The Austrian People’s Party.
With more than 600.000 members the Austrian People's Party is the biggest party in Austria. In six associations (youth, women, entrepreneurs, employees, farmers, senior citizens), organised in nine province and 121 district branches, they work for the party in all 2357 communities of Austria.
The Austrian People’s Party was founded on 17th April 1945, in the Schottenstift in Vienna. This new party distinguished itself from its predecessor “Christlichsoziale Partei” (CSP), founded in 1893, through its commitment to parliamentary democracy and the Austrian nation. It aimed at acting as a socially progressive and modern party that is not exclusively bound to any class or religious denomination. The ÖVP saw itself as a socially integrative party bringing together not only different occupational groups but also diverse ideological streams.
Being successful with this policy the ÖVP was the strongest political force and main governing party from 1945 to 1970. After losing the elections in 1970 and being in opposition until the forming of a grand coalition with the Social Democraty Party (SPÖ) in 1986, the “Salzburg Programme” was adopted in 1972 to set up the ÖVP as a “party of the progressive centre”. This programme could be seen as one of the most modern political programmes in Europe at that time. It was valid until the mid-nineties and became a model for centre and centre-right parties in Central and Eastern Europe. It equally formed the basis for ÖVP‘s lead in pushing for Austria’s accession to the European Union in 1995, thus becoming Austria’s only truly European party.
In 1995, a new party programme was adopted to accommodate for the social and political developments and challenges of the beginning 21st century. Clearly the ÖVP’s value system is bound to the Christian and humanistic tradition of Europe. The concept of eco-social market economy is based upon the principle of sustainability and gives the structure for dealing with the economic, social and ecological challenges of the future by implementing an eco-social market oriented policy.
From 2000 to early 2007, the ÖVP under Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel led a coalition government with the Freedom Party (FPÖ / BZÖ). Since January 2007 ÖVP has been in a coalition government with SPÖ. In the current government formed in 2013 ÖVP holds the offices of Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Justice, Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Minister of Science, Research and Economy, as well as of Finance, the Interior, Family and Youth, Agriculture and Environment.
The latest ÖVP party programme (“Policy Statement 2015“) was developed in a broad and open evolution process carried by the supporters of the party and applying innovative tools. It’s contemporary positions and modern structures strengthen the party’s profile and political clout.
At its 38th Party Congress on 1 July 2017 in Linz, Sebastian Kurz was elected new Federal Chairman and also changes to the statutes were adopted, modernizing the party’s structure for building the movement of the New People’s Party.
Mr Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Ms Elisabeth Köstinger, MEP
Leader of Parliamentary Group:
Mr Reinhold Lopatka, MP
Mrs Monika Reiner
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