9th Meeting of Presidents of Central European Countries
  Meeting | Bilateral Relations | Republic of Austria

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Bilateral Relations

Republic of Slovenia - Republic of Austria


As the Republic of Austria is a neighbouring country and EU member with a Slovenian ethnic minority, Slovenia enjoys close relations and developed cooperation in numerous spheres on the bilateral and multilateral levels.

The two countries cooperate in the economic sphere. Austria is one of Slovenia's most important foreign trade partners, ranking fourth in imports and exports. In 2001 Slovenian exports to Austria were worth USD 692.6 million (7.4% of all Slovenian exports), while imports from Austria totalled USD 843.9 million (8.3% of all Slovenian imports). The increase in trade is continuing. In 2001 Slovenian exports to Austria came to 82% of imports.

Austria is the most important foreign investor in Slovenia (investments in banks and other services and the paper and chemical industry totalled USD 1.28 billion in 2000 - 45.5% of all foreign investments). Investments have increased every year.

Regular meetings take place between the two countries at every level. Last year the Prime Minister Dr Drnovsek met the Austrian Chancellor Dr Wolfgang Schüssel on many occasions and the President of the Republic Milan Kucan was in Vienna on an official visit in November 2001.

In Vienna on 7 March 2001 Slovenia and Austria's foreign ministers, Dr Dimitrij Rupel and Dr Benita Ferrero Waldner, signed the Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments (in force since February 2002), which will further contribute to the strengthening of contacts between the two countries. In April 2001 the two ministers signed an Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation in Ljubljana. Slovenia's National Assembly ratified the agreement on 15 February this year. The agreement is a continuation of the good relations enjoyed in those spheres. Successful exchanges in the fields of education and science are ongoing between Austria and Slovenia, as is cooperation between a range of cultural institutions.

The two countries successfully cooperate on projects financed by EU funds. From 1995 to 2000, Slovenia and Austria cooperated on over 100 projects within the PHARE/INTERREG programmes.

In 2000 a Joint Programme Document was prepared as the basis for cross-border cooperation from 2000 to 2006 and received official confirmation in Maribor on 5 June 2001.

Slovenia and Austria have also been successfully cooperating within the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Regional Partnership and the newly formed Danube Cooperation, formed on Austria and Romania's initiative with the support of the EU and the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and with Austria's federal states within the Alps-Adriatic Working Community.

Slovenia is set to host the third regional conference of the Regional Partnership in June 2002. The first was held in Vienna on 6 June 2001. From 31 May to 1 June this year Slovenia will host the Meeting of the Presidents of Central European States.


Republic of Austria
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Bulgaria
Republic of Croatia
Czech Republic
Federal Republic of Germany
Republic of Hungary
Republic of Italy
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Moldova
Republic of Poland
Slovak Republic
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia