria 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264227958-en.

[27] OECD (2010), Recommendation of the Council for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/44176910.pdf (accessed on 10 April 2019).

[32] OECD (2009), Austria: Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/42857127.pdf (accessed on 16 July 2019).

[20] OECD (2008), OECD Ministerial Declaration on Policy Coherence for Development, OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/dac/parisdeclaration (accessed on 10 April 2019).

[17] ÖkoBüro (2018), SDG Stock Taking Report Österreich 2018 (in German), http://sdgwatchat-live-8893156df82d48b0bb53d2-309f0d2.aldryn-media.com/filer_public/8f/6c/8f6c756b-bca0-4ed3-9074-835c327e17ba/sdg_stock_taking_report_2018.pdf (accessed on 24 July 2019).

[15] Rechnungshof (2018), The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Austria - Court of Audit Austria, Rechnungshof, Vienna, https://www.rechnungshof.gv.at/rh/home/home_2/The_United_Nations_Sustainable_Development_Goals__Impleme.html (accessed on 22 July 2019).

[16] SDG Watch (2018), SDG Watch Europe - Austria, https://www.sdgwatcheurope.org/austria/ (accessed on 14 August 2019).

[25] UNFCCC (2019), Report on the Technical Review of the Third Biennial Report of Austria (FCCC/TRR.3/AUT), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/trr3_AUT.pdf (accessed on 31 July 2019).

[7] UNIDO (2015), UNIDO Energy Programme: The Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna, https://www.unido.org/sites/default/files/2015-12/14._Regional_Sustainable_Energy_Centres_0.pdf (accessed on 9 September 2019).

[8] United Nations (2018), General Assembly Endorses First-Ever Global Compact on Migration, Urging Cooperation among Member States in Protecting Migrants - Press Release, United Nations, New York, https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/ga12113.doc.htm (accessed on 29 July 2019).

[38] United Nations (2018), Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, Outcome of the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, https://undocs.org/A/CONF.231/3 (accessed on 30 July 2019).

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Notes

← 1. Currently around 1 000 members of Austria’s armed forces are deployed in missions ranging from Mali, to Afghanistan and Georgia, as part of United Nations, European Union, NATO and other regional peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations (Government of Austria, 2019[37]). As OSCE Chair in 2017, Austria oversaw formal decisions on cyber security, small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition, and activities to strengthen prevention of human trafficking. For Austria’s priorities, see also: https://www.entwicklung.at/en/projects/detail-en/project/show/austrian-osce-chairmanship-2017-priorities-framework-programme/.

← 2. During its previous term, in 2009, Austria emphasised the protection of civilians and upholding international humanitarian law. The Council adopted resolutions on protection of civilians in armed conflict, Bosnia and Herzegovina, sanctions relating to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia (United Nations, 2009[43]).

← 3. For more information see, The World Bank Group in Vienna, https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/eca/brief/world-bank-group-in-vienna.

← 4. The Council of Ministers adopted the Austrian Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in October 2012 making Austria one of the first EU Member States to link adaptation to climate change with a national action plan. Austria adopted in 2013 a national climate finance strategy and established an inter-ministerial working group dedicated to climate finance (European Commission, 2018[44]). To support Austria’s low-emission transition, in 2018 the government published the new Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy, Mission 2030 (Government of Austria, 2018[26]).

← 5. Austria uses the term Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to refer to the bilateral development co-operation for which the MFA and ADA are responsible in priority countries, territories and regions (MFA, 2019[13]). It only makes up a small part of bilateral ODA. ADA is described as the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation.

← 6. Internal measures after 2015-16 included revising legal and organisational structures relating to the integration of recognised asylum-seekers, restricting access to the labour market, and unlike several other states, placing a cap on how many asylum claims it would accept (Konle-Seidl, 2018[11]). Austria restricts employment for asylum seekers to seasonal work, while Germany and Sweden have liberalised labour market access (Konle-Seidl, 2018[11]).

← 7. The compact aims to establish a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions, including how to protect people who migrate, how to integrate them into new countries and how to return them to their home countries (United Nations, 2018[38]).

← 8. The 2017 report of the Expert Council on Integration noted that the “subjective integration indicators published in the latest statistical yearbook, Migration & Integration 2017, show clearly that the integration climate in Austria has deteriorated, and that the number of people agreeing with the claim that ‘integration in Austria is working quite well or very well’ has declined significantly.” Further, that “Such a polarisation of society is highly problematical – not only from an integration policy point of view, but also for society as a whole” (Expert Council for Integration, 2017[10]). The European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs has published comparative research showing that the share of respondents against supporting refugees is much higher in Austria (28%) than in Germany (10%) and Sweden (9%) and that in Austria, racist incidents have increased by 57% over the past five years (Konle-Seidl, 2018[11]).

