Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH’s) Diaspora in Austria is well organized and active. The involvement of diaspora members in clubs and associations is relatively high. There are about 50 citizens’ associations registered in the country, organized primarily on ethnic grounds. The most active organizations are: Center for Contemporary Initiatives – CSI from Linz, HKD Napredak from Vienna, Community of Serbian Clubs from Vienna, Association for the Integration of Bosnian Citizens in Austria – “Bosnia” from Vienna, Institute for Professional Information and Cultural Activities.
Language classes in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are organized within the regular education system, and the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture of Austria regulates the area of curricula, textbooks, as well as the employment of qualified teachers.
About 20,000 students in Austria come from third countries, and almost 6,000 are from the countries of the former Yugoslavia. In 2016, 2,993 students with a Bosnian passport were registered (representing the third largest group of foreign students, 4.1% in total).
Voting patterns are essential for BiH diaspora engagement, since they can define the social climate in which policies are shaped, which in turn can encourage or discourage economic or other types of investment. The BiH Central Election Commission indicates that the number of registered voters in Austria has increased over the past four election cycles. Still, the total is relatively low compared to the number of eligible voters. The numbers are listed below.
It is important to note here that the number of registered voters is still higher than the number of individuals who end up voting in each election, which is usually around 65% to 70%.
2,998 voters registered in the 2010 General Elections
3,507 voters registered in the 2012 Local Elections
3,434 voters registered in the 2014 General Elections
6,661 voters registered in the 2016 Local Elections.