The silent revolution: Austria's accession to the European Union

Wolfram Kaiser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The statement “Austria has always belonged to Europe” is banal in its reference to a common geographical space, but problematic, when made about Austria’s policy towards West European integration since 1945. European Union (EU) membership has also had a significant impact on the center-periphery relationship in Austria. For a long time, accession to the EU seemed bound to result in a restructuring of the federal system of Austria which, because of the limited powers of the Lander, should appropriately be described as a decentralized unitary state. The institutions themselves and the institutional balance within the Austrian political system are also affected. Only one year after Austria’s accession to the EU, the far-reaching consequences of EU membership, which even indirectly contributed to the breakdown of the grand coalition on 12 October 1995, are slowly becoming more apparent. At a time of a domestic crisis of orientation, the change amounts to a silent revolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustrian Historical Memory and National Identity
EditorsGunter Bischof, Anton Pelinka
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781351315128
ISBN (Print)9781138519091, 9781560009023
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameContemporary Austrian Studies


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