Austria: Engaged Neutrality

  • Heinz Gärtner
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


As a non-NATO state, Austria participates in peace operations and cooperates with NATO while retaining its existing defence policy. Naturally, the fundamental basis of a neutral security policy is avoidance of alliance obligations, including when armed forces are deployed abroad. However, modern neutrality does not exclude cooperation with alliance members or alliances, as long as they can agree on the key issues. Austria shares the basic threat analyses and goals with NATO within the framework of the Alliance’s partnerships, which are not necessarily limited to the institution of Partnership for Peace (PfP). In this partnership context, peace operations are compatible with neutrality. Austria’s ‘engaged neutrality’ means active participation in international security policy in general, and in international peace operations in particular.



I want to thank Caroline Skerlan, Alice Czimmermann, Paul Trauttmansdorff, Katharina Hämmerle and Dominik Rastinger for translations and research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Gärtner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Vienna, International Institute for Peace (IIP)ViennaAustria

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