2017 Austrian legislative election
Legislative elections were held in Austria on 15 October 2017. The Austrian People's Party emerged as the largest party in the National Council, winning 62 of the 183 seats; the Social Democratic Party finished second with 52 seats ahead of the Freedom Party of Austria, which received 51 seats. NEOS finished fourth with 10 seats, PILZ entered parliament for the first time and came in fifth place with 8 seats; the Green Party failed to cross the 4% threshold and was ejected from parliament, losing all of its 24 seats. The SPÖ had been the largest party after the previous elections in 2013, had led the government since 2007; the FPÖ's tally of 51 seats is the second-closest that a third party has come to overtaking either the ÖVP or SPÖ since World War II, behind only its tie with the ÖVP in seat count in the 1999 election. The 2017 result is only the second time since 1966 that the ÖVP has been the largest party in the National Council. Sebastian Kurz, named leader of the ÖVP only five months before the election, claimed victory on election night.
Incumbent Chancellor Christian Kern, leader of the SPÖ, announced that he was willing to consider a coalition with the FPÖ—even though he said that the likelihood of such a coalition was small. Kurz was formally invited to form a government on 20 October, began coalition talks with FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache four days later. Negotiation teams on both sides were established to work on a coalition agreement. Kurz planned to have a new government in place by Christmas; the talks proved to be successful and led to the formation of the Kurz government on December 18. Conservative ÖVP party leader Reinhold Mitterlehner resigned on 10 May. On 14 May Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration Sebastian Kurz was unanimously elected new leader of the ÖVP by the federal party committee and called a snap election. Kurz announced the creation of an independent list for the elections under the name "List Sebastian Kurz - The new People's Party", which would be open to non-ÖVP experts or otherwise-interested people.
Green Party leader Eva Glawischnig resigned from all her offices on 18 May, citing family and health-related reasons but increasing political pressure over the last months following the expulsion of the Young Greens from the party, as well as the coming challenging election campaign. On 19 May, the Green Party committee unanimously elected current Tyrol state party head Ingrid Felipe as its new party leader. However, MEP Ulrike Lunacek was chosen as the party's candidate for the Chancellorship in the 2017 elections. On 14 June, the Social Democratic Party announced that it would drop a 30-year ban on coalitions with the far-right FPÖ under certain conditions; the party's "values compass" included a set of requirements that any coalition partner had to fulfil, including having a pro-European policy, a commitment to a minimum wage of €1,500 a month, gender equality and upholding human rights. On 27 June, Team Stronach announced that they would not contest the elections after founder Frank Stronach decided to stop all financial contributions to the party and stated his intention to leave politics.
On 8 July, independent 2016 presidential candidate Irmgard Griss joined an electoral alliance with NEOS. Although not a member of the party and despite not participating in their primaries, she was given second place on the NEOS list after party leader Matthias Strolz; this measure was approved by a wide margin among delegates at a party meeting in Vienna. On 14 July, former FPÖ-leader in Salzburg Karl Schnell announced that he would run in the election with a list called "Freie Liste Österreich – Liste Dr. Karl Schnell". Schnell has the support of 3 MPs in parliament and won't need to submit 2600 signatures to be on the ballot. On 17 July, long-time Green Party MP and founding member Peter Pilz decided to leave the parliamentary club. On 25 June, a majority of Green Party delegates at a convention voted not to renew his spot on the party list for the election. Pilz has stated interest for running his own list in the election. On 25 July, he presented Peter Pilz's List, during a press conference.
