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Neutrality: Austria´s permanent neutrality is closely connected with the negotiations on the State Treaty, which was signed on May 15, 1955 after a preliminary agreement called the Moscow Memorandum had been signed by an Austrian government delegation on April 15, 1955. This memorandum obliged Austria "to adhere to permanent neutrality in the manner practised by Switzerland". A Neutrality Act was voted by the Nationalrat on October 26, 1955, in which Austria committed herself not to join any military alliance, to defend herself "with all means available" and not to permit foreign military bases on her territory. However, in contrast to Switzerland, Austria decided to follow an active and dynamic policy of neutrality for historical and geographical reasons and reasons of national security. This is why Austria joined the United Nations as early as December 1955. Austrian neutrality concentrates especially on national security policy. The 2nd Gulf War 1990/91 brought about far-reaching changes (NATO planes were allowed to fly over Austrian territory) for the first time; Austria´s entry into the European Union and resolutions on the creation of a European security system also triggered a new discussion on the role and possible modifications of Austrian neutrality.


H. Neuhold, W. Hummer and C. Schreuer, Handbuch des Voelkerrechts, 1991; G. Stourzh, Um Einheit und Freiheit: Staatsvertrag, Neutralitaet und das Ende der O-W-Besetzung Oesterreichs 1945-1955, SUP>4</SUP>1998.