Relations with Austria

  • Last updated: 27 Nov. 2018 16:11

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 has worked alongside Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and currently has personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Karin Kneissl

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Karin Kneissl (November 2018)

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 currently contributing a mechanised company and support units to the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), amounting to over 400 troops.
  • Austrian forces joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002, providing expertise and logistical support. Austria continues to contribute to the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to further train, assist and advise the Afghan security forces and institutions.

Wider cooperation

  • 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 agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations.
  • Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Austria have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics, including preparedness against bio-terrorism, strengthening influenza pandemic preparedness and emerging biological threats.