Federal Chancellor, selects the members of the Federal Government with the Vice Chancellor and the various Federal Ministers; head of government. As "primus inter pares" s/he chairs the meetings of the federal government; while s/he has no authority to issue instructions or guidelines, s/he nevertheless holds a special place in Austrian political life on account of his/her coordinative and supervisory functions, his/her influence on party politics and his/her important presence in the media. Since 1929 the Austrian federal chancellor has been appointed by the Federal President (until 1929 s/he was elected by the Nationalrat); s/he is head of the Federal Chancellery. On proposal of the Federal Chancellor the Federal President appoints the Federal Ministers. If the Federal President is prevented from fulfilling his/her duties for a period of not more than 20 days, his/her functions are assumed by the Federal Chancellor.
During the monarchy the head of government had the title Prime Minister (or State Chancellor or Imperial Chancellor). When the First Republic was established in 1918, the title "chancellor" was introduced on the model of Germany: from 1918 to 1920 and from April to December 1945 the title was "State Chancellor", from 1920 to 1938 and from December 1945 "Federal Chancellor".
Literature#F. Weissensteiner and E. Weinzierl, Die oesterreichischen Bundeskanzler, 1983; P. Pelinka, Oesterreichs Bundeskanzler. Von L. Figl bis W. Schuessel, 2000.