Relations with Austria
NATO-Austria relations are conducted through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) framework, which Austria joined in 1995. NATO and Austria actively cooperate in peace-support operations, and have developed practical cooperation in a range of other areas. Austria worked alongside Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan, and currently has personnel deployed in Kosovo.
- Cooperation began when Austria joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1995 and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (a multilateral forum for dialogue which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area) in 1997.
Key areas of cooperation
Austria's cooperation with NATO is mutually beneficial and includes:
Building capabilities and interoperability
- As an official PfP Training and Education Centre, the Austrian Armed Forces International Centre (AUTINT) promotes interoperability by providing training opportunities for Allies and other partner countries. AUTINT's courses focus primarily on crisis-response operations, but it also provides training for peace-support operations.
- Allies and other partners benefit from Austrian expertise. The country is contributing to NATO's programme of support for security-sector reform activities, with a special emphasis on the Balkan region. This includes supporting professional military education reform through the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP).
- The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) influences and reinforces Austrian planning activities. Through the PARP, Austria has declared an increasing number of forces and capabilities as potentially available for NATO-led operations.
- Since 2014, under the Partnership Interoperability Initiative, Austria has participated in the Interoperability Platform, which brings Allies together with 24 selected partners that are active contributors to NATO's operations.
Support for NATO-led operations and missions
- Austria has made a number of units available for potential PfP operations. In each case, deployment must be authorised by the Austrian Council of Ministers and approved by the Main Committee of the Austrian Parliament.
- From 1996 to 2001, Austria contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Austria is a long-standing and major contributor to the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR).
- Austrian forces joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002, providing expertise and logistical support. Austria also contributed to the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to further train, assist and advise the Afghan security forces and institutions.
- Austria has contributed to several NATO Trust Fund projects in other partner countries, providing support for the destruction of mines and/or munitions in Albania, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine, among others.
- Austria cooperates with NATO Allies on civil preparedness, providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of major accidents or disasters in the Euro-Atlantic area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations.
- Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Austria are leading activities tackling CBRN threats. For instance, Austrian researchers are developing an innovative detection tool for the SARS-COV-2 virus and other toxic bio-agents in workplaces. Moreover, Austrian experts are contributing to the development of a sensor technology to assess air quality and detect CBRN agents.