Foreign Policy: the main foreign-policy makers in Austria are the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs with its Austrian diplomatic missions abroad, the competent departments of other federal ministries, the Federal Chancellery and the Austrian President. Foreign policy in the Second Republic can be divided into 5 main stages: 1) From the end of World War II to the recovery of full governmental sovereignty through the State Treaty and the Constitutional Law on Neutrality (1945-1955): Austrian foreign policy was essentially influenced by the Allied occupation forces. 2) Integration and emancipation stage (1955-1968/1970): Austria integrated itself into the international community, became a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the scene of important international meetings (this was called the "active neutrality policy"). This stage also covers Austria's active role in South Tyrolean politics. 3) Globally orientated foreign and neutrality policy (1968/70-1983/1984): The " Kreisky era" was characterised by increasing activity on the international stage (esp. in Middle Eastern politics); Vienna became the seat of international organisations (UN City); Austrian contingents in UN troops in Cyprus and the Golan Heights. 4) "Realistic Foreign and Neutrality Policy " (since 1983/84-1994): Austria began to re-orientate itself toward the EC and the politics of good neighbourly relations, which paved the way for Austria's accession to the European Union. This policy also took into account the changing political systems in eastern Central Europe and the former USSR. The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the wake of the war was of particular significance in this context. 5) phase of Austria's membership in the European Union (since 1995). Increased orientation towards Europe, especially in the light of the inclusion of Eastern European countries; EU-wide foreign policy will increase in significance. Further important international issues will continue to include environmental protection, external economic policy and security policy.
Further reading#E. Zoellner (ed.), Diplomatie und Aussenpolitik Oesterreichs, 1977; H. Kramer, Strukturentwicklung der Aussenpolitik, in: Handbuch des politischen Systems Oesterreichs, 1991.