Sebastian Kurz, Vita, Career and Politics.
In English language only. By Dr. Christian Heinze
A sub-page to the website: 2018 01 22

Vita and Career of Sebastian Kurz.

Sebastian Kurz was born on 27th August 1986 in Vienna. His father is an engineer, his mother a teacher. The family suffered for some time due to unemloyment of Mr. Kurz's father. Sebastian Kurz is said to be a relative of the former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP - Austrian People’s Party), who caused an international uproar by cooperating with the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) which, at the time, pursued an extremely nationalist course. Concerning his education Kurz has studied law (and probably economics) without taking a degree.(1)

Early political engagement and success.

Sebastian Kurz began to engage in politics at the age of 16. He joined the ÖVP and became speaker of its junior fraction. From November 2010 onwards Kurz was a member of the Regional Parliament and of the Council of Vienna and became Austrian "Staatssekretär" (a ministerial rank next to the Minister) for integration in the Ministry of the Interior in April 2011. December 2013 saw him - at the age of 28 - as the Austrian Minister for Europe and International Affairs in a coalition government of the Austrian Social Democrat Party (SPÖ). He acted, by rotation, in 2014 as President of the European Council of Ministers and in 2017 as President of the Organization for European Security and Cooperation.

Kurz seems to owe his career to his youthful and dynamic, self-confident and eloquent, yet presentable appearance, his clear and demanding but at the same time urban and unemotional, forthcoming style of communication as well as to the impression he gives of independent but careful, transparent political thinking.


After the ÖVP had gained 31,5% of the votes (and 61 of 183 seats in Parliament) and the FPÖ 26 % of the votes (and 53 seats) in the national elections of October 2017, Kurz became the Austrian Chancellor of a coalition government between ÖVP and FPÖ. In his government, he conceded the Ministries of Defence and of the Interior to members of the FPÖ. The course of the FPÖ is at present widely considered acceptable due to changes as well in the general attitude as also in the ways of the FPÖ since its cooperation with Schüssel.

Political Goals pursued by Sebastian Kurz (2).

European Policy in General.

Kurz proclaims dedication to the development of the European Union. While such a statement, as it is common to most European politicians, is subject to contradictory interpretations concerning the development of the Union towards statehood (as favored by the Commission) or return to federal standards, Kurz has declared himself in favour of the principle of susidiarity of EU unfolding, of an organizational reduction of the Commission, of concentration on the subject-matters of defence, of currency, of the migration problem and of a foreign policiy. Kurz favors deregulation. But according to Kurz, decisions pertaining to the State must not be delegated for example to Labour Unions. His approach is influenced by his belief that a peaceful Europe requires good terms with Russia. He demands, however, that Public International Law must be observed, the agreement of Minsk must be obeyed as a requirement for the lifting of the sanctions in force against Russia. Kurz would like to build bridges between the so-called Visegrad-Group (Poland, Hungary, Chechia, Slovenia). Kurz favours an increasingly pro-Israeli policy.

European Fiscal and Currency Policy.

Regarding fiscal and Euro policy, Kurz places himself close to the position of the German former Finance Minister Schäuble in favor of the creation a European Monetary Fund (however conceived otherwise than by the Commision) but not of the office of a European Finance Minister and neither of establishing a separate budget of the Euro-Group. He advocates relying on the Maastricht criteria for a fiscal policy focussed on “prevention”.


Kurz would give preference to the development and expansion of infrastructure for digitalization. Education should rank highly among public efforts.


Kurz holds that taxes should be reduced and that companies should pay taxes to the countries where they earn their gains.


In the migration crisis, Kurz was among the first Euroean politicians (next to the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban), who engaged succesfully in practically closing the "Balkan-Route" for massive migration movement by means of more effective protection of national borders. As chancellor, Kurz emphasizes that EU external borders should be protected, countries like Greece and Italy should be helped in this. Kurz puts weight on projects for helping immigrants-to-be at their places of origin. He welcomes preventing refugee boats leaving their coasts of origin (a successful policy of cooperation with Tunesia) and illegal activies of non-government organizations in the Mediterranean Sea. He does not believe in quotas imposed on migrants or member countries. Asylum procedures should be sped up.

Concerning European right-wing “populist” tendencies.

Asked for his feelings towards nationalism and conservatism, Kurz questioned the significance of the notions and pointed to the democratic legitimacy of different political philosophies within the framework of pro-European Constitutions, of International Public Law and of “Values”. He makes a point of according, within these limits, a democratic right of pursuing many political opinions and ways regardless of whether they are categorized as belonging to a "left" or "right" spectrum. He extends this approach to the FPÖ and, for example, to the President of the United States, Donald Trump. In the opinion of Kurz, tendencies like those of Poland or Hungary considered as deviating from basic principles of the Eeuropean Union should be met along the lines of Art. 7 of the Treaty of the European Union (3).

Particular Austrian issues of international relevance.

Kurz believes that in Austria a so called "larger coalition" between the SPÖ and the ÖVP lack the power to realize necessary changes because of their fundamental political difference.

Kurz has described his previously expressed favor for double-citizenship between Austria and (Italian) South Tyrol as not of primary importance.

Reception and Echo

In a television discussion of 17th January, 2016 (2) the famous German talk-mastress Sandra Maischberger has tried, with the help of the speaker of the party "Die Grünen", Jürgen Trittin, to denounce the alliance of Sebastian Kurz with the FPÖ. Trittin defended his position by referring to the undemocratic commitment of the established German parties never to form a coalition government with the "Alternative für Deutschland" (AfD).

While Sebstian Kurz was, during his initial visits in January 2018, favorably received in France by Prime Minister Macron, the German chancellor Merkel met him with the remark that she would "measure" him "by his deeds". The formula reflects the attitude common among some of the leading politicians and functionaries of the EU considering their policy of prematurely creating European Statehood (quite erroniously) as the only valid way to promote European unification.


(1) The information given of the vita of Sebastian Kurz is compiled from facebook an a Maischberger-interview of 17th January, 2018 >>. (2) The summary of opinions held by Sebastian Kurz relies mainly on his statements made during an interview with „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ and during his meeting with the German chancellor Angela Merkel in January, 2018 and on the interview mentioned in footnote (1).

(3) Articles of the Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht 1992):

Article 7

1. On a reasoned proposal by one third of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2. Before making such a determination, the Council shall hear the Member State in question and may address recommendations to it, acting in accordance with the same procedure.

The Council shall regularly verify that the grounds on which such a determination was made continue to apply.

2. The European Council, acting by unanimity on a proposal by one third of the Member States or by the Commission and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2, after inviting the Member State in question to submit its observations.

3. Where a determination under paragraph 2 has been made, the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons. The obligations of the Member State in question under this Treaty shall in any case continue to be binding on that State.

4. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide subsequently to vary or revoke measures taken under paragraph 3 in response to changes in the situation which led to their being imposed.

5. The voting arrangements applying to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council for the purposes of this Article are laid down in Article 354 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Article 2

The Union is based on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non- discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

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