National Council: Dense plan for removal

This time the topic of the current hour is set by the Greens: “Heat, storms and the climate crisis threaten our health – active climate protection protects people”. A second national report on the United Nations Sustainability Goals may also be requested. Austria ranks fifth out of 166 countries.

MPs will discuss the CoV Funding Agency (COFAG) and the final reports of the U-committees on “red-blue abuse of power”. The panel, led by procedural judge Christa Edwards, critically evaluated COFAG’s structure, which was outsourced to control donations.

The Red-Blue Committee did not recognize any wrongdoing by FPÖ leader Herbert Gieglin in the “Idea Factory” case. In the Egisto Ott espionage case, trial judges recommended the formation of a separate Russia panel.

More funding for communities and schools

The plan includes decisions related to spatial planning, communities and schools. In this way, states should be authorized to adopt state regulations on spatial planning matters that link sovereign measures such as land zoning to private legal agreements. For example, this includes linking reclamation to building land with certain conditions, such as building a cycle path.

Municipalities have additional funds. Specifically, the central government should provide 300 million euros to municipalities. Also, a Municipal Investment Program (KIP) worth Rs 500 million will be launched. Half is earmarked for projects in the areas of climate protection and climate change adaptation. Infrastructure projects in the areas of childcare, schools, elderly care, sports, public transport, water supply or broadband expansion are also eligible for funding.

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Students in a classroom

ORF/Ákos Heves

Government wants to encourage digitization of schools

The proposed school package is intended to enable a “digitalisation offensive”. School certificates are digitized and available to citizens even after school completion. Also, there are plans to legally incorporate digital student ID cards. Plans to reform Pre-Science Work (VWA) are still being formulated.

Basically, this should be the final job. In the future, Mathura’s partial achievement may also take the form of a multimedia production, video report or even a podcast. Alternatively, an additional oral or written matura is possible until 2028/29.

Social Services Reform, Amendment to Animal Protection Act

In the future, the Legislature will allow for one-time separations from social service for particularly important economic or family reasons, which would require an agreement with the sponsoring agency in advance. The circle of preferred social service agencies is expanding to include geriatric care facilities and hospitals.

Amendment to the Animal Protection Act tightens rules on animal cruelty. Also, from July 1, 2026, a mandatory certificate of expertise in breeding dogs, amphibians, reptiles and parrots will be established, which must be proven by completing the course of at least four teaching units. For dogs, an additional two-hour practice session is required.

Green light for “Plan of the Century” Rec

The “project of the century” Rhesi, a major flood protection project on the Rhine in Vorarlberg, is launched financially. A 20-year construction period is assumed, starting in mid-2027.

Firefighters in Grosselopming (Styria) on a flooded street

APA/Appleberg Fire Department/Thomas Zeiler

Fire departments receive more “guaranteed contributions” from disaster funds

The “guaranteed amount” for fire departments from the disaster fund is to be increased from 95 million to 140 million euros a year. Also, people affected by landslides and other vertical ground movements will get support from the fund in future.

New rules for teleworking

New insurance regulations will be established for teleworking, which will then apply to the home office as well. As far as accident insurance coverage is concerned, different regulations apply depending on the location. The law requires, among other things, that telecommunications and the places where they can be carried out are set out in writing in a contract. There should also be an agreement between the employee and the employer.

According to the decision of the European Union, the rights of passengers are also strengthened. There are improvements for the disabled, for example, making it easier to take bikes with you. The purpose of amending the Motor Vehicle Act is to find a more effective provision to prevent right-wing extremist symbols on the desired license plates.

Electronic vaccination certificate should be made fully functional. Central Immunization Registry is an important component that helps to electronically document all immunizations and provides information related to immunization.

Renewable Gas Act: Struggle for Two-Thirds Majority

The Renewable Gas Act is set to pass Thursday, but the committee still lacks a two-thirds majority, meaning both changes and failure are possible. In particular, a green gas quota stipulates that gas suppliers supplying end-consumers in Austria for a fee will gradually replace fossil gas volumes with renewable gas starting in 2024.

What goes for green gas also goes for the planned new photovoltaic fund. At least he missed the required constitutional majority in the board. A one-of-a-kind “Made in Europe” bonus is planned. Deposits are ready for disposable bottles and cans.

Opposition parties criticize the government

A day before the start of the plenary session, the opposition parties were critical of the government. The SPÖ made a disastrous end to five years of black-green politics. Deputy club boss Julia Herr complained that every Austrian is 1,300 euros poorer than when the government took office.

Last week before summer vacation

Three days of marathon meetings await members of the National Council before they go on summer vacation. While the SPÖ demands a drop in cash before the election, NEOS warns against expensive promises. The FPÖ announced a no-confidence motion against a member of the government.

NEOS warned against distribution of “parliamentary snap shots” and “election chocolate”. Vice-club president Nicolas Sherak took the ÖVP to task in particular: “I expect the OVP to be consistent.”

Motion of no confidence against Kevesler

The FPÖ announced a motion of no confidence against Environment Minister Leonor Küssler (Greens) over her approval of the EU restructuring regulation. FPÖ leader Kikl spoke of a “decision of conscience” for ÖVP MPs.

The People’s Party refused to accept the FPÖ application. Club leader August Wöginger reiterated his party’s position that Gewessler’s endorsement was a “violation of the law”, but said they would not “throw the country into chaos 90 days before the election”.

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