Pilz has the support of 4 MPs in parliament and won't need to submit 2600 signatures to be on the ballot. On 14 August, the SPÖ ended their co-operation with Israeli election adviser Tal Silberstein after he was arrested in Israel on suspicion of money-laundering and corruption. For several years, Silberstein worked as an opinion poll and campaign strategy consultant on behalf of the Social Democratic Party. On 14 August, popular Austrian comedian Roland Düringer announced that his satirical, anti-establishment list My Vote Counts! Collected more than 2600 signatures and will appear on the ballot in every state. On 16 August, the KPÖ+ election alliance between the Communist Party of Austria and the Young Greens announced that they collected more than 2600 signatures and will appear on the ballot in every state. Following their expulsion from the Green Party in May, the Young Greens joined the alliance with the Communist Party. On 30 September, SPÖ general secretary and campaign manager Georg Niedermühlbichler resigned, following revelations of an internal SPÖ "dirt campaign" directed against ÖVP-leader Sebastian Kurz.
The negative Facebook campaigning websites were initiated by former, controversial SPÖ adviser Tal Silberstein who got fired by the party a month before. In the days following the revelations and a blame-game about the origins and responsibility in the affair, the ÖVP decided to sue the SPÖ and vice versa. On 6 October, PR adviser and former Silberstein associate Peter Puller claimed to have been offered €100,000 by the
Federal Council (Austria)
The Federal Council is the upper house of the Austrian Parliament, representing the nine States of Austria on federal level. As part of a bicameral legislature alongside of the National Council, it can be compared with an upper house or a senate. In fact, however, it is far less powerful than the National Council: although it has to approve every new law decided for by this "lower" chamber, the latter can—in most cases—overrule the Federal Council's refusal to approve; the Bundesrat has its seat at the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna, in a conclave of the former Herrenhaus chamber of the Imperial Council. During a major renovation of the Parliament Building the Federal Council meets in the Hofburg; as the Constitution of Austria draws a strict distinction between federal and state legislation, its Article 42 provides the Bundesrat only with the right to veto federal laws passed by the National Council. Moreover in most cases a Federal Council's veto is just suspensive, meaning the National Council can override it, passing the law again by ordinary resolution of at least half of its members.
Therefore, the decisions of the Bundesrat can only delay legislation. In the following cases, the Federal Council's approval is mandatory: Constitutional laws or regulations limiting the competencies of the federal states Laws relating to the rights of the Federal Council itself Treaties concerning the jurisdiction of the federal states. Since its inauguration on 10 November 1920, the deputies of Bundesrat have never achieved the status of a counterbalance in relation to the National Council. Over the decades the role of the Federal Council as a mere adjunct of the Austrian parliament has led to several discussions upon regulatory reforms, towards an actual representation of the states' governments modeled on the German Bundesrat or the complete abolition of the second chamber. So far, the concept has been maintained as a manifestation of Austria's federal system; the Federal Council and the National Council, if in joint session, form a third parliamentary body: the Federal Assembly that convenes for the oath of office of the President of Austria.
The 61 members of the Federal Council are elected according to proportional representation by each of the Austrian states' legislatures for 5- to 6-year terms. The composition of the Bundesrat therefore changes after every state election and the distribution of seats in the Austrian Landtage; the second largest faction of the particular Landtag has the right to designate at least one deputy. The number of representatives delegated by each Bundesland ranges between three and twelve, depending on its population as ascertained by a regular census; the deputies may ally along party lines and form parliamentary groups, which have to meet a quorum of five seats, if not admitted by particular resolution. The MPs of the Austrian People's Party, the Social Democratic Party of Austria, the Freedom Party of Austria form political groups in the Bundesrat: The President of the Federal Council is nominated by the largest party of each state in half-yearly intervals; the Federal Council is made up of 2 vice-presidents.
Federal Assembly Politics of Austria National Council
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, its cultural and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union; until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC; the city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings and parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.
Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, sixth globally in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture and markets. Vienna hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions, it attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the city's name or the French Vienne; the etymology of the city's name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently produced the Old High German Uuenia, the New High German Wien and its dialectal variant Wean.
