Report creation date: 14.10.2008 - 09:44
Countr(y/ies): Austria
Chapter(s): 1,2,21,22,23,24,241,242,243,244,245,246,3,31,32,33,4,41,42,421,422,423,424,425,426,427,428,429,4210,43,5,51,511,512,513,514,515,516,517,518,519,52,53,531,532,533,534,535,536,537,538,539,5310,6,61,62,63,64,7,71,72,73,8,81,811,812,813,82,821,822,83,831,832,84,841,842,9,91,92

Austria/ 1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

Austria's history in the 20th century was marked by the decline of the Habsburg Empire and the end of the monarchy, by difficult times in the First Republic between the wars, by its status as a province annexed by Hitler-Germany from 1938 to 1945, and by a period of allied occupation from 1945 to 1955.

Austrian post-war cultural policy was mainly prestige-oriented and non-political. It favoured support for federal theatres or festivals and ignored contemporary works of literature, theatre, the visual arts and music. Most of the artists and intellectuals who had been driven away by Nazism during the war were not invited to return.Schloss Schönbrunn

The post war-attitude toward culture changed with the general European politicisation and radicalisation of the 1960s and 1970s. The cultural vanguard became a political factor and was employed as a tool to prepare for the upcoming political changes in Austria, i.e. the Social Democratic government of Bruno Kreisky, which promised modernisation and reform in all areas including a concept of culture embracing all expressions of life. Moreover, cultural policy was regarded as a variation of social policy.

A package of cultural policy measures of the Federal Ministry of Education and the Arts was adopted in 1975. Its main goals were to improve the cultural habits and education levels of the public and to reduce the educational gap between city-dwellers and the rural population. A culture service (Öks) operated by the Ministry was established to create contact between artists and culture workers on the one hand and schools, adult education establishments, companies and cultural centres on the other. This marked a turning point insofar as it launched a dialogue between governing bodies and artists and art mediators. The decisive step towards the current system of arts promotion was taken up at this time, and was gradually extended and refined over the next 25 years, including the establishment of various advisory bodies (incl. boards, juries and commissions and specialised curators). Such bodies were given some decision-making powers in an effort to make the arts support-system more democratic. Intermediary bodies were also established, supervised by the government and to some extent anchored in private business.

In the 1980s, the country was seized by a veritable culture boom in the sense that more and more events were organised and cultural spending increased approximately seven times the annual amount of the past 25 years. In general, the reason for the increase was due to the support for large-scale events, numerous festivals and major exhibitions.

Towards the end of the 1980s, cultural policy priorities shifted and discussions became focused on issues of cultural sponsorship and privatisation. This was at a time when there was a renewed grand coalition between the Christian Democratic People's Party (ÖVP) and the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and against the background of the major political changes of 1989. In 1988, public support for the arts was enshrined in a federal law: the Federal Arts Promotion Act. While public discussion on privatisation was initially of marginal significance in the 1980s, it became a hot topic in the latter years of the 1990s, especially in fields such as musicals, popular operas and museums which - judged by international standards - were able to raise a greater share of funds in the market than the more avant-garde art forms.

In 1998, a discussion on the re-structuring of cultural policy was initiated. The Chancellor and the Secretary of State for arts affairs commissioned a working group of experts to analyse Austria's federal cultural policies and administration. Proposals were elaborated to modernise and improve public cultural administration / cultural management (Weissbuch, 1998). Although these proposals were widely discussed in the press and among cultural policy makers and artists, they were not implemented.

Another major political shift was brought about in 2000 with the building of a coalition between the People's Party (ÖVP) and the right-wing Freedom Party. This political shift encountered fundamental criticism from many social, political and cultural forces, nationally and internationally. In general, the cultural policy objectives of the coalition, re-elected in 2002, have been focussed on restructuring public support for culture (outsourcing of public cultural institutions and reduction of the cultural budget). Greater emphasis has been placed on prestige culture, the creative industries and the promotion of economically oriented projects (such as festivals to increase tourism).

Following the parliamentary elections in autumn 2006, a coalition between the parties with the most votes, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the People's Party (ÖVP), was formed. Since 2007, arts, cultural affairs and heritage have again been integrated in one ministry, the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. The plans for future cultural policy measures are outlined in 4.1.

Austria/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.1 Organisational structure (organigram)

There is no organigram available.

Federal Level

The Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) is responsible for culture, arts, education and school matters.

The Department for Culture is responsible for:

The Arts Department is responsible for:

Other institutions within the responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) are:

The Cultural Policy Department of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMEIA) is responsible for the co-ordination, planning, financing, evaluation and implementation of Austria's international cultural policy:

The Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture and the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs share responsibility for:

There are other government Ministries that deal with culture such as:

The Federal Chancellery is in charge of

The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour is responsible for:

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is in charge of:

·         the association for the commemoration service at the Holocaust Memorials (24 intern positions per year);

·         the "Never Forget" Association for the Protection of Holocaust Memorials (16 intern positions per year); and

·         the association for services abroad at memorials, according to the Community Service Act (26 intern positions per year).

Provincial level

The Bundesländer (federal provinces) in Austria are: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg. There is a cultural department in the executive offices of each provincial government; in some cases, these are combined with science and / or education. With the exception of Vienna, every Bundesland has its own Cultural Promotion Act, most of which were implemented during the 1980s.

General cultural responsibilities of the Bundesländer include:

Local level

Political responsibility for culture at the local level rests with either the city / town councillor or in smaller municipalities with the mayor. The majority of local government offices - or municipal administrations - have cultural departments (often combined with science and / or education) which are inter alia responsible for libraries, as well as amateur art. Communities with fewer than 20 000 inhabitants generally have no culture department of their own.

Local level competence includes:

Austria/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.2 Overall description of the system

Austria is a federal state. The general clause of Article 15 of the Constitutional Law assigns most cultural competence to the provinces or Bundesländer (an arrangement known as "cultural sovereignty"), while the federal government has competence over "sovereign" matters such as scientific and technical archives and libraries, artistic and scientific collections and federal facilities (federal museums, the National Library), federal theatres, historic monuments, religious groups, foundations and funds.

Even though public responsibility is clearly defined for some specific cultural fields, public bodies (at any level of government) may take an active role in supporting all arts and cultural activities. In this case, the relations between the various governmental bodies are shaped by informal co-operation as much as by competition (see also 2.3). While the Austrian constitution is federalist in principle, in practice the federal government is more active than the Bundesländer in supporting the arts and culture.

Cultural Administration of the Federal Republic

The basis for the administrative structure in the field of culture is the Federal Ministry Act. Since 2007, after alternating ministerial responsibilities in recent decades, arts, culture and cultural heritage were integrated into one ministry, the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

The legal basis of arts promotion at federal level is the federal Arts Promotion Act, adopted in 1988, amended in 1997 and 2000 (see 5). Decisions on subsidies for the arts are made upon the recommendations of several advisory boards which consist of experts from the respective fields in almost all divisions of the Arts Department of the Ministry (see 5.1): visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film - the Austrian Film Institute (Selection Commission / Auswahlkommission), literature, translation, publishing, architecture and design, and cultural initiatives. The advisory boards' recommendations are not binding. In some branches of the arts, there are also juries (experts) that are used to decide the awarding of scholarships and prizes.

The annual Arts Report (Kunstbericht) is stipulated in the federal Arts Promotion Act and provides information on state expenditure for the arts and cultural activities. The presentation of the support payments also follows the "LIKUS system" (see 6), which was set up in 1996 to achieve as much transparency and comparability as possible - especially between the expenditures of the Bundesländer and those of the federal level. This system organises the data by sector (e.g. literature; film and photography etc.), rather than by the administrative departments.

The annual Culture Report (Kulturbericht) provides information on state expenditure for the main cultural institutions (e.g. museums), heritage protection etc.

International cultural policies and cooperation activities are described in the annual Austrian Foreign Policy Yearbook, published by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

The Institute of Culture Management and Culture Studies (IKM) publishes annually a report on the financing of culture at the federal level, which provides detailed information on the expenditures for culture and the arts along the above mentioned LIKUS system.

Cultural Administration of the Federal Provinces (Bundesländer) and Local Authorities

The Bundesländer are active in promoting culture in all relevant fields, based on elements of private law. All Bundesländer governments have at least one department that concerns itself with cultural affairs. A member of the government generally assumes the political responsibility for this department. Occasionally, some cultural competence is reserved for the governor. The legal basis of the promotion of arts and culture are the respective Cultural Promotion Acts (except Vienna), which stipulate the establishment of advisory boards and - in some Bundesländern - the publication of a report on the expenditure on the arts and culture. Subsidy reports are available for all the Bundesländer except Upper Austria. 

The capitals of the Bundesländer, as well as small rural municipalities, allocate considerable resources to cultural promotion, aimed at urban institutions, local museums, libraries and adult education facilities. Since 2000, there has been a trend towards more transparency in municipal cultural support, for example through cultural development strategies (Salzburg, Linz, Krems), reports on support for culture (Graz, Salzburg) and the establishment of advisory boards.

Austria/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

Examples of inter-ministerial cooperation in recent years are on the issues of the creative industries (see 4.2.6), cultural tourism ( 4.2.9), cultural diversity ( chapter 2.4.3), architectural policies ( chapter 4.3) and intercultural dialogue (see 4.2.3).

Annual intergovernmental information meetings (Landeskulturreferentenkonferenz) are held between the nine Bundesländer and the federal government, where important cultural projects or events are discussed. On request, informal, inter-ministerial meetings are organised between the various ministries and administrators.

Alongside Vienna and the provincial capitals, practically all cities and towns with more than 10 000 inhabitants are members of the Association of Austrian Cities; cultural agendas are dealt with by the association's cultural committee. Alongside the Association of Austrian Municipalities, which represents the smaller towns, the Association of Austrian Cities is the discussion partner for the government at national and provincial level.

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

The agendas of international cultural cooperation are distributed over various ministries in Austria. The main actors are the cultural policy section in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (see 2.4.2) and the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. The Federal Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs is also involved in this area (see 2.1); also the Federal Ministry of Finance, which provides state guarantees for major international museum exhibitions, the Federal Ministry of Science and Research and the Ministry of Justice (copyright or / and other intellectual property rights issues).

In the field of international cultural exchange, the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture is responsible for cultural affairs in the framework of the EU (Cultural Contact Point etc.), the Council of Europe and UNESCO (see 2.4.3) and for bilateral cultural exchange (supporting the activities of Austrian artists abroad, events and artist-in-residence programmes in the framework of cultural agreements). Since 2004, the Arts Department has been supporting an initiative focused on central and eastern European music theatres, together with the Viennese State Opera and the Deutsche-Bank Stiftung.

Above and beyond this, the association KulturKontakt Austria, founded in 1989, is responsible for cultural cooperation with eastern and south-eastern Europe (see 7).

International cultural exchange also takes place at provincial (Bundesländer) and city level and, alongside the promotion of events and projects, includes support for the activities of Austrian artists abroad (scholarships, travel costs) and places for artists-in-residence. In addition, the City of Vienna also organises regular "cultural days" (Kulturtage) for selected guest cities.

The main cultural institutions, arts universities, but also smaller cultural initiatives, maintain their own cultural cooperation relations, including activities within European and international networks (such as EFAH, ELIA, ENCANTC, etc.)

Generally spoken, international cultural cooperation is geographically focused in central, eastern and south-eastern European countries. In recent years, cultural exchanges with Asian countries (e.g. China) have also gained importance.

According to Culture Statistics (Kulturstatistik), in 2005 the federal government spent approximately euro 25 million on international cultural exchanges. The corresponding expenditure by the Bundesländer (provinces) and municipalities was approximately euro 1 million and euro 2.9 million respectively.

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Austria currently has 30 "Cultural Fora" (Kulturforen) of various sizes in 27 countries (Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States). These include not only the former 11 cultural institutes but also the cultural departments in Austrian embassies, which often consist only of a cultural attaché. Most of the operative budget for international cultural policy is distributed to the cultural forums, which thereby have their own annual budget. The programme planning is agreed with the respective ambassador and the responsible department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cultural protocols or programmes, with a term of three or four years, regulate the main types of bilateral cultural cooperation, specify the framework conditions and also include agreements on the exchange of experts, cultural activities, groups of artists, ensembles and dance companies. The general and financial provisions are subject to the agreements and protocols negotiated.