← 9. Austria aided in the co-ordination of Western Balkan countries in closing their borders by hosting the Western Balkans Conference in Vienna in February 2016 (Murphy and Zuvela, 2016[41]). For the conference’s outcome document, see: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Zentrale/Aussendungen/2016/Westbalkankonferenz_Draft_Declaration_Letztfassung.pdf. See also the April 2016 resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: https://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=22737&lang=en; as well as media coverage: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-migrants-austria/defiant-austria-balkan-states-agree-further-steps-to-turn-away-migrants-idUKKCN0VX1C5.

← 10. The working group is jointly led by the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and is tasked with developing regular progress reports. To date, it has published just one report.

← 11. It published an SDG-Action plan 2019+ in June 2019: https://www.bmnt.gv.at/umwelt/nachhaltigkeit/sdg_aktionsplan_2019.html (in German).

← 12. In 2017, the Federal Chancellery launched an information area on its website dedicated to SDG implementation. The page does not contain information on results, or a platform for consultation: https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/en/topics/sustainable-development-2030-agenda-sdgs.html.

← 13. For more information, see: https://www.wien.gv.at/politik/international/sdgs.html (in German).

← 14. Inter-ministerial strategic guidelines on environment and development (MFA, 2009[34]) and security and development (MFA, 2011[35]) were evaluated in 2016 and 2017, and are both currently under revision.

← 15. Austria considers that the inter-ministerial working group on 2030 Agenda implementation and other thematic working groups, e.g. on tax and development established in 2016, contribute to policy coherence (MFA, 2019[6]). The working group on tax has since become inactive.

← 16. The 2015 review recommended that Austria develop a clear approach to addressing policy coherence and in turn prioritise selected topics and mechanisms (see Annex A). It also recommended that this include means for monitoring and reporting across government, and that Austria draw on the expertise and analytical capacity in the country (OECD, 2015[22]). In the documentation submitted for the current review, Austria stated that it found the recommendation “not precise enough.” Austria is a member of the OECD Informal Network of National Focal Points for Policy Coherence, and submits responses to the Joint European Union questionnaire on policy coherence for development (European Commission, 2018[40]).

← 17. In 2017, the government of Norway established a whole-of-society Policy Coherence Forum, led by the Deputy Minister for Development Co-operation. The forum includes academia, civil society and the private sector and aims at stimulating broad-based discussion (OECD, 2019[42]).

← 18. High levels of investment in research and development in Austria, and policies encouraging such activities, contribute to Austria’s strong score for technology. Austria’s ratification of all international security agreements and its strong support for international peacekeeping efforts also suggest good performance on development-friendly security policies.

← 19. Austria reported disbursements of EUR 8 million (USD 9.5 million) in support of development awareness in 2017 (OECD, 2019[36]).

← 20. Universitätslehrgang Global Citizenship Education 2019-21, see: http://www.globaleslernen.at/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/news/Folder_2019.pdf (in German).

← 21. The current three-year programme states: “Development cooperation is… a means of advancing Austria’s rational self-interest by alleviating the causes of irregular migration and forced displacement” (MFA, 2019[13]).

← 22. The last review also suggested that ADA monitor the impact of campaigns and activities, such as through surveys and polls, to target audiences and meet evolving needs (Annex A).

← 23. For example, implementation in Norway has benefited from high-level political engagement and endorsement. Organised by the Norwegian agency for development co-operation, Norad, and involving the participation of the Prime Minister, a series of ‘SDGs hikes’ mobilising over 20 000 hikers are an example of high-level engagement in an effective communications strategy, designed to improve learning around global issues and development (OECD, 2019[42]). Ireland hosts a SDG Stakeholder Forum, which meets twice per year (High Level Political Forum, 2018[39]).

← 24. In 2018, SDG Watch hosted an SDG Forum and 15 universities joined forces in the Alliance of Sustainable Universities Austria, leading in 2019 to UniNEtZ, a project to develop an option paper to support the government in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

← 25. Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development is a partnership comprising 18 institutional investors, pension companies, investment companies and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It was formed in 2016 with the mission to explore the role of investors, sustainability risks and opportunities related to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. See: https://www.sida.se/English/partners/Resources-for-specific-partner-groups/Private-sector/Private-Sector-Collaboration/swedish-investors-for-sustainable-development/. Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development is a network made up of more than 20 companies, selected expert organisations and a development finance institution. It is co-ordinated by Sida and has become a forum for knowledge exchange, concrete projects and collaborative models for poverty reduction and sustainable development, with implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as the over-arching umbrella. See: https://www.sida.se/English/partners/Resources-for-specific-partner-groups/Private-sector/Private-Sector-Collaboration/swedish-leadership-for-sustainable-development/.

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