Others believe that the name comes from the Roman settlement name of Celtic extraction Vindobona meaning "fair village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "bright" or "fair" – as in the Irish fionn and the Welsh gwyn –, -bona "village, settlement". The Celtic word Vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of a Celtic God. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Polish names of the city and in that of the city's district Wieden; the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different Slavonic origin, referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, on which the city stands. Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube River. In 15 BC the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements. Evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks. In 976 Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria; this initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube encompassing Vienna and the lands east. In 1145 Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty. In 1440 Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty, it grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1437 and a cultural centre for arts and science and fine cuisine.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490. In the 16th and 1
Alexander Van der Bellen
Alexander Van der Bellen is the current President of Austria. He served as a professor of economics at the University of Vienna, after joining politics, as the spokesman of the Austrian Green Party; as a descendant of the Russian aristocratic von der Bellen family of patrilineal Dutch ancestry, he was born in Austria to Russian and Estonian parents who were refugees of Stalinism, became a naturalised citizen of Austria together with his parents in 1958. He was a member of the National Council representing the Green Party there from 1994 to 2012, served as both leader of the party as well as its parliamentary group, he ran as a nominally independent candidate supported by the Greens in the 2016 presidential election, finished second out of six in the first round before winning the second round against Norbert Hofer, a member of the Freedom Party. On 1 July, before he was due to be sworn into office, the results of the second round of voting were annulled by the Constitutional Court due to absentee votes being improperly counted too early, requiring the election to be re-held.
On 4 December 2016, he won the ensuing election, taking 54% of the vote. Van der Bellen has described himself as a centrist liberal and supports green and social liberal policies; as discussed in his 2015 book, he is supportive of the European Union and advocates European federalism. During the presidential election, he appealed to the political centre and was endorsed by the leaders of both the Social Democratic Party and the conservative People's Party. Van der Bellen is the second green president of a European Union country and the first to be directly elected by popular vote. In the 1700s Van der Bellen's patrilineal ancestors emigrated from the Netherlands into the Russian Empire. During the Russian Civil War part of his family escaped from the Bolsheviks and migrated to the newly independent Republic of Estonia. Before this Van der Bellen's grandfather Aleksander von der Bellen served as the head of the civilian regional government of Pskov. Claiming Dutch origins the family changed its name from „von der Bellen“ to „Van der Bellen“.
In 1931 Van der Bellen's father, called Alexander, married his Estonian mother Alma in Kihelkonna in Saaremaa, on the elder Van der Bellen obtained citizenship of Estonia. In June 1940, as a result of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact Estonia was invaded by the Soviet Army and annexed by the USSR. Subsequently, in February or March 1941 Van der Bellen's father and older sister Vivian-Diana moved to the national socialist German Reich. Van der Bellen's father was under the threat of repression by the Soviet secret service NKVD because of his origins and occupation as an international bank manager. Via Laugszargen and a German resettlement camp in Werneck at Würzburg, Van der Bellen's parents moved to Vienna, where their son Alexander was born in 1944 and baptised evangelically; as the Red Army approached Vienna, the family escaped to the Kaunertal in Tyrol, where his father became active as a businessman again. In 1954, after completing primary school in Innsbruck, Van der Bellen started attending the Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck where he graduated in 1962 with his Matura.
Until this time Van der Bellen had Estonian citizenship like his parents, obtaining Austrian citizenship around 1958. According to Van der Bellen himself, he did not complete the mandatory service in the Bundesheer, he underwent a Musterung twice, the first one resulting in his being rated as unfit. However, he passed the second one, he received several respites during his studies and after his marriage. After that Van der Bellen was no long summoned for service, due to his subsequent professorship. After receiving his Matura Van der Bellen started studying economics at the University of Innsbruck, he completed his studies in 1966 as Diplom-Volkswirt. With his dissertation Kollektive Haushalte und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmungen: Probleme ihrer Koordination he was awarded the title of Dr. rer. oec in December 1966. From 1968 to 1971 he served as a scientific assistant of Clemens August Andreae at the public finance institution of the University of Innsbruck, from 1972 to 1974 as research fellow at the international institution for management and administration of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
He established a friendship with Turkish economist Murat R. Sertel, with who he worked on decision and preference theories and on published several articles and discussion papers. In 1976 Van der Bellen was appointed extraordinary university professor at the Innsbruck University, where he remained until 1980. During this time he moved to Vienna to study and research from 1977 to 1980 at the Verwaltungsakademie des Bundes. From 1980 to 1999 he was extraordinary university professor for economics at the University of Vienna. Between 1990 and 1994 he there became dean of the faculty for economics at University of Vienna. In October 1999 he became parliamentary leader of the Greens in the National Council and thus resigned as university professor in January 2009. Van der Bellen retired in February 2009. Van der Bellen's research focused on planning and financing procedures in the public sector, infrastructure financing, fiscal policy, public expenditure, government regulation policy, public undertakings, environmental and transport policy.