Austria has signed agreements on cultural co-operation with a total of 25 states, including eight EU member states. In addition to these cultural agreements, further agreements on co-operation in the scientific and technical fields have been signed with twelve states. Informal co-operation in the fields of culture and science has developed with six partner states without requiring any underlying written agreement.

The main tasks of international cultural policy were outlined in a concept paper (Auslandskultur Neu, 2001) prepared by the former Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. One key element was to restructure the cultural institutes and the culture departments of the Austrian Embassies in the form of "Cultural Forums" (Kulturforen). With this concept, the Ministry presented its international cultural policy for the first time. In general, emphasis is placed on the importance of culture as Austria's most important image factor, with the following priorities being identified:

The Platform "Culture - Central Europe" was founded with "cultural neighbour" countries (Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia) in 2001. It is a forum to facilitate cultural dialogue with the purpose of providing support for bilateral and multilateral cultural projects focusing on common Central European cultural interests. The "Dialogue of Culture" initiative aims to foster a dialogue between the major world religions.

The initiative "Culture Matters. Austrian Cultural Cooperation with South-East European Countries" was set up in 2006 aiming to foster cultural cooperation with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. The joint projects and events are intended to support the involvement of school students, students, academics and artists from these countries in Austrian and European structures.

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

Multilateral issues of international cultural policy are dealt with in the framework of UNESCO, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. Austria is also a member of different networks: the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP), the network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue Between Culture and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC). Further Austria is represented at the worldwide network of artists and the International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD). Since 2004, Austria has had observer status at the Francophonie. The Bundesländer maintain their own European and external relations and are represented in networks like the Assembly of European Regions, Committee of the Regions (see also 2.4.5). The municipalities maintain town-twinning partnerships and cooperation; the capital Vienna is a member of international / European networks, such as Eurocities, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) etc.

The Austrian UNESCO Commission is the national agency for UNESCO matters. In accordance with the intention of Austria to ratify the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the national agency for Intangible Cultural Heritage was established at the Austrian Commission for UNESCO in 2006.

In Austria, the following ministries are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour. The Working Group on Cultural Diversity (established in 2004) of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, composed of experts, artists and their interest groups, cultural organisations and creative industries, as well as representatives of ministries and the Bundesländer, also plays an important role in the implementation and monitoring process.

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

There are numerous institutions in the sphere of art and culture involved in transnational cooperation in Austria, ranging from major institutions such as museums to small cultural initiatives. Since the 1990s, cooperation projects have been concentrating above all on the central and south-east European area. The activities include festivals (music, film, etc.), exhibitions (fine art, architecture, photography etc.) conferences and workshops, information and training programmes etc. Private institutions (such as banks and insurance companies) have also started initiatives to make fine art, especially from central and south-eastern Europe, accessible to a broader public. Examples are the "Kontakt" and "Tranzit" programmes by the Erste Bank, activities of private exhibition houses (Generali Foundation, Bawag Foundation, BA-CA Kunstforum, Siemens Artlab, etc.), and, since 2002, the Henkel company's CEE Art award.

Festivals are an ever-more popular form of cultural cooperation. Under the traditional, large festivals (like the Salzburg festival, Bregenz festival, steirischer herbst etc.), which are highly supported by the different governments (state, Bundesländer and cities), the Austrian festival landscape has constantly grown due to initiatives by the independent cultural scene. According to Cultural Statistics (Kulturstatistik), there were 65 festivals with 2 045 performances (at different performance venues) and 1.656 million visitors in 2005. However, the number of festivals included is not complete. In the field of film alone there exist more than 20 festivals of varied size.

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

In recent years, the relevance of cross-border cooperation has increased. In addition to already existing networks and partnerships (Arge Alpen Adria; Arge Donauländer, Arge Kärnten / Slowenien, Internationale Bodenseekonferenz, 10 Euregios etc.), new networks and projects have been initiated: Austrian Czech Cultural Cooperation (since 2002) and Stratcult (strategy for culture) aiming to develop a long-term plan for co-operation in the field of culture and structural funds, with partners from central Europe and Finland, under leadership of the government of Upper Austria. The Central European Region (Centrope) was founded in 2003 to foster cooperation within the border quadrangle of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. Since 2001, awards for cross-border activities have been granted by the federal and regional governments.

Cross-border projects are largely financed within the framework of the EU Structural Funds, as are activities in the field of intercultural dialogue (e.g. ethnic groups), youth and schools.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Austria/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.6 Other relevant issues

In 2003, Graz was the first Austrian city to be designated as "European Capital of Culture". "Graz 2003" presented 108 projects with about 600 individual events, which attracted over 2.85 million visitors. During this event, the number of overnight stays increased by up to 23%.

As one outcome of (ongoing) discussions on the sustainability of this event, a Cultural Development Process for the city of Graz was initiated in 2003. Results of this process so far are the establishment of public debates ("Culture Dialogues") concerning future cultural policy, the setting up of advisory boards and the publication of an annual report on municipal expenditure for arts and culture.

In 2009, the city of Linz will be European Capital of Culture (together with Vilnius). For more information on the programme see

Austria/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.1 Main elements of the current cultural policy model

The policy-making system in Austria includes different elements. In principle, Austria is a federal state. Public responsibilities for cultural affairs have been re-allocated by sector to different institutions or bodies, like the Austrian Film Institute and KulturKontakt Austria. Furthermore, some attempts to decentralise responsibilities for culture are illustrated by the reforms of the federal theatres and the restructuring of the federal museums (see also chapter 7.1).


Austria/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.2 National definition of culture

There is no one official Austrian definition of culture - culture and the promotion of culture are not defined by law as such but are integrated as a part of a federal Arts Promotion Law. Various definitions of culture are to be found in the Arts Promotion Laws of the individual Bundesländer, usually highlighting the regional specificity of those cultural activities which are to be promoted.


Austria/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.3 Cultural policy objectives

Generally, the main objectives of cultural policy making in Austria can be organised under three categories:

Austria/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

From 2000 until 2006, the following priorities within cultural / media policies were set by the Austrian government: continued reorganisation (outsourcing) of main cultural institutions; various initiatives within the cultural heritage sector (tourism, digitalisation etc.); reform of the social security insurance for artists; main emphasis on creative industries (new support schemes and research); promotion of major events and festivals; measures in the field of media policy (e.g. foundation of "Komm Austria" - "Austrian Communications Authority", amendments to the media laws); amendments to the Copyright Act; and a shift from basic funding to project-oriented funding for smaller cultural initiatives and associations.

In the fields of culture and the arts, the government programme for the years 2007-2010 lists the following plans:

Austria/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.1 Cultural minorities, groups and communities

In 1976 the federal government passed a new Law on the Rights of Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Austria, the Volksgruppengesetz (Ethnic Groups Act), which significantly curtailed the rights granted in Article°7 of the 1955 State Treaty. Five groups - later extended to six - were recognised as ethnic minorities in different parts of Austria: Slovenes (in Carinthia and Slovenia), the Croats (in Burgenland), the Hungarians (in Burgenland and Vienna), the Czechs and Slovaks (in Vienna). In 1992, the Roma (in all nine Austrian Bundesländer) became the latest ethnic minority group to be recognised. There is also an ongoing debate among the recognised ethnic groups over the perception that the provisions meant to safeguard their cultural heritage are not being properly applied and executed.

As a whole, the public discussion on the rights of ethnic groups hardly touches on questions such as democracy, human rights or pluralism. It is dominated, above all, by the conflict over bilingual place-name signs in Carinthia. The refusal of the Carinthian provincial governor to fulfil the appropriate constitutional laws continues to put a strain on the relationship between the German-speaking and Slovenian-speaking ethnic groups.

According to the 2001 census, the breakdown of Austrian ethnic minorities (Volksgruppen) is: Slovenes 18 000, Burgenland-Croats 19 400, Hungarians 25 900, Czechs 11 000, Slovaks 3 300. The Roma consists of 4 300 people (compared to 122 in 1991). These figures, however, only partly reflect the "ethnic reality" in Austria. Unofficial estimates record higher figures.

In addition, there are many migrants, e.g. Turks (183 400) living in Austria, as well as those coming from former Yugoslav countries such as Serbs (177 300), Croats (131 300) and Bosnians (34 900). These groups are not officially recognised ethnic minorities of the Austrian state; they are recognised as migrant groups, formerly called "Gastarbeiter". These immigrants, who have come to Austria since the 1960s, are not officially recognised as cultural minorities with their own set of rights to protect their cultural identity. It should be mentioned that there are many more immigrants than members of recognised minority groups - for example, there are 20 200 officially registered Slovenes (1999 census) compared to around 339 000 immigrants coming from the former Yugoslav countries in total.

In 1999, the federal government (Arts Department of the Federal Chancellery) commissioned a report on "Cultural Diversity in Austria". This was part of a 7 country transversal study developed and organised under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The report was conducted by Andrea Ellmeier of the österreichische kulturdokumentation. internationales archiv für kulturanalysen in February 2000.

In summary, there are no specific arts community programmes for ethnic minority groups provided by the Arts Department of the Federal Government in Austria. However, the Federal Chancellery's department for the Volksgruppengesetz (Ethnic Groups Act) is responsible for providing support for their cultural activities. Essentially, associations, foundations and funds are entitled to apply for funding for projects specific to ethnic groups, as well as churches and religious communities and their institutions. At euro 3.8 million, the budget for ethnic groups has remained the same since 1995.

The new cultural minorities - the immigrants - are not officially recognised as minorities and therefore do not receive support or enjoy the same legal rights as minorities. Nevertheless, financial support for cultural activities is provided to these groups via normal cultural budgets at national, regional or local level.

In 2000, the Ethnic Groups Law was anchored in the constitution (Article 8, para.2) as a defining national objective. In 2001, the government signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In 2006, Austria was one of the first countries to sign the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Austria/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.2 Language issues and policies

The dominant language spoken in Austria is German. Minority languages covered by the Volksgruppengesetz (Ethnic Groups Act) are Croatian and Hungarian (found mostly in Burgenland) and Slovene (found mostly in Carinthia). In Burgenland, the language of instruction in a school depends on the number of students in that school speaking a second language. Hungarian language instruction at the elementary level is provided for the Hungarian minority in Burgenland. For the largest ethnic minority in Austria, the Carinthian Slovenes, secondary education is provided in Slovene; a so-called "minority education right" (see also 4.2.1).

Austria/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.3 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

In Austria "intercultural dialogue" is often used in context with external relations, events, co-operation projects etc. (not only in the field of culture). Within Austria, migration and integration issues are complex and often conflict-laden: Different actors (the state, Bundesländer, local level, but also NGOs), with divergent interests, have so far made a cohesive, consensus-based integration and migration policy difficult.

Austria is an "immigration country". In 2006, 10% of the resident population were foreigners (or 826 013, compared to 8.9% (710 926) in 2001). 36% or 297 000 came from the successor countries to the former Yugoslavia (excepting Slovenia); the majority from Serbia, Montenegro and from Bosnia and Herzegovina. German nationals make up the second-largest group (14% or 114 000), followed by Turkish citizens (109 000). The Bundesländer (federal provinces) of Vienna (19%), Vorarlberg (13%) Salzburg (12%) and Tyrol (10%) have the highest proportion of foreigners.

According to the latest census (2001) 4.2% of the Austrian population (or 338 998 persons) practice the Islamic faith. In Vienna, the share is higher at 7.8%, (or 121 149 persons). As a result of the inclusion of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Habsburg Empire, Islam became (and remains) a recognised state religion. However, state recognition does not mean social acceptance.

In law and in practice there are very clear differences in Austria between citizens of Austria / the EU and those of third countries, which make social and political integration more difficult. A number of measures in this area have attracted considerable criticism from human rights organisations and other NGOs, such as the tightening of residence permits in the context of the Aliens' Rights Act and a further tightening of this Act in 2006, which no longer includes any transition period. Generally, immigrants from non-EU-countries are disadvantaged in the labour market as well as within the Austrian education system. At the same time, they are at double the risk of poverty as the rest of the population. Above and beyond this, public debates on immigration questions at the political level and in media are often characterised by xenophobic undertones. According to a Eurobarometer survey in 2003, public resistance in Austria to immigrants was above the EU average. The latest election results also give a clear picture: in 2005 (Vienna city parliament elections), almost 15% of the population of Vienna voted for the extreme right wing party, the FPÖ; the 2006 parliamentary elections also showed over 14% of the vote for the right wing parties, the FPÖ and the BZÖ.

