On Monday evening, the Sarajevo City Hall was illuminated with the colors of the Austrian flag, which marked the National Day of Austria in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria is celebrating the National Holiday on October 26, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this time it is marked by the organization of numerous cultural, protocol and culinary events in an online format.
The Austrian Ambassador to BiH, Ulrike Hartmann, welcomed residents via a video link, reminding us that we all share the restrictions that were introduced this year to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic.
This year, the ambassador says, Austria is marking several anniversaries, including the 65th anniversary of the country receiving its State Treaty, and has since been a neutral and active member of the community of states based on European values.
The Austrian National Day is celebrated on October 26 and relates to political developments after WW II.
After the end of the War, Austria was occupied by the four Allied forces (Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France), who divided the country into four zones. The capital Vienna was also divided in four, with the historic central district being jointly administered by the “Allied Control Council”. Although the Austrian parliament was democratically elected, every legislative regulation or political action of the government at first required consent by the Allied Control Council and later on could still be vetoed by it.
The negotiations over a State Treaty putting an end to the occupation could finally be concluded in the spring of 1955: the Austrian State Treaty was signed on May 15, 1955, in Vienna’s Schloss Belvedere and entered into force on July 27, 1955.
On October 26, 1955, the Austrian Parliament passed the constitutional law on permanent neutrality, which has been celebrated as the Austrian National day since 1965.