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25th Anniversary of Austria Joining the EU - Set

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  • 21.01.2020
About 25th Anniversary of Austria Joining the EU

Entry into the European Union

Austria has been a member of the European Union since 1st January 1995. In the referendum held on 12th June 1994, 66.6 per cent of the population voted in favour of Austria joining the EU (at that time still the European Community EC).

During the 1980s and as the former eastern European states began to open up, it became increasingly important, both politically and economically, for Austria to be part of theEuropean single market, ultimately leading to Austria’s application to join the EC with theso-called “letter to Brussels” dated 17th July 1989. The Council of the European Community and the European Commission agreed to begin accession negotiations, which lasted until 12th April 1994. Following the successful referendum on 12th June, the Treaty of Accession of Austria was finally signed by Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky on 24th June 1994 at the EU summit in Corfu. On 1st January 1995, the European Union thus expanded with the three new member states, Austria, Sweden and Finland taking the total up to 15 member states. The design on the commemorative stamp to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Austria joining the EU shows a combination of the Austrian flag and that of the EU with its characteristic twelve gold stars on a blue background.

Austria in the EU

The aims and values of the EU are set out in the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. These include promoting peace, sustainable development and reducing social injustice. The EU is striving to achieve a society in which inclusion, tolerance, the rule of law, solidarity and non-discrimination are standard.

Membership of the European Union, which has now grown to include 28 member states (Status November 2019), brings many benefits. It helps to protect fundamental political, social and economic rights. These include, for example, participation in the single market, free movement of people within the Schengen area and the Euro as the common currency. Small countries like Austria in particular benefit from the strength of the EU as a weighty organisation in which every member state has equal co-determination rights.