He has published in professional journals such
Sebastian Kurz is Chancellor of Austria since December 2017 and Chairman of the Austrian People's Party since May 2017. Kurz was raised in Meidling, Vienna, he obtained his Matura in 2004 at the GRG 12 Erlgasse and subsequently completed mandatory military service in 2005. Following the same year, Kurz attended the faculty of law at the University of Vienna, but voluntarily left before graduating. Kurz joined politics when he entered the Young People's Party in 2003, he assumed his first political office in 2008 as chairman of the JVP for Vienna. One year Kurz became the JVP's federal chairman. In 2010, Kurz became a member of the Viennese city legislature. Following a reshuffle of the First Faymann cabinet in 2011, he became state secretary for integration in the Ministry of the Interior. In 2013, Kurz shortly served as a member of the National Council. After the 2013 legislative election, Kurz was appointed Foreign Minister and became the youngest person to hold this position in Austrian history.
After the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner as chairman of the People's Party in May 2017, Kurz was appointed his successor. Mitterlehner's withdrawal from all political posts triggered the end of the Kern cabinet and thus led to the early 2017 legislative election, in which Kurz participated as the top candidate of his party, gaining tremendous popularity with his core topics of immigration and social politics, his party, under the campaign alias "Sebastian Kurz List – the new People's Party", achieved the first place in the election, receiving 31.5% of the vote. As leader of the largest party after the election, Kurz was charged with the formation of a new cabinet by President Van der Bellen and subsequently formed a coalition with the Freedom Party. Kurz was sworn in as chancellor on 18 December 2017 alongside his new cabinet. During his chancellorship, Kurz enabled the 12 hour workday, initiated a fusion of all Austrian social insurances, enacted the "Family Bonus Plus", abolished the smoking ban, prohibited full face veils in the public, amended family subsidy for European foreigners, installed the monitoring compact, established compulsory German language classes, rejected the Global Compact for Migration and de facto held the EU Council Presidency from July to December 2018.
As chancellor, Kurz has been described as publicly restrained. His style of governing is regarded as active and expeditious by supporters, but uncooperative and hasty by opponents. In addition, Kurz is the youngest serving head of government in the world. Kurz was born in the only child of Roman Catholic parents Josef and Elisabeth Kurz, his father is an engineer and his mother is a grammar school teacher. His maternal grandmother, Magdalena Müller – born 1928, Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes – is a Danube Swabian who fled from the city and settled in Zogelsdorf during World War II after the Yugoslav Partisans and the Red Army started to occupy the territory, part of the Kingdom of Hungary, he was brought up in the Meidling district. He took his Matura qualification in 2004, completed compulsory military service, began studying law at the University of Vienna in 2005 but dropped out to focus on his political career. Kurz is in a relationship with economics teacher Susanne Thier since their common school time.
