Five things the Austrian Parliament is voting on ahead of the summer break

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Five things the Austrian Parliament is voting on ahead of the summer break
Renovated façade of the Austrian Parliament Building. View over the ramp to Portikus (Rathausplatz side) (Copyright: Austrian Parliament)

Austrian Parliament is heading for its weeks-long summer break, but before that, some 40 laws will be voted on until Friday. Here are five of the most important ones.


Austrian bureaucracy all but shuts down during the summer months, and the Parliament is no exception. Ahead of the holiday season, the politicians are set to vote on some 40 proposals this week alone. Here are five of the main votes happening until Friday.

Anti-Corruption Act

After prolonged negotiations, the ÖVP-Green government has finally introduced a new law aimed at combating corruption. 

This legislation includes several amendments to the criminal law regarding corruption, including introducing a new offence called "mandate buying." The law also states that politicians and civil servants will automatically lose office if convicted of corruption offences.

READ ALSO: ‘Reforms needed urgently’: Is Austria becoming more corrupt?

Crisis Security Law

After extensive deliberations, the Federal Crisis Security Act has finally been finalised, Austrian media reported. This act brings about a redefinition of state crisis management, with authority shifting to the Federal Chancellor and establishing a dedicated situation centre under the Ministry of the Interior. 

As the role of the armed forces is also being reevaluated, obtaining a two-thirds majority is required for its implementation. However, the SPÖ and FPÖ have already announced their intention to vote against it.

Car confiscation against racers

As a last resort in combating excessive speeding in road traffic, a new provision has been introduced to confiscate vehicles belonging to repeat offenders. 

This measure explicitly targets drivers who exceed the speed limit by 80 km/h in residential areas or 90 km/h in rural areas. 

The committee's new stringent penalties received support from the ÖVP, Greens, and SPÖ parties through their votes.

READ MORE: Cars of street racers will be confiscated and auctioned in the future


Ombudsman against police abuse

The government is taking steps to establish an independent investigation and complaints office dedicated to addressing allegations of abuse and misconduct within the police force. This initiative aims to ensure transparency, accountability, and the protection of citizens' rights. However, this move has drawn criticism from the opposition, who question the effectiveness and impartiality of such an office being located within the Ministry of the Interior.

The main point of contention raised by critics of several parties is the concern that housing the investigation and complaints office within the Ministry of the Interior may compromise its independence. They argue that the proximity to the institution being investigated could hinder impartiality and accountability.

The FPÖ has gone so far as to dub the office a "denunciation and vilification office," expressing their scepticism regarding its intentions and effectiveness. 


New ORF fee

The introduction of the new ORF law has recently sparked significant controversy and debate. As part of this law, it has been determined that the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) will transition to a household tax-based financing model. Under this model, households will be required to pay a fixed monthly fee of €15.3 (plus possible provincial taxes) to support the operations of ORF.

Expressing their discontent, the Association of Austrian Newspapers (VÖZ) plans to challenge the law at the European Union level, asserting that they are facing discriminatory treatment. They believe that this financing model places them at a disadvantage and undermines fair competition within the media industry.


Given the opposition's stance, the ÖVP-Green government cannot expect support for this decision. The opposition has put forward additional motions, seeking amendments to the law and raising their concerns. 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about the new ORF/GIS fee coming to Austria

In addition to the ORF law, discussions are underway regarding changes to the Private Radio Act, which are expected to be approved. These proposed changes aim to address evolving trends and challenges in the radio broadcasting sector, ensuring that the regulatory framework remains relevant and up-to-date.


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