Since 2001, on the other hand, there has been an increase in integration policy measures above all at the municipal level (as well at the provincial level). Since 2003, the City of Vienna, in particular, has been introducing an improved integration policy to respond better to the needs of the immigrant population through a diversity strategy (in the fields of health, social issues, housing, district work etc.). The number of education measurements has also increased. However, cuts in the education budget, for example, have meant that the extra resources (teachers) required for language learning are insufficient. According to the second Austrian report on migration and integration (2007), there are too few integration measures, and apart from this the existing ones are not sufficiently coordinated.

Concerning the cultural field - apart from individual projects and the stipulation of cultural diversity in strategy papers and laws - there have not been any cohesive programmes linking intercultural dialogue and culture so far: Grants for "multicultural" projects are inter alia given by the different levels of governments (state, Bundesländer and local level). The "promotion of (ethnic) cultural diversity" is one of the new government's proposals. It is also an objective of the Styrian and Carinthian Cultural Support Act and also included in cultural strategy papers at the local level (Salzburg and Linz municipalities). Nevertheless, the visibility of migrants as cultural consumers and producers is still very low in Austria.

In fact, the essential players here have been primarily smaller initiatives and cultural associations that try to reflect migrant experiences, e.g. the Soho festival in Ottakring, the Moving Cultures festival in Vienna, the "Gastarbejteri" exhibition organised in 2004, and NGOs such as "Stimme der Minderheiten" (voice of minorities) that try to give a voice to minorities living in Austria. The free radio stations, institutions such as the MAIZ in Linz and the interest-group for cultural initiatives (IG Kultur) are also active in this field.

The national committee for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (EYID) 2008 consists of 35 partner institutions (ministries, "social partners" (Sozialpartner) the media and civil society), the national coordination body is the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, supported by KulturKontakt Austria.

For more information, see:
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue and our Intercultural Dialogue section.

For more information on the government's National Strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue please see:

Austria/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.4 Social cohesion and cultural policies

Only in recent years has social cohesion in general become an issue in Austria - one of the richest countries in the EU - not least because of the rising risk of poverty in this country too. Generally, the role of social "stabilisers" such as the "social-partnership" (the out-of-parliament agreements between the unions and the political parties), which have cushioned social imbalance for decades, has weakened within the last five years. According to the national report on the social situation (2003), 13.2% (1996 12 %) of the population was at risk of poverty, 5.9 % were affected by acute poverty (1999 4%), especially women, who work disproportionably in atypical forms of employment and poorly paid industries. Moreover, the income gap between women and men is still high in Austria (on average women earn 30% less), and the income gap between the rich and the poor has also risen. In response to these developments, networks and platforms such as the Austrian Social Forum and the "Conference on Poverty" (Armutskonferenz) have been initiated since 2000.

In Austria there are no cohesive programmes at national level linking social inclusion and culture. Artistic funds, grants and (prize money) awards, as well as project money, are the main support schemes for artistic work. The Social Security Insurance Fund for Artists, effective since 2000, only covers basic social needs to a limited extent (pension supplement); moreover, artists on very low incomes are excluded (see also 5.3.9).

There are various projects, mainly at the local level, focusing either on participation or artistic analysis of the issue of "social exclusion". Many artistic works discuss political issues such as migration and poverty. The Equal project "Artworks - Artistic Services in the Third Sector" (2002-2005) sought to advance the development of new areas of work for artists within the third sector (health care, social work etc.). In Austria, there are also critical and feminist voices arguing that such social artistic intervention does not take artistic work seriously and, moreover, that it is not equally addressed to both genders - many more women artists participate in "social projects" and this reinforces the conventional societal gender division.

The initiative "Hunger auf Kunst und Kultur" (hunger for arts and culture) was founded by the above-mentioned "Conference on Poverty" and the Viennese theatre "Schauspielhaus" in 2003. 95 cultural institutions in Vienna, Styria, Upper Austria and Salzburg provide free entrance (via a "culture pass") for unemployed people and those on lower incomes. Since 2006, "Hunger auf Kunst und Kultur" has been organised as an association, supported by the City of Vienna.

The level of voluntary work is comparably high in Austria. According to a country-wide study (2001), over 51% of Austrians over the age of 15 were active in the voluntary sector, especially in the fields of neighbourhood help (53% women), social services (61% women) and culture and entertainment (42% women).

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4.2.5 Media pluralism and content diversity

Since the break up of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) monopoly in 1993, the Austrian media scene operates in three categories:

Since 2000, many important changes have taken place in the field of electronic media:

The main characteristic of the media landscape in Austria is concentration in the field of the print media, which is one of the highest in the world: in 1988 the leading dailies in Austria - Kronenzeitung (which reaches over 50% of Austrian households) and Kurier merged to become the Mediaprint cartel. Due to another big merger in 2001, the situation has further intensified: one publishing group now publishes the three leading political-economic news weeklies (News, Format, Profil; as well as Trend), media magazines (TV-Media and E-Media) and several lifestyle-magazines.

In 2002, content diversity was further limited by abolition of state subsidies for the distribution of newspapers. This led to considerable financial problems for smaller newspapers and magazines. Many of the cultural initiatives and small civic organisations / institutions / NGOs which relied on distribution support for their publications, especially at the regional level, have been forced out of business.

A particular clause in the Austrian Cartel Act (1988) regulates media mergers. This states that a media merger cannot only be prohibited if a market-dominating position results from it or is strengthened, but also if "media diversity" is threatened by it, although media diversity is not closely defined. Apart from the cartel act, there are also limitations on shareholdings in the Private Radio Act relating essentially to the number of receivable programmes and residents supplied.

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4.2.6 Culture industries: policies and programmes

Since 2000, the field of Creative Industries has acquired increased importance in the cultural policy debate, which is demonstrated not least by the increasing number of research works in this area: thus far two reports on Creative Industries have appeared at national level, as well as studies on the cities of Vienna, Linz and Graz, as well as for the provinces of Burgenland, Vorarlberg and Tyrol. However, the respective definitions and sector definitions differ (see

According to the second Austrian Creative Industries report, in 2004 there were 28 700 Creative Industry enterprises in Austria (mostly one-person and micro-companies), with 101 600 (directly employed) workers. These companies made around euro 18.3 billion. In Vienna, 24% of all Viennese companies (18 000), with approximately 100 000 - 120 000 employees (almost 14% of all those gainfully employed) are considered to be part of the creative industries sector. 48.2 % of these 18 000 companies are one-person enterprises. Between 1998 and 2002, the growth in employment in this area was 6% on average compared with two percent in the overall economy. The level of qualification of those involved in this area is above average: one in four of those gainfully employed has a university degree, a further 44% have the equivalent of A-level education.

In the course of the research activities, support programmes were initiated such as the nationwide "IP creative industries impulse programme", which focuses on music, multimedia and design and is funded with euro 10.3 million (since 2004). In 2003, the "Departure - Wirtschaft, Kunst und Kultur GmbH" company was founded by the Vienna City Council as an economic support and service office for creative industry enterprises in Vienna. Since 2004, 89 projects have been supported by Departure - with euro 7.2 million, mainly in the fields of fashion, music, multimedia and design. In 2006 also, the province (Bundesland) of Styria launched a funding scheme ("Creative Incentives") for enterprises within the creative industries.

All these initiatives and activities, however, have been accompanied by certain fears that the focus on creative industries is leading to a further "economisation" of the cultural sector and to a reduction in public support for the arts. Furthermore, critics question whether the focus on project funding is an adequate or sufficient measurement to support the prosperity of the Austrian creative industries.

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4.2.7 Employment policies for the cultural sector

In 1999, the cultural sector became part of the Austrian national employment strategy. The prospering culture and media industries sector, with high increases in turnover, was recognised by the government as a source for new jobs. "Culture and Employment" was also one of the main cultural policy issues explored during the Austrian EU-presidency in the second half of 1998, via the conference on "Cultural Competence: New Technologies, Culture and Employment". Since the end of the 1990s, several studies have been published on employment in the cultural sector, e.g. on the impact of information and communication technologies on employment and qualifications or on the development of new areas of work for artists within the Third Sector.

According to cultural statistics (Kulturstatistik), in 2005, 51 700 people worked in cultural occupations, which amounts to 1.35% of all economically active people in Austria. The proportionally biggest occupational group, with some 28 700 workers, is "writers, fine artists and performing artists", followed by 13 000 people in occupations in the "artistic and entertainment occupations" sub-group. The overall ratio of men was 61.5%. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the workers in cultural occupations were in the 25 to 50 age group, 19% were 50 or over, and 8% were under 25. At 38%, workers in cultural occupations were significantly more often self-employed than the general average (13%). Furthermore, people in the cultural professions in general had a better education than workers as a whole: in 2005, 36.2% of workers in cultural occupations were graduates; for workers as a whole, the figure is only 13%.

Differing calculation methods make it more difficult to make statements on the employment potential of the creative industries, which are considered to be the great white hope for the cultural labour market in Austria: thus, the nationwide creative industries report calculates 101 600 (directly employed) workers in 2004, whereas the study on the Viennese creative industries identifies between 100 000 and 120 000 workers in the cultural industries field. A research project by the Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (FORBA) takes a closer look at the labour and employment quality in selected Viennese creative industry sectors (multimedia, film / video, TV and radio, graphic design / advertisement, design and fashion and architecture). The study shows that these sectors are essentially characterised by low incomes from atypical employment relations, project work and multiple job holding as well as the general quantitative under-representation of women (Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (Forba; 2006).

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4.2.8 New technologies and cultural policies

In April 2000, the government agreed on the initiative "e-Austria in e-Europe". The main focus is on the digitalisation of cultural heritage coupled with specific programmes such as the creation of the Austrian Digital Heritage Initiative established to digitalise cultural and scientific / academic works ( The Austrian National Library is also working to establish new standards in this field. Moreover the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) has launched school projects, for example, the annual "media literacy award" and the interface to promote cooperation between museums and schools through the use of innovative technology.

The level of support for media arts is much lower in comparison. A main actor in this field is the Ars Electronica in Linz, which organises one of the most important festivals at the interface of arts and the new media in Europe.

In 2005, the cultural department of the City of Vienna launched a new support scheme for "net culture" initiatives. This scheme provides, in principle, two kinds of support measures with different decision making processes. On the one hand, grants are given to small projects and "newcomers" (which receive small grants from the cultural department) and large scale projects (which receive 90% of the funds available). On the other hand, funding is made available for infrastructure, services and events - this decision is based on suggestions from within the "net culture scene" itself. However, this new support scheme has led to fierce controversies.

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4.2.9 Heritage issues and policies

Some of the country's most important cultural institutions in the heritage field are: the federal museums and the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, the Austrian National Library, the Austrian Phonotheque (sound archives), the Vienna Court Orchestra, the Federal Office of Historic Monuments, the Austrian Film Archive and the Austrian Film Museum. Each of these institutions has been undergoing a process of change with regard to their organisational, juridical and economic structures. The most crucial reform has been the decision to grant full legal status to the federal museums and transform them into scientific institutions under public law - an important step towards more autonomy. New statutes were developed by the former Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture for each of the federal museums.

The strategic programme "Culture Tour Austria" (launched in 2004) was financed (with 1 million euros) by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour and the former Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This two-year programme was designed in cooperation with international experts to develop a mid- and long-term strategy for cultural tourism in Austria. Within this programme, regional cultural centres should also be supported to develop measures for the internationalisation of their cultural tourism products. Other projects concern Austrian music tourism and the development of strategies for internationalisation of historical buildings and non-metropolitan museums.

Since this reform of the federal museums, there have been ongoing (public) debates not only on the financial situation of the federal museums, but also on content-related overlaps between those federal museums presenting visual arts. Almost ten years after the above mentioned reorganisation of the federal museums a reform of the museums is now (2007) being discussed at federal level. The core themes are the national museum policy, planning and collection policy and "governance". Results of the discussion (, with the involvement of experts, political parties, museum directors, media representatives, should be available by June 2008, after which specific implementation measures will follow.