Kurz resides in the 12th district of Vienna. Kurz was sponsored by Markus Figl. From 2008 to 2012 he was chairman of the JVP in Vienna. In 2009, he was elected federal chairman of the JVP with 99 percent of the delegates vote, In 2012 he was re-elected with 100 percent of the vote. In 2017, he handed over the post of federal chair to lawyer Stefan Schnöll. From 2009 to 2016 he served as deputy chairperson of the People's Party in Vienna; as chairman of the JVP in Vienna, he lead the youth campaign for the 2010 Viennese state election, which had the slogan "Schwarz macht geil", in addition he let a "Geilomobil" drive through Vienna. From 2010 to 2011, he was a member of the Vienna State and Municipality diet, where he focused on generational fairness and ensuring pensions, before being nominated as State Secretary for Integration of the Ministry of the Interior in June 2011 following a reshuffle of the first Faymann cabinet. After the 2013 Austrian legislative election, in which he had won the most direct votes of any member in the election, he shortly served as a Member of the National Council.
On 16 December 2013 Kurz tenure as MP ended and he was sworn in as the youngest foreign minister in Austrian history by President Heinz Fischer. Kurz saw the inclusion of religions and the dialogue with religious communities as important for integration. In the first months in his capacity as State Secretary, Kurz proposed several changes, such as a second mandatory kindergarten year for children with language deficits. In 2011, the joint campaign "ZUSAMMEN:ÖSTERREICH" was created by the Integration State Secretariat, along with the Austrian Integration Fund and the Ministry of Education; the campaign had the propose to familiarize immigrants with Austrian landscape and culture as well as to convey values such as religious freedom and democracy. So-called "Integration Ambassadors" were sent to schools to discuss migrants' identification with Austria; as Integration State Secretary, Kurz received an annual budget of 15 million euro as of 2011. This was increased to 100 million euros by 2017; the budget increase occurred due to a large-scale expansion of German language courses toge
A bicameral legislature divides the legislators into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses; as of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures. The members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from country to country; this can lead to the two chambers having different compositions of members. Enactment of primary legislation requires a concurrent majority – the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature; when this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many Westminster system parliaments, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism; some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house only able to overrule the other under certain circumstances.
The Founding Fathers of the United States favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, noted that "this type of dominion is always connected with opulence"; the Senate was created to be a stabilising force, elected not by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what Madison saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House, he noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness and caution were deemed important. State legislators chose the Senate, senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures.
As part of the Great Compromise, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had states represented and the House had them represented by population. The British Parliament is referred to as the Mother of Parliaments because the British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, its Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth have organised parliaments with a ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house, a smaller upper house. A formidable sinister interest may always obtain the complete command of a dominant assembly by some chance and for a moment, it is therefore of great use to have a second chamber of an opposite sort, differently composed, in which that interest in all likelihood will not rule. There have been a number of rationales put forward in favour of bicameralism, federal states have adopted it, the solution remains popular when regional differences or sensitivities require more explicit representation, with the second chamber representing the constituent states.
The older justification for second chambers—providing opportunities for second thoughts about legislation—has survived. Growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multifunctional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the Senate of Canada or the election of the Senate of France; the relationship between the two chambers varies. The first tends to be those with presidential governments; the latter tends to be the case in unitary states with parliamentary systems. There are two streams of thought: Critics believe bicameralism makes meaningful political reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of gridlock—particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers—while proponents argue the merits of the "checks and balances" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent the passage into law of ill-considered legislation.
Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including: Sending messages Formal notices, such as of resolutions or the passing of bills done in writing, via the clerk and speaker of each house Transmission of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house Joint session a plenary session of both houses at the same time and place. Joint committees which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house Conferences Conferences of the Houses of the English Parliament met in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. There were a distinction between an "ordinary conference" and a "free conference". A "free conference" meets in private to resolve a dispute; the last fr
Chancellor of Austria
The Chancellor of Austria is the head of government of the Austrian Republic. The chancellor chairs and leads the government, composed of him, the vice-chancellor and the ministers. Together with the president, head of state, the government forms the country's executive leadership. Austria is a parliamentary republic, the system of government in which real power is vested in the head of government. However, in Austria most executive actions of great extent can only be exercised by the president, upon advice or with the countersignature of the chancellor; therefore the chancellor requires the president's assent to implement greater decisions. Furthermore neither the ministers nor the vice-chancellor report to the chancellor. In legislature, the chancellor's power depends on the size of his affiliated parliamentary group. In case of a coalition government, the chancellor is the leader of the party most represented in the National Council, with the leader of the party able to grant a majority serving as the vice-chancellor.
