Resources > Austrian Foreign Ministry
03 Aug 2011

Austrian Foreign Ministry

Diplomatic relations between states can be traced back to antiquity. But is was not until the 15th century that Italian city states created permanent representations as one of the essential fundaments of modern diplomacy. At the Viennese Congress (1815) and by virtue of the Aachen Protocol (1818) a uniform classification of diplomats was established, which was confirmed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961). In 1963 consular affairs too were regulated uniformly by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The year 1720 is considered to be the origin of an independent Austrian diplomatic service, which was when Emperor Karl VI. assigned the administration of foreign relations to a separate minister. After the breakup of the monarchy foreign affairs were attended to by the Federal Chancellery. It was only in 1959 that a separate Ministry for Foreign Affairs was established.

Building on the previous international cultural policy concepts, the Directorate-General for International Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of European and International Affairs has further developed the themes, key areas and programmes of the "Austrian International Cultural Policy". These will now form the basis for the work of Austrian international cultural relations for the coming year