Weekly Briefing: Bilateral Agreements Could Replace EU-Wide Green Passport – Vindobona.org
Summer travel and Covid-19
In bilateral discussions with the Czech Foreign Minister as well as in the five central meeting between the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria, all representatives are calling for a whole-of-the-world solution. ‘EU for summer travel. However, bilateral agreements could be implemented quickly and could replace a poorly performing “green passport”.
In bilateral talks with North Macedonia and Albania, Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler also expressed her wish to include the Western Balkans in an EU-wide “green passport”.
A requirement for both the EU-wide solution and the bilateral agreements is a vaccination, a negative test result or a recent recovery from a Covid-19 infection. Regarding vaccination, Austria has now administered Covid-19 vaccines to a third of the eligible population.
At the EU social summit, Austrian Chancellor Kurz and Labor Minister Kocher were rather skeptical about possible EU-wide minimum wages. The summit, however, also highlighted a common commitment of all countries to step up the fight against social injustice.
NATO will open a new liaison office in Vienna. This was accepted by Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
During the same trip, Schallenberg also discussed cooperation in the fight against climate change with his European counterparts and US special envoy John Kerry.
Chargé d’Affaires Dunnigan from the US Embassy described the Biden administration’s objectives for relations with Austria. As an area of close cooperation, she highlighted Austria’s exemplary climate policy, but also highlighted disagreements such as Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poors confirmed their AA + rating for Austria, while noting the country’s high spending on Covid-19 measures and assuming a weaker economic recovery compared to the euro area.
With a new location strategy, the Austrian government wishes to strengthen the Austrian economy and further increase its attractiveness for international companies. Especially in the segments of greening and environmental technology, Austria wants to become an economic leader.
Vienna’s start-up event ViennaUP’21 has come to an end. With 25,000 attendees and over 10 million views online, the event is considered a huge success.