The first Austrian sovereign head of government was the State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, a position only held by Klemens von Metternich. The office was renamed to Minister-President of the Austrian Empire and remained from there on until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary; the first head of government after the monarchy was the State Chancellor of German-Austria, an office again only held by one person. After allied powers declined a union between Austria and Germany, the office was renamed to just State Chancellor of Austria and changed to Federal Chancellor, which remained the position's final form until present day; the official residence and executive office of the chancellor is the chancellery, located at the Ballhausplatz in the center of Vienna. Both, the chancellor as well as the government are appointed by the president and can be dismissed by the president; the current officeholder is Sebastian Kurz, sworn in on 18 December 2017 by President Alexander Van der Bellen. The use of the term Chancellor as head of the chancery writing office can be traced back as far as the ninth century, when under King Louis the German the office of the Archchancellor Imperial Chancellor, was created as a high office on the service of the Holy Roman Emperor.
The task was fulfilled by the Prince-Archbishops of Mainz as Archchancellors of the German lands. In the course of the Imperial reform, the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I in 1498 attempted to counter the spiritual power of the Reichserzkanzler with a more secular position of an Imperial Court Chancellor, but the two became merged; these were the times when attempts were made to balance Imperial absolutism by the creation of Imperial Governments a failure. When Maximilian's grandson Ferdinand I succeeded him as Archduke of Austria in 1521, his elder brother Emperor Charles V appointed Mercurino Gattinara as "Grand Chancellor of all the realms and kingdoms of the king"; the separate position of an Austrian Court Chancellor appeared as a Österreichische Hofkanzlei around 1526, when the Habsburg Monarchy arose with the Bohemian and Hungarian inheritance. Upon the 1620 Battle of White Mountain and the suppression of the Bohemian revolt, Emperor Ferdinand II had separate Court Chancelleries established in order to strengthen the unity of the Habsburg hereditary lands.
Beside a Bohemian and Hungarian chancellery, he created the office of an Austrian chancellor in Vienna, responsible for the Archduchy of Austria proper with the Inner Austrian territories and Tyrol. Under Emperor Leopold I the term again became Hofkanzler with Johann Paul Freiherr von Hocher, Theodor von Strattman; the eighteenth century was dominated by Prince Wenzel Anton of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Chancellor to four Habsburg emperors from Maria Theresa to Francis II, with the titles of both Hofkanzler and Staatskanzler. He was succeeded by Johann Philipp von Cobenzl, dismissed by Emperor Francis II over the Partition of Poland and was succeeded by Johann Amadeus Francis de Paula. Thugot's chancellorship did not survive the Austrian defeats by the French at the battles of Marengo and Hohenlinden in 1800 and he was replaced by Johan Ludwig Joseph Cobenzl, his predecessor's cousin, but who in turn was dismissed following the Austrian defeat at Austerlitz in 1805. With the consequent dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and founding of the Austrian Empire, Francis II abdicated the former Imperial Throne, but remained Emperor Francis I of Austria in 1806.
He had replaced Cobenzl with Johan Philip Charles Stadion the previous year, but his career was in turn cut short in 1809 following yet another Austrian defeat by Napoleon at the Battle of Wagram and subsequent humiliation at the Treaty of Schönbrunn. Prince Klemens von Metternich was appointed by Francis I to the positions of Hofkanzler and Staatskanzler. However, there is some opinion that the Chancellor title was not used between Prince Kaunitz-Rietberg's resignation in 1792 and 1821; as the Metternich system had become a synonym for his reactionary politics, the title of a State Chancellor was abolished upon the 1848 revolutions. The position became that of a Minister-President of Austria, equivalent to Prime Minister, with the exception of Count Fri