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Austria: between Size and Sanctions

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Chapter Summary

Austria's main contribution to the IGC leading to a new Treaty of Nice concentrated on procedural improvements of Article 7 of the TEU, together with a few sensitive national issues such as the environment and social protection. Before analysing the Austrian position in the IGC, this chapter draws attention to the particularities of the underlying constitutional system governing Euro-Austrian relations. The imposition of the sanctions against Austria aggravated the negative stance towards the EU. When, on 4 February 2000 the Austrian President formerly installed the ÖVP-FPÖ cabinet, the sanctions as set out in the statement of the Presidency became effective. With regard to the extension of qualified majority voting in the European Council, Austria generally adopted a positive stance. Finally, the domestic ratification process of the Treaty of Nice has been both, most uncontroversial and smooth, allowing for quick and effective implementation.

Keywords: ÖVP-FPÖ cabinet; article 7 TEU; Austria; diplomatic sanction; European Union; IGC 2000; qualified majority voting; Treaty of Nice



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