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4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

In Austria, a political programme that clearly defines aims to address women in culture does not exist.

Within administrative bodies, the former "equality officers" - civil servants responsible for gender-fairness issues - have been changed to "gender-mainstreaming officers". The policy of gender-mainstreaming is concerned with the reform of policy-processes rather than with a single gender-equality employment policy. Since 2001, the Department of Culture of the City of Vienna publishes gendered data in a supplement "Frauenkunstbericht" to their Annual Financial Report.

Since the end of the 1990s, a number of studies have been carried out on women in the arts labour market. A research project (1998-1999) to examine the (social) situation of female artists in Austria pointed out that in addition to the general low regard for works by women in comparison to men, the income and social situation of female artists is unsatisfactory. A national review of the status of women in the arts and media in Austria, as part of a larger European comparative project co-ordinated by ERICarts, examined the employment situation of women in the arts and media; more recently with a special focus on the representation of women in decision-making positions. The study shows that the high level of qualifications gained by women have not translated into a higher number of women working in decision-making positions. Generally, the ratio of women in the Austrian arts and cultural labour market has been falling again since the turn of the millennium. Here, too, as in other labour market segments, women are more frequently affected than men by precarious forms of employment.

Organisations such as Fiftitu and IG Kultur Vorarlberg in particular are striving to reduce the gender-specific imbalance in the arts and cultural field: thus, in 2004, at a networking meeting of women creators of culture, a catalogue of measures was drawn up that demands the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the cultural field and the development of specific measures for women creators of arts and culture.

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4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

In the context of the elections for the National Assembly in Austria in 2002, the Austrian platform for architectural policy and building culture (, consisting of the main relevant institutions, was founded to foster architectural policies in Austria. Beneath consciousness-raising via workshops and several discussion forums, the platform was essentially concerned with the setting up of a conference in the Austrian National Assembly in 2004. One outcome was a resolution passed by all parties in parliament which, inter alia, requested a report on the status of the building culture in Austria. The first Austrian Report on Building Culture, commissioned by the former State Secretariat for Art and the Media and the Federal Ministry for Economy and Labour, together with the Federal Real Estate Agency (BIG), was presented in summer 2007. It contains several recommendations in the fields of public awareness, production, economy sustainability etc. In autumn 2007 the Austrian parliament decided to continue the publication of a national report on building culture every five years and to establish an inter-ministerial advisory council in the federal chancellery. It remains to be seen to what extent further measurements will be implemented in future.

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5.1.1 Constitution

An attempt to take stock of the prevailing legal regulations in the cultural sector in Austria is impeded by two factors. First, Austria is a federal state with relatively independent Bundesländer; this independence is reflected in the assignment of responsibilities for culture to the Bundesländer. Secondly, the Austrian Federal Constitution does not explicitly mention arts and culture. Statutory provisions regulating the cultural sector have not been laid down in a comprehensive Cultural Act, nor have they been systematically collected.

Therefore, the statutes referring to the cultural sector are found throughout the legal system: for example in the Federal Constitution Act (see 5.1.2) or the Basic Law on Civil Rights (including Freedom for the Arts - Paragraph 17a, 1982).

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5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

 Article 15, para. 1 of the Federal Constitution Act states that all matters not assigned to the national government are to be paid by the Bundesländer, including culture. However, in Article 10, responsibility over "sovereign" matters such as scientific and technical archives and libraries, artistic and scientific collections and federal facilities (federal museums, the National Library), federal theatres, historic monuments, religious denominations, foundations and funds are assigned to the national government. The Bundesländer are responsible for preserving the appearance of towns and villages, for foundations and funds owned by the Bundesländer, theatres, cinemas, events, heritage, tradition and folk arts. According to Article 17 of the Federal Constitution Act, however, the national government and the Bundesländer as upholders of civil law are not bound by the above distribution of competences.


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5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

The Federal Arts Promotion Act, adopted in 1988 (amended in 1997 and 2000), includes the provision that the federal budget must include the requisite funds for public arts promotion and that the social situation of artists and the framework for private sponsoring need to be improved. The law stipulates that promotion has to be directed mainly at "contemporary art, its spiritual changes and its variety" and lists the fields to be supported by way of production, presentation, dissemination and preservation of works and documents. Facilities that serve this purpose have to be similarly supported. The law also lists individual measures that may be taken (e.g. funds, grants, acquisitions, loans, commissions, prizes awarded).

An advisory system has been operating since 1973 and includes specialised bodies such as juries to make decisions on the granting of funds. Mention was also made in the act of the potential conflicts of responsibility that needed to be avoided between the federal and state governments, stating that the principle of "subsidiarity" must be employed. The federal government, nevertheless, supports activities and projects at regional or local levels that are "of supra-regional interest or suitable to be exemplary, of an innovative character or which are promoted within the scope of a single promotion programme".

With the exception of Vienna, every Bundesland has its own Cultural Promotion Act, most of which were implemented during the 1980s.

The Arts Support Act (1981) states that in addition to the monthly radio and television fees, an appropriate contribution (monthly euro 0.48) to support contemporary arts is to be raised and distributed between the state and the Bundesländer (provinces) on a 70:30 ratio. 85 per cent of the state share is given to the Arts Department of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture; the rest is spent on heritage protection and museums. Since 2000, further contributions have been dedicated to the social security insurance fund (see 5.1.4).

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5.1.4 Social security frameworks

For a long time there were no specific regulations to ensure that social security provisions for artists reached across all professional fields. Only artists in the music and visual arts sectors were covered by the obligatory social security provisions. All other artists were free to enrol in a social security insurance plan of their choice. Several funds were created to help artists pay part of their (non-obligatory) social security insurance, the Künstlerhilfe Fonds for visual artists, for example (see 8.1.1).

The Employment and Social Security Law Amendment Act (1997) produced an initial change: up until 1997, artists had widely differing social security coverage, depending on their professional status, nature of labour relations and field of work. This amendment generally regulated labour conditions and required contracts for all freelance workers in the form of either a Werkvertrag (contract for work) - also called the "new" self-employed, a term that describes one person enterprises without a trade licence - or a freier Dienstvertrag (self-employed contract of service), depending on the nature of the work (people who work under the freier Dienstvertrag have more social protection than the self employed, but less than the employed).

Following this amendment, anyone earning over 6 453 euros per year was forced to pay social security insurance (24% of annual Werkvertrag profit, 17.5% of Dienstvertrag income). Artists were exempt from this law until the end of 2000 and were not obliged to pay social security insurance. Those who chose to pay the insurance could apply to the above mentioned funds, like Künstlerhilfe Fonds (see 8.1.1) to help cover the costs of their social security fees.

Since January 2001, freelance artists have been given the same treatment as other self-employed professionals. Under certain conditions, a pension supplement is paid within the framework of the Social Security Insurance Fund for Artists (see 5.3.9).

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

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5.1.5 Tax laws

In Austria, only an estimated 1.8 % of the overall cultural funding is supplied by the private sector despite the existence of a "Sponsors' Ordinance" regulation adopted by the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1987. Under this regulation, an enterprise / entrepreneur is granted a tax break on expenses for sponsoring cultural events. The ordinance lists various criteria that must be fulfilled in order to qualify for the tax break (sponsoring must, for example, be in the form of an advertisement). This regulation only allows for a very small amount of expenditure to be tax deductible; however, plans for the introduction of new legislation, which has long been discussed, have been announced.

A study commissioned by the Arts Department of the Federal Chancellery was concerned with the effects of these planned tax breaks on the purchase of art objects (Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Wifo), 2002). Regarding the benefits of these tax breaks, the study estimated that the market potential of private households and enterprises is between 50 and 70 million euros.

On the basis of an amendment to the Federal Arts Promotion Act (1988) in 1997, certain public subsidies are now tax free, retrospectively to 1991. These include: grants, prizes and supplements from the Austrian Film Institute for promoting the creation of film concepts and screenplays; income and assistance from public funds or from the funds of public or private foundations, as far as compensation for expenditure or expenses is concerned, or - with the exception of private foundations - for activities abroad.

Amendments to the Tax Law in 2000 provide that an estimated 12 per cent (not more than 8 725 euros per annum) of artists' / authors' income is tax-deductible. Furthermore, their (often irregular) incomes can be spread over three years (income averaging). Also in 2000, tax privileges for foreign artists taking up residence in Austria were introduced: foreign creative artists can now apply for the partial or full cancellation of tax liabilities in Austria that are in excess of tax liabilities in their country of origin if their establishment of residence serves to advance art in Austria and if there is public interest in their work.

A new legal incentive was introduced in October 2002 which stipulates that donations made to museums (to important country-wide private museums, as well as to federal museums) are tax deductible.

There are two tax rates under the Austrian VAT Law (1994), one at 20% and a reduced rate at 10%. The reduced rate applies to turnover related to artistic activities, cinema, theatre and concert tickets, museums, botanical gardens or nature parks, as well as services by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and cable TV companies, books magazines and dailies. There is 20% VAT on music CDs.

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5.1.6 Labour laws

Alongside the growing rate of unemployment, the structure of employment in Austria has changed considerably in recent years. For example, the number of people working under a freier Dienstvertrag (self-employed contract of service) has risen by 150% within five years. At the end of 2002, the figure was approximately 24 300. It is similar for people working under a Werkvertrag (contract for work) - or "new" self-employed: here the number almost quadrupled between 1998 and 2002, from 7 700 people to 30 300. Generally, all freelancers fall outside the system providing entitlements and protective measures envisaged by the general Austrian Labour Law.

In the field of the performing arts, there is a specific labour law, the Actors' Law (Schau-spielergesetz, 1922) regulating the working hours, holiday rights and bonuses for actors which are different from the employee regulations. Formerly, the actors were assumed to be employees but full employment with all the costs and obligations for employers (e.g. festival-organisers) is now often circumvented.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

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5.1.7 Copyright provisions

According to the Austrian Copyright Act, copyright arises with the creation of a work by its originator. No formal act (notification or registration) is required in order to obtain copyright protection for a work. According to paragraph 1, such works must be "personal intellectual creations in the fields of literature, music, visual arts and film". Since the 1980s, developments have increasingly tended towards lump-sum compensation. Proceeds from claims for compensation that are asserted by the copyright collecting societies are partly devoted to social / cultural purposes, and partly distributed to the copyright holders.

An amendment to the Copyright Act in 1980 introduced a copyright fee on blank tapes. The copyright collecting society Austro-Mechana is entrusted with collecting the royalties. The fee varies between 0.04 euro and 0.27 euro, depending on whether it is regulated by contract or an autonomous tariff and depending on the type of recording medium. In 2005, total royalties amounted to euro 17.6 million.

Comparable to this fee, a copyright fee for reprography - for single devices and for (large-scale) operators - was introduced in 1996. It is collected by the copyright collecting societies Literar-Mechana, VBK (copyright collecting society for visual artists) and Musikedition.

In 1994, an author's claim to funds collected via public lending rights from approximately 2 500 public libraries was established in Copyright Law; the sum of which is to be agreed upon by the authors' collecting society. In 1996, a lump sum payment between the federal government (116 276 euro), the Federal Provinces (465 106 euro) and the authors' rights society was contractually agreed.

Further amendments to the Copyright Act were implemented in 2003, in accordance with the EU Directive on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the Information Society. Minor changes were made including the list of types of free use, and the improvement of legal protection against the circumvention of technical measures.

In 2005 - in line with the EU directive - a resale right for artists was introduced in Austria as well. Under this right, artists receive between 4% and 0.25% of the profits from the resale of their work according to the appropriate price scale. The reimbursement amounts to euro 12 500 at most. The right to claim, however, only exists for a sale price of over euro 3 000, something the artists' interest-group representatives criticise as being much too high.

A reform of the Act on Copyright Collecting Societies in 2006 means that "KommAustria" (see 4.2.5) is now responsible for overseeing the eight Austrian copyright collecting societies.

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5.1.8 Data protection laws

Data protection has been legally secured in Austria for 20 years. The Data Protection Act 2000, which primarily implements the EU data-protection guidelines, regulates all rights and obligations of operators of information collections and applies both to public-legal (authorities etc.) as well as to private legal information collections (such as for companies, associations and other organisations etc.), including those held by cultural institutions. Fundamentally, according to Paragraph 47, the transfer of addresses requires the agreement of those affected, although there are exceptions (for statistical or scientific reasons, for example).

