Does Austrian Black-Green coalition point the way for Europe?
By Dr. Barbara Kolm, Director, Austrian Economics Center
The new Austrian coalition treaty between Sebastian Kurz´s OVP and Werner Kogler´s Green Party clearly has two different scripts.
The presented pact however shows the strength of the OVP. Out of 15 Ministers the OVP will have 11, whereas the Greens only 4. Each party has one Secretary of State in addition.
Election results Sept. 2019:
They claim that the treaty includes the best of both worlds.
On one hand Kurz’s tough position on migration and the fight against radical Islam is reminiscent of its former center-center right governing coalition with the FPO. The ban of head scarfs for females under 14 or security detention for persons posing a threat to public security are just two examples. At the same time tax cuts will also be tough to sell to the green base because their promises during the election campaign were clearly different. But to provide the greens with an inducement, the partners agreed on a compromise on climate related issues and ecologisation of the tax system were.
Indeed, interestingly this treaty allows for parallel initiatives in the respective fields of expertise. And Kurz managed to claim freedom from the coalition pact in certain topics and under certain scenarios. For example, in case of a new refugee wave new coalitions may be sought in parliament.
In short, the new Austrian Black-Green coalition is a promising experiment that will show if security and ecological renewal can be combined.
Barbara Kolm is President of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria and Director of the Austrian Economics Center. A worldwide networker, she uses these abilities to promote free market policies; in addition she is a frequent speaker on public policy related issues, especially on deregulation and competition topics, the Future of Europe and Austrian Economics. She is an Associate Professor of Austrian Economics at the University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro and a member of the Board of Business Consultants of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and a Member of the Mont Pélerin Society. She is President of the European Center for Economic Growth.