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5.1.9 Language laws

The new Broadcasting Act (2001) stipulates that the ORF is obliged to ensure that "all aspects of democratic life are to be understood by the public", and an appropriate share of their programming has to be broadcast in the language of ethnic minorities. Although there is regulatory support for programmes broadcast in the languages of ethnic minorities, the article is general and the management can apply it "as appropriate", which means without obligation. The third radio programme is required to broadcast mainly in a foreign language (English).

Since the passage of the Private Broadcasting Act in 1998, many small (non-commercial) free radio stations have been founded and currently provide programmes for (national) minorities and immigrants - e.g. Radio Orange (free radio Vienna), Radio Mora (Croatian private radio station, run by the Croatian cultural centre Kuga in Burgenland) or radio Korotan / Radio Agora (the two Slovenian radio stations in Carinthia). Until 2001, such broadcasts were supported by the federal government. Since then, these free radio stations have been continually struggling and Radio Mora has been forced to close down due to financial reasons. In 2007, the 12 free radio stations are again to receive support funds of euro 300 000.

The first Austrian Community TV channel ("Okto TV") started in 2005. This open-channel TV programme is supported by the city of Vienna (euro 980 000) and provides space for programmes in languages other than German.

Austria/ 5.2 Legislation on culture

Specific federal regulations or acts include:

Laws on the Promotion of Culture have also been adopted by the federal Bundesländer, with the exception of Vienna.

In addition to direct public support for the arts and culture, Austrian legislation provides for a number of important instruments of indirect support for the arts. This refers to various legal provisions of social policy and fiscal policy, the system of social insurance for artists, measures taken in the field of labour market management, copyright legislation (both direct and indirect payments such as library royalties), the encouragement of private sector support for the arts by means of tax exemptions, tax deductions for private donations and for arts sponsorship, as well as promotion of art-works for buildings financed with public money. While such policies are welcome, surprisingly few sector specific legal regulations have been formulated in areas such as orchestras or theatres.

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5.3.1 Visual and applied arts

Generally, the Federal Arts Promotion Act stipulates that promotion has to be directed mainly at "contemporary art, its spiritual changes and its variety" in the fields of literature, performing arts, music, visual arts, photography, film, video and experimental art forms (para. 2 (1)). All sub-departments within the Arts Department of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture have published detailed summaries of their grant programmes according to para. 2 of the Federal Arts Grants Act. In addition, there are general guidelines for awarding federal financial resources by the Federal Ministry of Finance and special guidelines with a view to public grants in the arts sphere.

Under the Federal Arts Promotion Act, the government purchases works by contemporary fine artists as a support measure. The administration of this collection - Artothek -, which contains more than 28 000 objects, was contracted out in 2002; the federal government remains the owner of the collection itself.

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5.3.2 Performing arts and music

There are special regulations concerning theatre funding, stating that the government is obliged to pay an annual supplement (currently 21.3 million euros) to the regional and city theatres under the regularly agreed Financial Equalisation Act.

The Federal Law on the Establishment of the Salzburg Festival Fund (1950) provides for the Salzburg Festival's losses to be covered by the federal government (40%), the province of Salzburg (20%), the city of Salzburg (20%) and the fund for the promotion of tourism (20%).

In August 1998, federal theatres (Burg- and Akademietheater, Staats- und Volksoper) were reorganised as limited companies under private law (see also 7.2). The "owner" of such companies is the Republic of Austria. Their cultural tasks are defined in the Federal Theatre Organisation Act, 1998. This states that the government is to provide an annual basic payment of 133.6 million euros.

The private Vienna theatres (Theater in der Josefstadt, Volkstheater, Theater der Jugend, Kammeroper) are likewise co-funded by the Federal government on the basis of a special contract with the City of Vienna.

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5.3.3 Cultural heritage

The Federal Museums Act of 1998 grants full legal capacity to museums and has transformed them into scientific institutions under public law - an important step towards more autonomy. The federal museums are still under the authority of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture and receive basic grants from the Ministry. The rest of the budget must be financed by the museums themselves. Critics of "partial autonomy" feared that smaller museums would not be able to withstand the increasing financial pressure as it would be difficult for them to raise money in the private sector. As a result, the main programmes of the Museum of Ethnology and the Austrian Theatre Museum have been incorporated into the Historical Art Museum.

In 1998, the Federal Law for the Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Collections to their Jewish Heirs was passed and a working group set up to clarify the provenance of works of art in question. In addition, an advisory committee was set up in 1998 by the Ministry for Education, Science and Culture. A Historical Commission has also been created (jointly by the Austrian Federal Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Speaker of the Federal Council) with a mandate to investigate and report on the whole complex of expropriations in Austria during the Nazi era and on restitution and / or compensation (including other financial or social benefits) after 1945 by the Republic of Austria. In the meantime, seven restitution reports have been published at national level.

The Federal Law for the Restitution of Works of Art does not concede any legal position to the heirs. It refers to holdings of the federal museums and state collections; exceptions include the Leopold Collection (confiscation of two paintings of this collection in New York initiated the debate which led to the federal law) and holdings of art universities.

Under an amendment to the Monument Preservation Act in 1999, the federal monument office (under the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture) can issue a decree provisionally placing monuments owned by public bodies under monument preservation. By 2010, these monuments are to be registered in a list of monuments. Further, in the framework of the amendment, the export ban on cultural goods has been brought in line with the corresponding EU guideline and 56 historical gardens have been listed for monument preservation.

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5.3.4 Literature and libraries

Generally, local government offices are responsible for libraries. Above that, the government subsidises public libraries under the Federal Law on the Promotion of Adult Education and Public Libraries from federal funds (1973). The government ministry responsible is the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. Alongside direct subsidies for library syndicates, support includes funds for staff training and further education, and nation-wide projects and software. In 2006, support from the ministry amounted to euro 1.6 million.

However, due to the lack of binding standards for premises, equipment and employment of staff, there are large differences (size, holdings, staff etc.) between public libraries in Austria. Therefore, claims for a Library Act including conditions on the establishment and funding as well as guidelines on the standards of the content, the services and the qualifications of the librarians have risen in 2007.


Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.5 Architecture and environment

In 1985, a Decree by the Council of Ministers established a mandatory share for the arts to be included in Federal civil construction projects ("Kunst und Bau"): 1% of the net construction cost is made available to art in public projects. The selection procedure is decided upon by an expert advisory body. The government's building and real-estate administration was outsourced in 1992 to the foundation of the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) (federal real-estate company). Since then, the "Kunst und Bau" projects have been coordinated by a government expert advisory body, the BIG and the property developers.

Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The Film Promotion Act (1998) regulates the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI) which is in charge of promoting and supporting the Austrian film industry, i.e., to allocate subsidies for Austrian films, e.g. for filmmakers and film producers. The projects are selected by members of the Austrian Film Institute. Amendments made in 1998 were designed to strengthen the economic base of the Austrian film scene by making international co-productions easier, encouraging support for distribution systems, and creating a cinema support scheme (15% of the budget reserved for a new generation of film makers and film producers). Due to an amendment in 2004 to the Film Promotion Act, an Austrian Film Council was established to advise the federal government on film policies and funding. Furthermore, the law stipulates the publication of an annual report on the Austrian film economy by the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI). This amendment contains further new provisions on video and television broadcasting rights and deadlines for the restitution of rights.

The global development in the audio-visual media sector and media industry, as well as severe competition in this sector, required prompt reorganisation and proper regulations in the Austrian audio-visual media sector (e.g. referring to the monopoly held by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF). Amendments were subsequently made to the Public Broadcasting Law 1997-1999 to enable the public TV broadcasting system to be efficiently managed in the face of increasingly fierce competition (see 4.2.6).

The "Film Television Agreement" (Fernsehabkommen 1981) was signed by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), and by the Austrian Film Institute to promote and support Austrian films with funds from the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (annually 5.96 million euros).

According to an amendment to the "KommAustria" Act (see 4.2.5), an "Austrian Television Endowment Fund" (Fernsehfonds Austria) was set up in 2004. This fund receives an annual endowment of 7.5 million euros and is derived from broadcasting fees to support the production of Austrian television films, series and documentaries. This fund is administrated by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), which acts as the operative arm of the Austrian Communications Authority ("KommAustria").

Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Culture industries

In 2000, a Federal Law on Fixed Book Prices was implemented. The law refers to publishing, import and trade, but not to the cross-border electronic trade. This law was important to ensure that small publishing houses, booksellers, distribution firms etc., which play a crucial role to maintain media diversity, can still compete with the big publishing and distribution firms / enterprises.

In 2001, a Law was passed to Privatise the Biggest Austrian Publishing House (Österreichischer Bundesverlag). This process was completed in 2002. The purchaser, a German publishing group, has to maintain the levels of production of school books as well as the publication and / or preservation of works by Austrian authors until 2007.

Under an amendment to the Federal Arts Promotion Act in 2000, selected federal, provincial and municipal museums can receive an annual supplement in order to acquire art from the holdings of Austrian galleries. In addition, support is granted (since 2002) for the participation of Austrian artists (galleries) at international arts festivals.

Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.8 Mass media

Austrian regulations on content correspond to the European Directive "Television without Frontiers" (see Austrian Broadcasting Act, Article 1, 2 b, 1999).

Advertising is regulated by the Austrian Broadcasting Act. In its two TV channels, the state broadcaster ORF is allowed to broadcast advertising programmes only nationwide. On a yearly average, advertising broadcasts (TV) must not exceed 5% of the daily length of programmes, with deviations of not more than 20 per cent per day being permissible. Only 172 minutes of advertising is allowed per day and per channel for radio programmes, with deviations of not more than 20 per cent per day being permissible. Austria 1 is the only "advertising-free" public station and Radio Orange is one of the advertising-free private radio stations.

Amendments to the Austrian Broadcasting Act forbid "interruption advertising" (i.e. advertising that interrupts running programmes). Advertising is not permitted on Good Friday, Christmas and All Saints Day on either public radio or television. Furthermore, advertising for newspapers, magazines etc., on television is limited to two minutes per day; cross-promotion is permitted and "interrupting advertising" is only allowed for the transmission of events (e.g. sports events). Since 1999, TV-programmes considered unsuitable for minors have been flagged on screen.

An amendment to the Broadcasting Act ("Austrian Broadcasting Corporation Act") in 2001 included the legal transformation of the ORF into a foundation and the production of a new version of the statutory programme directive. It also included a new clause on the promotion of Austrian artistic and creative productions. Nominations for the foundation council are partly submitted by the government. A significant change has been the introduction of a new regulation that forbids the nomination of politicians to the council. The statutory tasks are to be more clearly separated from other commercial activities of the ORF. Although this reform was intended to reduce party-political influence on the ORF, many commentators remain doubtful about the success of this step towards independence.

The new Broadcasting Act, laying down the promotion of arts and culture, also includes a limitation on advertising. This led to financial cuts in the ORF budget: one result was the cancellation of the high-quality TV programme Kunst-Stücke - under protest from many artists - which had primarily presented contemporary arts and films over the last 20 years.

In 2004, a new Press Subsidy Act (Presseförderungsgesetz) came into force. In addition to distribution subsidies for daily and weekly newspapers and special subsidies for the preservation of diversity in regional daily newspapers, the Press Subsidy Act also provides new measures, such as support for the education of journalists and for research projects. The Journalism Subsidy Act (Publizistikförderungsgesetz, 1984) sets out, among other things, provisions for support to periodicals if they deal with the topic of culture or related scientific disciplines. Since 2004, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) has been responsible for administering the press subsidies and subsidies under the Journalism Subsidy Act. A digitalisation fund (euros 7.5 million annually, derived from broadcasting fees) was launched in 2004 to foster digital terrestrial broadcasting in Austria.

An amendment to the Private Radio Broadcasting Act was made in 2004. In the future, nation-wide radio broadcasters and those who can demonstrate long-term financing will receive preferential treatment in the granting of licences. Critics fear this will lead to further media concentration in the radio sector which, above all, will drive out the non-commercial, free radio stations.

Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.9 Legislation for self-employed artists

Artists have been comparatively successful in creating, improving and consolidating lobbies for themselves. Authors and translators in particular, as well as cultural initiatives, and to some extent independent theatre groups, cinematographers and media artists have been able to create associations and interest groups to represent them in public, to lobby for more funds and commissions, to fight for legal and social improvements and for the maintenance of artistic freedom. Among their major achievements has been an improvement in the flow of information on market opportunities and mutual communication among artists. As to their social security status, several reforms and improvements (copyright, social security scheme for artists and other social benefits) have been achieved by umbrella organisations, interest groups and collecting societies.

Since January 2001, when the new Law on Social Security for Artists (Künstler-Sozialversicherungsfondsgesetz) came into force, freelance artists are treated the same as other self-employed professionals, which means they must pay their statutory social security insurance if they earn more than 6 453 euros per annum. In many cases, the new law created a situation whereby artists end up making two different types of social insurance payments: statutory insurance for freelance work and any other social security insurance payments which result from other part-time employment contracts they may have. As many freelance artists are employed both part-time and do free-lance work, the contribution to the social security system is relatively high compared to total income.

The new Law set up a Social Security Insurance Fund for Artists (Künstlersozialversicherungs-Fonds) which grants artists a pension supplement of up to euro 85.5 per month, if their annual income from the artistic activity is at least euro 4 094 and the sum of all their income does not exceed euro 19 622 annually. The pension supplement is based on self-evaluation of future income. If either of the above limits are not achieved, or are exceeded, the supplement has to be paid back. Those artists entitled to receive a grant must meet certain requirements such as being specifically trained (art-university graduates, for example). Others are selected by a specific board (commission). Each year about 4 500 to 5 000 artists receive this pension supplement; about 20% do not reach the minimum level.

The new Social Security Insurance System was widely criticised by artists and their professional associations, mainly because of the exclusion of artists on very low incomes. Further demands were to secure obligatory contributions to the fund by the federal government and a supplement not only for pensions but also for health and accident insurance.

The reform of the artists' social insurance is among the cultural policy priorities of the new government. However, in contrast to announcements by the government to abolish the minimum level (euro 4 094), a draft version of an amendment to the law provides only for changes, such as allowing prizes and scholarships to be taken into account as part of the income, and the possibility for those artists with a lower income to receive a supplement also for health and accident insurance.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.10 Other areas of relevant legislation

Information is currently not available.

Austria/ 6. Financing of culture

6.1 Short overview

In 2005, approximately 2.01 billion euros, or 1.34% of all public expenditure, was spent on culture and the arts by the federal, provincial and local governments; in 2004, the total sum spent on culture and the arts was 1.96 billion euros, or 1.36% of all public expenditure. In 2005, 34.7% of this budget is spent by the federal government, while the remainder is divided among the provincial governments, including Vienna with 34.4%, and the municipalities with 31.0%. In 2004, 34.6% of this budget is spent by the federal government, while the remainder is divided among the provincial governments, including Vienna with 34.4%, and the municipalities with 31.0%.

The years 2001 and 2003 were the first years in the history of public funding of the arts and culture that the total provided by provincial governments including Vienna, in nominal terms, was greater than that provided by the federal government. In the year 2005, the public funding of the arts and culture that the federal government provided, in nominal terms, was insignificantly greater than that provided by provincial governments including Vienna. From the budget year 2000, the first one calculated in euros, public funds for the arts and culture increased at federal level in nominal terms from 668.8 million euros to 695.9 million euros by 2005. This is an increase of 4%. During the same period, the total sum at the level of provincial governments increased from 593.5 million euros to 673.96 million euros. This is an impressive increase of 16.3%.

A high percentage (approx. 50%) of federal expenditure on culture goes towards the maintenance of large-scale projects and institutions such as the federal theatres and museums as well as to performing arts activities - the majority of which are located in Vienna. Federal theatres are financed by the Federal Chancellery while the federal museums are financed from the budget of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

Subsidies from the Bundesländer (excluding Vienna) have more than tripled since 1980. The majority of resources are spent on education, followed by the performing arts. The former includes considerable investment in music schools and conservatories.

Additional support for "non-traditional" fields of culture, such as contemporary art or more general art promotion, is derived from indirect levies e.g. on radio licences. An advisory board monitors spending within the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Seven Bundesländer have emulated this example and levy a "broadcasting, radio or culture schilling". The extra funds have, in fact, made quite an impact on the budgets of some public institutions (in some cases up to 15% of the culture budget). Funds are also obtained from "blank tapes" levied by collecting societies.

Austria/ 6. Financing of culture

6.2 Public cultural expenditure per capita

In 2005, cultural expenditure per capita in Austria amounted to 249.99 euros; the share of GDP in 2005 was 0.84%. In 2004, cultural expenditure per capita amounted to 239.54 euros. The share of GDP in 2002 was 0.87%. The two years in comparison represent a slight decrease.

Austria/ 6. Financing of culture

6.3 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

Table 1:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in million euro, 2005

Level of government


in %

State (federal)



Regional (provincial, Länder)



Local (municipal)




2 008.00


Source:      Kulturstatistik 2005, Tabellenwerk. Statistik Austria. Calculations Otto Hofecker.

Table 2:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in million euro, 2004

Level of government


in %

State (federal)



Regional (provincial, Länder)



Local (municipal)




1 957.40


Source: Kulturstatistik 2004, Tabellenwerk. Statistik Austria. Calculations Otto Hofecker.

Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government is calculated in Table 1 of this chapter, for the year 2005, and in Table 2 for the year 2004. The figures in both Tables are calculated on the basis of Table 3 and Table 4 in the next chapter. The main message of Table 1 and 2 is to examine the proportion between levels of government in the field of public cultural expenditure; the main message of Table 3 and 4 is to shed some light on the shares of the subcategories within the levels of government. Austrian culture statistics are not yet in a position to identify exactly all transfers between the levels of government, especially the amount and flow of transfers from the provincial governments to the local level cannot be shown in all its complexity. The funds for arts education represent, in most of the provinces, a huge share of total cultural expenditure, in most cases around 50%. The average figure of around 25.19% for 2005 is influenced strongly by the province of Vienna which provides, in this field, only an arbitrary sum with respect to total cultural expenditure. Money for arts education means, at federal level, funds for the arts universities, at provincial level and at the level of municipalities, funds for the music schools.

Music schools are organised in very different forms and status. Organising music schools as part of the provincial administration or as independent associations or as organisations by business law influences the flow of subsidies from the provinces to the music schools. Because of these problems, the Austrian yearbook on music schools has not yet dealt with this delicate problem, but there are plans to do so in the next edition. Problems like these are the main reason the aggregated sum of the subdivisions' funds - based on the "funding reports" - is not the same as when we calculate the total arts funds from the budgeting documents. But the budgeting documents are not helpful for relating the total funds to the subcategories. For the compendium series in 2008, this problem will be much better served by the findings of the forthcoming music schools statistical yearbook next spring. In the meantime the solution was to subtract the total overlapping sum from the funds calculated at local level.

Austria/ 6. Financing of culture

6.4 Sector breakdown

Table 3:     State cultural expenditure, by sector, in million euro, 2005

Domain /

Compendium subcategories

Federal State






in %


in %


in %


in %

I. Cultural Goods









I.1 Cultural Heritage









1.1 Historical Monuments









1.2 Museums









I.2 Archives









2.1 Archives (included in 1.2)









I.3 Libraries









3.1 Libraries









II. Arts









II.4 Architecture









4.1 Architecture









II.5 Visual Arts









5.1 Visual Arts (incl. Design)









II.6 Performing Arts









6.1 Music









6.2 Theatre, Musical Theatre









6.3 Multidisciplinary









III. Media









III.7 Books and Press









7.1 Books









7.2 Press









III.8 Audio, Audiovisual and Multimedia









8.1 Cinema









8.2 Radio









8.3 Television (included in 8.2)









IV. Other









IV.9 Interdisciplinary









9.1 Socio-cultural









9.2 Cultural Relations Abroad









9.3 Administration
(when not alloc. by domains)









9.4 Educational Activities









IV.10 Not alloc. by domain









10. Not alloc. by domain
















2 007.96


Source:      Kulturstatistik 2005, Tabellenwerk. Statistik Austria. Calculations Otto Hofecker.

Table 3a:   State cultural expenditure, sector breakdown, in %, 2005

Domains /

Compendium subcategories

Federal State
in %

in %

in %


I. Cultural Goods





I.1 Cultural Heritage





1.1 Historical Monuments





1.2 Museums





I.2 Archives





2.1 Archives (included in 1.2)





I.3 Libraries





3.1 Libraries





II. Arts





II.4 Architecture





4.1 Architecture





II.5 Visual Arts





5.1 Visual Arts (incl. Design)





II.6 Performing Arts





6.1 Music





6.2 Theatre, Musical Theatre





6.3 Multidisciplinary





III. Media





III.7 Books and Press





7.1 Books





7.2 Press





III.8 Audio, Audiovisual and Multimedia





8.1 Cinema





8.2 Radio





8.3 Television (included in 8.2)





IV. Other





IV.9 Interdisciplinary





9.1 Socio-cultural





9.2 Cultural Relations Abroad





9.3 Administration
(when not alloc. by domains)





9.4 Educational Activities





IV.10 Not alloc. By domain





10. Not alloc. by domain










Source:      Kulturstatistik 2005, Tabellenwerk. Statistik Austria. Calculations Otto Hofecker.

Table 4:     State cultural expenditure, sector breakdown, in million euro, 2004

Domains /

Compendium subcategories

Federal State






in %


in %


in %


in %

I. Cultural Goods









I.1 Cultural Heritage









1.1 Historical Monuments









1.2 Museums









I.2 Archives









2.1 Archives (included in 1.2)









I.3 Libraries









3.1 Libraries









II. Arts









II.4 Architecture









4.1 Architecture









II.5 Visual Arts









5.1 Visual Arts (incl. Design)









II.6 Performing Arts









6.1 Music









6.2 Theatre, Musical Theatre









6.3 Multidisciplinary









III. Media









III.7 Books and Press









7.1 Books









7.2 Press









III.8 Audio, Audiovisual and Multimedia









8.1 Cinema









8.2 Radio









8.3 Television (included in 8.2)









IV. Other









IV.9 Interdisciplinary









9.1 Socio-cultural









9.2 Cultural Relations Abroad









9.3 Administration (when not alloc. by domains)









9.4 Educational Activities









IV.10 Not alloc. by domain









10. Not alloc. by domain
















1 957.40


Source:      Kulturstatistik 2004, Tabellenwerk. Statistik Austria. Calculations Otto Hofecker.

As already mentioned, the main message of Table 3 and 4 in this chapter is to shed some light on the shares of the subcategories within the levels of government. How are these figures calculated and what quality standards are behind them? All departments funding the arts and culture at federal and provincial level provide so-called "funding reports". Basing data sets on these reports achieves a reasonably high quality of analysis and comparison of arts policy. The funding reports are documents describing where the funds are going at project level. The structure used to document these subsidies and make the figures comparable in Austrian cultural policy is the LIKUS scheme, which provides aggregated figures for around 20 000 projects. It is important to indicate this with respect to Table 2 and its subdivisions into the levels of government. Since the transfer of the Austrian funding figures in the LIKUS scheme to the compendium scheme is possible with only a limited loss of documentation quality, the background for the share figures in Table 2 is reasonable.

For the municipal level, the funding figures for arts and culture do not have the same quality as for the federal and provincial levels, especially when it comes to separating the figures according to the subcategories of the LIKUS scheme and finally for the compendium scheme. For this level, there is still a huge amount of clarification necessary, especially of which field the money is used in. The subdivisions currently provided are estimates from Statistics Austria but are still the best available. The main idea at this level is to complete Table 2 at all levels for Austria. On the one hand, providing the figures and on the other being aware of this weakness at municipal level, generally there is a need and a desire to improve the comparative quality at least for the larger towns in the near future, since the willingness to provide a substantial amount of the total budget for arts and culture at this governing level is greater than elsewhere.

The figures in the culture policy reports do not make it clear when transfers are involved. Separating out transfers is currently only possible using budgeting documents. However, these documents have a different structure and subdivisions. The biggest average share devoted to arts and culture was achieved in 2005 with 3.6% at the level of municipalities. The year before this figure was 3.51%, so this represents a slight increase. A substantial increase from 2000 to 2005 in the share figures was achieved at provincial level even though the share at that time was nearly half that of the municipalities. The provincial level in Austria is represented by the nine Länder (provinces) such as the Tyrol, Upper and Lower Austria and the capital Vienna. On average, the share of the funds devoted to arts and culture at provincial level was 2.03% in 2005 and 2.17% in 2004.

The lowest share for arts and culture in Austria is provided at federal level. That said, it must be underlined that this share is much higher than that at federal level in Germany or Switzerland. It is also important to see and comment on the tendency at federal level during the last years. There was a decrease in the share figures from 1997 to 2005 from 0.95% to 0.70%. This steadily decreasing trend overlaps even the change of governments at federal level from the coalition between the historically larger political parties in Austria, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the conservative Christian Democratic People's Party (ÖVP) to the current coalition of the conservative People's Party (ÖVP) and the right wing Freedom Party (FPÖ). The highest share of funds for arts and culture at federal level was measured at a more or less stable level in the region of 1% at the end of the first-named coalition's final term in office. The lowest share figure was reached with 0.57% in the year 2000 when the coalition of the conservative People's Party (ÖVP) and the right wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) started with its first budget. These comparatively large changes also indicate the need for a permanent, qualified and highly professional observation of the trend in willingness to support funding of arts and culture.

The share figures in cultural public expenditure at federal, provincial and local level in Table 2 are based on the analytical quality mentioned at the beginning of this paper with respect to the data sets on public funding figures in Austria. Some budget lines have not yet been filled in. That means that, with improved calculation of funding figures in Austria, the aggregated sums will also increase. In Austria, we have no figures at all for the costs of administration. Compared to the funding figures from Germany, this would mean an increase of around 6%. Beyond the need to meet all the demands of the new scheme, the funds provided for administration seem to be a figure of strategic importance. And this is not only the case for Austria.

Austria/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.1 Re-allocation of public responsibilities

Public responsibilities for cultural affairs have been re-allocated by sector to different institutions or bodies. Depending on the allocated tasks and responsibilities, different models of institutions or partnerships have been adopted.

The Austrian Film Institute (previously Austrian Film Promotion Fund) was established with a separate legal personality, according to amendments made to the Film Promotion Act in 1998. It is responsible for structural changes to the Austrian film industry, support to film production, and stimulation as well as improving the quality of Austrian film culture. The Film Institute is headed by a manager and a board of trustees, whose duties are defined in the Film Promotion Act. The institute operates like a fund as it receives its money directly from the federal level according to the legal provisions.

In 2004, the Austrian Cultural Service GmbH (formerly Austrian Cultural Service / Österreichischer Kulturservice (ÖKS)) and the Cultural Promotion Office (Büro für Kulturvermittlung) were merged into one organisational structure with KulturKontakt. This new competence centre for cultural education and cultural promotion is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

KulturKontakt (Centre for East-West Cultural Contacts) was founded by the former Ministry for Culture and Arts in 1989, as an autonomous association and interface between artists, arts sponsors and ministries and to help bring the arts and business communities together. In 1990, the association was given additional tasks: support and co-ordination of cultural projects with and in the countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, by way of cross-border co-operation and support to educational reforms.

On the initiative of the former Ministry for Education, the ÖKS was established and is a service institution for cultural education and the dissemination of the arts to Austrian schools in 1977. The main purpose of the service is to provide teachers of all subjects with support and advice to realise cultural and arts projects. The ÖKS arranges for artists to visit schools, establishes contact with artists and sponsors and assists in co-operative ventures. It also advises, informs and paves the way for financial support. Together with teachers and artists, it develops arts courses and programmes for structural improvements in favour of cultural education and considers how arts and creative education could become a permanent part of the curricula.

Austria/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.2 Status/role and development of major cultural institutions

The debate over the status of major cultural institutions has been going on since the second half of the 1980s. A great number of initiatives and demands to grant more autonomy to the cultural institutions and to relinquish state agendas were proposed. The restructuring of the "Association of Austrian Federal Theatres" is an example which demonstrates moves towards greater partnership or "divestment" between the public and private sectors. There are fears, however, that the public-interest mission of these institutions will be lost and replaced with market-driven ideologies, and they should therefore be mandated by law with some kind of cultural responsibility.

A Federal Act on the Reorganisation of the Federal Theatres in 1998 created the Theaterholding GmbH, a holding company owned by the federal government, which has four subsidiaries organised as private limited companies: Burgtheater GmbH, Wiener Staatsoper GmbH, Volksoper Wien GmbH and Theaterservice GmbH. The holding company has shifted its operative tasks and financial management to the subsidiaries, which can use their respective property free of charge. With this change, theatre directors are fully accountable for their financial management. The new structure carries the risk that quality might lose out to "cost consciousness". The Theaterservice GmbH comprises workshops, warehouses and ticket sales. Since 2004, Burgtheater GmbH, the Wiener Staatsoper GmbH and the Volksoper Wien GmbH have each had a 16.3% holding in Theaterservice GmbH. Arts matters will continue to be decided upon by the art directors who will run the stages jointly with the commercial directors. The companies will be supervised by a board, an arrangement which in turn involves the risk that the directors might be limited in their artistic freedom.

Austria/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.3 Emerging partnerships or collaborations

Severe budget cuts since the end of the 1990s have led to an intensified discussion on developing new forms of partnership. Some steps towards public-private partnerships have been made in the fields of audiovisual media, music, theatres and museums.

The opponents of privatisation in the cultural sector argue that, in diverting their responsibilities to the private sector, public authorities will decrease their financial support and more importantly leave "public responsibilities" in the hands of marketplace demands. The growing dependency on private funding is feared to have negative consequences on cultural development as economic motives and profit expectations would be placed above artistic and cultural goals. Most of the cultural institutions, of course, cannot live up to such economic conditions.

Further arguments against privatisation include the threat of negative financial, economic and professional consequences in the course of privatisation (e.g. the loss of job guarantees for civil servants, reduced salaries, reduced staff, etc.).

However, arts sponsorship has become an integral financial resource, especially for the flagship institutions and major festivals in the arts sector. Tax deductions for spending on art as a "special expense" was announced, but they have not yet been implemented.

According to the Institute Initiativen Wirtschaft für Kunst (Austrian Business Committee for the Arts) - which has launched several incentives to promote arts sponsorship in Austria, for example the Maecenas sponsorship-award, and also conducts studies in the field - the estimated private sponsorship potential amounts to about euro 43 million.

In 2005, the Austrian Fund for Music (Österreichischer Musikfonds) was founded as a public-private partnership initiative between the Arts Department of the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture and main institutions in the field of music, to promote the distribution and marketing of professional Austrian music productions in Austria and abroad, with a budget of euro 600 000 annually.

Austria/ 8. Support to creativity and participation

8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

Apart from direct grants for artists, Austrian laws offer a number of important instruments that support artists indirectly. These include various legal provisions in the context of social benefits and tax policies, various approaches with a view to the social security of artists, labour market measures, Copyright Law (e.g. public lending rights), the fostering of private art patronage through tax incentives and the deductions on private donations and sponsoring.

Austria/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.1 Special artists funds

The main achievements in the field of indirect support to creativity are the various funds available for artists including the Künstlerhilfe Fonds founded in 1962 and run by the Department for the Arts. This fund provided freelance visual artists with some social security benefits. With the implementation of a new social security insurance regulation for artists on 1 January 2001, this fund has been replaced by the Social Security Insurance Fund for Artists which grants benefits for all artists (not only visual artists). For artists in social need, additional support is given by the Arts Department within the framework of the Arts Support Act (euro 1.16 million in 2006).

There is a statutory fund in the literary field guaranteeing income supplements for writers and authors in social need (e.g. pensions, incapacity to work, care of dependants, support in special cases). The Federal Chancellery / Arts Department further supports income-related supplements for social and pension insurance for freelance theatre workers ("IG Netz") and musicians ("social fund for the creators of music"). The copyright collecting societies also pay social supplements (see also chapter 5.1.7).

Austria/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.2 Grants, awards, scholarships

The Austrian arts promotion system includes various measures of direct support for creativity. The main measures are awards, prizes, scholarships, purchase of art works, grants such as contributions to e.g. printing costs of catalogues, running studios (federal studio house in Vienna and various studios abroad), productions, travelling expenses; and commissioning of art works.


Austria/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.3 Support to professional artists associations or unions

Professional associations and interest groups are associations with restricted membership, aiming at representing the common interests of their members' vis-à-vis the general public, other professional associations or the state. They regard themselves as lobbyists for creative artists and cultural workers and / or operators and assist their members in professional questions and issues of professional policy and conduct. Traditionally, they are involved in many decisions, including consultations on bills and other issues, and frequently serve as negotiating partners in policy decisions.

In addition to the eight Austrian copyright collecting societies (see also 5.1.7), there are professional associations active in the fields of:

The Austrian Council for Culture is a union of interest groups of artists and creators of culture and represents the common policy demands and objectives of the media and the administration. A main aim of the council is to open up and foster public debates.

Moreover, artists have the possibility of joining the Gewerkschaft Kunst, Medien, freie Berufe, a trade union representing professional and social interests of self-employed and / or employed creative artists, journalists, art educators, art administrators, event organisers and related professions in the areas of art, the media, education, and sports.

Austria/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

Participation figures in cultural life in Austria have fluctuated since 1995. An increase is visible in the fields of mass media (the number of radio and TV licences etc.) and loans at public libraries.

Table 5:     Participation figures, 1995-2005





Visits to federal theatres, in 1 000s

1 339

1 297

1 336

Visits to major Viennese private theatres and Vereinigte Bühnen Wien, in 1 000s


1 443


1 410


1 281

Visits to theatres in the Bundesländer and main cities, in 1 000s


1 259


1 198


1 141

Visits to federal museums, in 1 000s


2 782


3 213


3 453

Visits to museums in the

Bundesländer, in 1 000s


2 951*


2 925*


1 716

Visits to libraries (readers), in 1 000s




Loans, in millions




Newspapers total




of which dailies




Radio licences, in 1 000s




TV licences, in 1 000s




Cable TV connections, in 1 000s




Visits to cinemas, in millions




Source:      Kulturstatistik 1995, 2000, 2005.
*                 incl. special exhibitions of the Bundesländer.
**              calculated until 2003 (1.09).

In 2007, for the first time since 1989, a national survey (commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture) was conducted on the participation of the Austrian population in culture. The results are following: As a whole, participation rose as a result of the growing supply, particularly in the fields of the book market, small stages, film, youth music and exhibitions, while the participation figures of big institutions were stagnant or slightly declining. The study further shows a close connection between cultural participation and educational level. Women in general are more interested in culture, in particular those under 45 with at least Matura-level (A-Level) education. The interviewees were in favour of more provision of art and culture in schools. Only a minority endorse public support for arts and culture.

Austria/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

Since 2000, two major initiatives have been introduced:

The "Long Night of Museums" event was created in 2000, as an initiative of ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) and has been very successful in increasing the number of museum visits (336 800 visits in 2006). Only one ticket is needed and there are buses to transfer the visitors from museum to museum.

Similarly successful is the Long Night of Music, also initiated by the ORF in 2001. Since 2002, the event was widened to cities in the Bundesländer (Salzburg, Graz, Dornbirn und Innsbruck). In Vienna alone, this event attracted 53 000 visitors in 2006.

Austria/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.1 Arts education

The Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) has the principal responsibility for issues concerning arts education in schools. At the elementary school level, arts education in general includes music, visual arts, textile and technical design education, mainly provided in an entertaining way. According to new education policy guidelines for the secondary school level, individual schools are increasingly forced to define their specific school profiles through autonomous curriculum planning. Accordingly, secondary school students can choose from different arts subjects including performing arts (mainly voluntarily) or participation in school choirs or bands and music ensembles. Generally, many vocational schools (for students over 15 years) do not offer any arts education as a specific subject. However, there are individual schools with special educational curricula in this field (e.g. for music, fine arts, dance, graphics, design or fashion). Individual arts education programmes, e.g. exchanges of artists, and between cultural institutions and schools, have been promoted through the activities of the former Österreichische Kultur-Service (Öks - now part of KulturKontakt Austria) as a service institution for cultural education and the dissemination of the arts in Austrian schools since 1977.

Arts education is also provided on an institutional basis "outside of school hours" by music schools, children's singing schools or youth and cultural centres ("Musische Zentren"). They are mainly provided on the Bundesländer (provinces) or on the community level. As the Austrian school system is currently slowly changing from half-day-schooling to all-day-schooling, new forms of co-operation between schools and out-of-school institutions are on the political agenda.

At the same time, education programmes of cultural institutions, especially for children and young people, have increased considerably. In response to the need to search for new audiences (and by that to legitimise public funding), arts education has become part of new marketing strategies especially of museums and exhibition halls, followed by concert halls (concert pedagogy) and theatres (theatre pedagogy). A new public interest in supporting the creativity and aesthetic capacity of young people led to the establishment of cultural institutions dedicated to young target groups (the Zoom children's museum, Dschungel - theatre house for young people). As cultural institutions are organised on all political and administrative levels there is no clear political responsibility in this respect. Generally speaking, arts education, up to now, has not found its place in cultural policy programmes (except cultural development plans of selected cities like Linz or Salzburg). Accordingly, cultural policy incentives for cultural institutions to provide education programmes are still rare.

In 1998, a new Law was introduced to Grant University Status to the Six Art Colleges (Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and three in Vienna) for programmes like music, design, drama, painting or sculpture. The first Austrian Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences) for multimedia and design opened its doors to students in 1994. In 2004, the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz (formerly Bruckner-Konservatorium) for music, performing arts and dance was founded. In 2005, the Vienna Konservatorium also received the status of a private university. Within recent years, the number of postgraduate courses in and out of the existing arts universities has increased, offering further education in cultural management, intercultural communication, intervention art, pictorial sciences, archiving, music, design, stage and event management, and museum and exhibition management.

A national Bologna follow-up group was established in Austria in 1999; and the Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance has been operating since 2004. Also, all universities and universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) have nominated a Bologna Coordinator for promoting the implementation of the Bologna objectives in the respective institution. At the universities, about 42% of those study programmes that may be organised in the two-cycle structure are following the Bologna System (medicine and higher secondary-school teaching programmes are exempt by law from the BA / MA-structure). The universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) have converted about 77% of their programmes to the two-tier structure so far. However, the implementation of the two-cycle structure has been accompanied by discussions, especially within and between the universities of arts. Some critics generally doubt the compatibility of artistic studies (e.g. instrument studies / concert subjects) with a two-cycle structure. Also, the international compatibility of the new curricula (for example in architecture) is questioned, as in Austria only three-year baccalaureate degrees are to be established, whereas other countries envisage longer degree courses in this field.

Austria/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.2 Intercultural education

Since 1992, intercultural learning in Austria has been anchored in the curricula of the various types of schools, both as a teaching principle and as a general educational objective. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) is responsible for this area. Alongside learning about other cultures, the objectives are the promotion of tolerance and the understanding and respect for cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity, the critical analysis of ethno- and Euro-centrism, prejudice, racism and the strengthening of linguistic, cultural and ethnic identity. The discussion around minorities living in Austria is, above all, intended to take place in the Bundesländer (provinces) concerned. Above and beyond this, bilingualism and multilingualism are to be judged positively; children's knowledge in their mother tongues is to be incorporated in the teaching. Finally, intercultural learning is to be combined with other teaching principles (political education). A database including good-practice-projects (partly funded by EU-programmes) in this field was launched by the ministry in 2005.

According to a study on intercultural education (2003) the practical implementation of this teaching principle, however, is above all dependent on the commitment and interest of the individual teachers. In fact, the primary objective of intercultural teaching has been linguistic integration of pupils with an immigration background. However, cuts in the education budget have meant that the extra resources (teachers) required for language learning are insufficient. This makes it more difficult for immigrant school children to be integrated into the education system.

The association KulturKontakt Austria is also active in this field. Projects and educational courses, with an emphasis on intercultural educational work, are also provided by the inter-cultural centre (Interkulturelles Zentrum) in Vienna. Generally, intercultural communication and management has gained importance in recent years, for example in the field of (vocational) education and training.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.

Austria/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.1 Amateur arts

The amateur arts play a major role in everyday life in Austria: There are numerous adult education courses in the field of "creativity", provided by the 293 adult education centres. The music schools system facilitates a nationwide education programme in the field of music. Moreover, there are over 14 500 cultural associations active in the fields of amateur music, theatre and singing in Austria.

Although all these establishments promote activities in the sphere of amateur arts, above all in the rural areas, these are neither an object of public debate and discussion, nor have they been surveyed and assessed by academic research.

Austria/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

Cultural associations have become an important part of Austrian contemporary culture and art since the 1970s. They range from regional events, multicultural, interdisciplinary and experimental arts and cultural projects, to service provision and associations that facilitate the improvement of the organisation and management of arts and cultural initiatives. Since 1991, regional arts and cultural initiatives have been funded by a special department in the Arts Department. However, the shift from basic funding to project-oriented funding has made continuous work of the small cultural associations more difficult.


Austria/ 9. Sources and Links

9.1 Key documents on cultural policy

Almhofer, Edith; Lang, Gabriele; Schmied, Gabriele; Tucek, Gabriela: Die Hälfte des Himmels. Chancen und Bedürfnisse kunstschaffender Frauen in Österreich. (Half of the sky. Chances and Needs of Female Creative Artists in Austria). Vienna: deA Skriptum, 2000. 

ARGE Baukulturreport, ed.: Österreichischer Baukulturreport (Austrian Report on Building Culture). Vienna, 2006.

Austrian Government: Programme of the Austrian Federal Government for the 23th Legislative Period.

Badelt, Christoph; Hollerweger, Eva: Das Volumen ehrenamtlicher Arbeit in Österreich. (The Volume of Honorary Work in Austria). Vienna, 2001. 

Bundeskanzleramt, Kunstsektion, ed.: Cultural Policies. Cultural Administration in Austria. Vienna: österreichische kulturdokumentation. internationales archiv für kulturanalysen, 1998. 

Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur, Kunstsektion, ed.: Kunstbericht 2006. Bericht über die Kunstförderung des Bundes. (Art report 2006. Report on Art Promotion of the Federal Government) comp. Herbert Hofreither, Robert Stocker. Vienna, 2007.

Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten, ed.: Außenpolitischer Bericht 2006. (Report with Regard to Foreign Policy 2006). comp. Thomas Schlesinger Vienna, 2007.

Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, ed.: Auslandskultur Neu. (New Foreign Culture). Vienna, 2001.

Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur, Sektion Kultur, ed.: Kulturbericht 2006. (Culture Report 2006). comp. Silvia Adamek Vienna, 2007.

Ellmeier, Andrea; Baumgartner, Gerhard; Perchinig, Bernhard: Transversal Study: Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity. Austria. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2001. 

Ellmeier, Andrea; Ratzenböck, Veronika, eds.: Cultural Competence. New Technologies, Culture & Employment. Vienna: österreichische kulturdokumentation. internationales archiv für kulturanalysen, 1999. 

Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (FORBA): Nachhaltige Arbeit und Beschäftigung in den Wiener Creative Industries. (Lasting work and occupation in the Creative Industries of Vienna). Vienna 2006.

Instinct Domain: Der Kultursektor im Burgenland 2000. (The Cultural Sector in Burgenland 2000). Vienna, 2001. 

Institut für Empirische Sozialforschung GmbH (IFES): Kultur-Monitoring (Culture Monitoring). Vienna, 2007.

KMU-Forschung Austria /Institut für Kulturmanagement (IKM): Zweiter Österreichischer Kreativwirtschaftsbericht. (Second Austrian Creative Industrie Report). Vienna, 2006.

Mayer-Edoloeyi, Andrea: Platz nehmen! Studie Vernetzungsstelle für Frauen in Kunst und Kultur in Oberösterreich. (Take Place! Study Cross-Linking Place for Women in Art and Culture in Upper Austria). Linz: Verein Fiftitu, 2000. 

Mayerhofer, Elisabeth: Frauen in Kultur- und Medienberufen in Österreich. Über ihre mangelnde Repräsentanz in Leitungspositionen. (Women as Culture and Media Professionals in Austria. Over their Lacking Representation in Decision-making Positions). Vienna: mediacult.doc 04, 2000. 

MKW Wirtschaftsforschungs GmbH, Österreichische Kulturdokumentation. Internation-ales Archiv für Kulturanalysen et al: Exploitation and Development of the Job Potential in the Cultural Sector in the Age of Digitalisation. Comm. by the European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs. Munich, Vienna et al, 2001. 

Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Wifo), Böheim, Michael; Geldner, Norbert; Knoll, Norbert; Kohlfürst, Andreas; Lehner, Gerhard: Ökonomische und fiskalische Effekte von Kunst- und Kultursponsoring. (Economic and Fiscal Effects of Art and Culture Sponsoring). Vienna, 2002. 

Österreichische Kulturdokumentation / Mediacult / Wifo: Untersuchung des ökonomischen Potenzials im Bereich Creative Industries in Wien (Investigation of the Economic Potentials within the Creative Industries in Vienna). Vienna, 2004. (english summary)

Republik Österreich vertreten durch den Bundeskanzler, Arbeitsgruppe Weissbuch, eds.: Weissbuch. Zur Reform der Kulturpolitik in Österreich. (White Paper. To the Reform of the Cultural Policy in Austria). Vienna: Falter Verlag, 1998. 

Restitutionsberichte (Restitution reports):

Statistik Austria, ed.:Kulturstatistik 2005. (Culture Statistics 2005). comp. Wolfgang Pauli. Vienna, 2007.  (also available under

Austria/ 9. Sources and Links

9.2 Key organisations and portals

Cultural policy making bodies

Österreichische Bundesregierung / Austrian Government

Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur /
Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture

Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten /
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

Federal Chancellery / Bundeskanzleramt


Kärntner Bildungs- und Kulturserver / Education and Culture Net. Carinthia

Oberösterreich / Upper Austria

Kulturamt der Stadt Linz / Department for Cultural Affairs. City of Linz

Kulturhauptstadt Linz 2009

Niederösterreich / Lower Austria

Salzburger Landesregierung. Kultur / Salzburg. Cultural Administration

Stadt Salzburg. Kultur / City of Salzburg. Culture

Kulturserver Steiermark. / Culturenet. Styria

Steiermark. Landes-Kulturverwaltung / Styria. Cultural Administration

Stadt Graz - Kultur und Bildung / City of Graz - Culture and Education

Tirol. Kultur / Tyrol. Culture

Vorarlberg. Kultur / Vorarlberg. Culture

Wien. Kultur / Vienna Culture

Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) / Austrian Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Broadcasting

Professional associations

IG Kultur Österreich. Interessensgemeinschaft für autonome Kulturarbeit

IG Bildende Kunst

AKM - Autoren. Komponisten. Musikverleger

IG Freie Theaterarbeit. Interessensgemeinschaft

Österreichischer Kulturrat

Grant-giving bodies

See "cultural policy making bodies"

KulturKontakt Austria

Cultural research and statistics

Educult - Institute for the Facilitation of Arts and Science

Forschungsgesellschaft für kulturökonomische und kulturpolitische Studien (FOKUS) /
Austrian Society for Cultural Economics and Policy Studies

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen / Institute for Human Sciences

Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK) / International Research Centre for Cultural Studies

Mediacult. Internationales Forschungsinstitut für Medien, Kommunikation und kulturelle Entwicklung / International Research Institute for Media, Communication and Development

österreichische kulturdokumentation. internationales archiv für kulturanalysen

Universität für angewandte Kunst in Wien

Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien

Donau-Universität, Krems / University of Krems

Institut für Kulturmanagement und Kulturwissenschaft (IKM)

International Centre for Culture & Management (ICCM)

Universität für künstlerische u. industrielle Gestaltung / University of Art and Industrial Design

Culture / arts portals

Culture Tour Austria

Depot. Kunst und Diskussion im Museumsquartier

Kreativwirtschaft Austria

Internetplatform Creative Industries

Plattform Architekturpolitik


Museumsquartier Vienna

Music Information Center (mica)


The Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 9th edition", 2008