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Austrian neutrality in the changing Europe [microform] : a study of neutrality’s significance using a… Zyhlarz-Shaw, Sarah Louise 1993

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AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY IN THE CHANGING EUROPE:A STUDY OF NEUTRALITY’S SIGNIFICANCE USING A CORE-PERIPHERY MODELOF HUMAN BELIEF SYSTEMSbySARAH LOUISE ZYHLARZ-SHAWB.A., Dalhousie University, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Political Science)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMOctober 1993© Sarah Louise Zyhlarz-Shawin presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of Political ScienceThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate °3DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThe objective of this thesis is to respond to the following questions: Do Austriansview neutrality primarily as instrumental in serving pragmatic ends, or has it become acore value within their belief systems and thus valued as part of their identity? Ifneutrality is part of the Austrian sense of self, why is this so and to what effect? Hasneutrality become such a core value that it might stand in the way of membership in theEuropean Community (EC), if not for Austria as a whole, at least for many Austrians whomight otherwise have benefitted from such a membership?Milton Rokeach’s centre-periphery model of human belief systems provides thetheoretical framework for this study. According to this model, all values within oursystems of belief are ranged from central to peripheral, and this hierarchy of beliefsdetermines identity. Those beliefs which are more centrally-located are more closelybound to identity and thus have greater import than more peripheral, or pragmaticneeds. Therefore, if compelled to make a choice, those values which are located close tothe centre and are integral elements within our sense of identity will take precedenceover those pragmatic interests which are more peripherally-located, regardless of howpressing.Drawing on popular opinion polls, political debates, government statements andthe media in general, I have comprised a general picture of the views of the Austrianpublic and “elite”, which play an important role in shaping public opinion, towardsneutrality and membership in the EC. This study indicates that there is a widespreadperception that neutrality no longer serves those pragmatic ends for which it wasoriginally designed, and that in fact it is increasingly perceived to be a liability.Nevertheless, although by most accounts it fails any cost/benefit analysis,overwhelmingly Austrians are opposed to the notion of abandoning neutrality, even if inthe worst case the retention of neutrality requires forfeiting membership in the EC.Because neutrality fails to serve the pragmatic interests of Austria and in fact serves as ahindrance to the satisfaction of these interests, but nonetheless remains highlyesteemed, it must be concluded that neutrality is not valued for its instrumentality butbecause it is grounded in the Austrian identity as a people.To become integrated in forty short years into Austrian’s sense of self, neutralitymust in some way represent an emotional attachment to past sufferings and glories, toinstitutions and traditions shared as a people. Mindful of the historical context in whichAustrian neutrality was declared and the experiences which led up to this declaration, Isuggest that neutrality has become a core value as it eased the transition from empire tosmall state by providing Austria with a context in which it could play the prestigious roleof ‘conscience for the world”. Moreover, through the provision of good offices it offeredAustrians an opportunity to wield influence beyond their own borders and thus resumetheir historical position as the “crossroads” of Europe. In a similar vein, neutrality wasfurther valued in that in the attendant pursuit of humanitarianism, Austria was able tofoster ties with their neighbours to the east, with whom it shares a long past.Furthermore, neutrality speaks to the Austrian tendency toward ambivalence, to avoidtaking sides, and thus complements their socio-political culture. Finally, in that it offers asignificant measure of independence in policy-making, both domestic and foreign, it isesteemed as a means of safeguarding Austrian values, culture and traditions, particularlyimportant in the context of membership in the EC and in view of Austria’s pastrelationship with their German cousins.Notwithstanding this conclusion, Austrian discourse on neutrality, especially bythe political elite, is marked by denial of its patent incompatibility with membership inthe EC. In view of this, I suggest that neutrality in itself will not pose the decidingstumbling block to Austrian accession to the EC, but rather, Austrians will adopt theirusual approach and find some “gray area” whereby they may reconcile the absurdnotion of a neutral state within the EC.I—I ITABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER PAGEABSTRACT iiLIST OF TABLES vLIST OF FIGURES viLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS vii1.1 INTRODUCTION 11.11 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 311.1 A SMALL STATE WITH A BIG HISTORY 811.11 THE FIRST REPUBLIC 911.111 ANSCHLUSS AND WORLD WAR II 11II.IV LEGAL AND POLITICAL REQUIREMENTS OF NEUTRALITY 12111.1 THE STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ANDITS IMPACT ON AUSTRIAN POLICY-MAKING 15111.11 THE IMPACT OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ONAUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY 16IV.I THE DEEP ROOTS OF AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY:A HYPOTHESIS 20IV.II HISTORICAL REASONS FOR THE VALUATION OF NEUTRALITY 20IV.III CULTURAL REASONS FOR THE VALUATION OF NEUTRALITY 25IV.IV SUMMARY 32V.1 POPULAR ATTITUDES TOWARDS NEUTRALITY:IS NEUTRALITY A CORE VALUE? 33V.11 WHY IS NEUTRALITY A CORE VALUE? 37V.11.1 HISTORICAL REASONS 38V.11.11 CULTURAL REASONS 41VI.I ELITE VIEWS TOWARDS NEUTRALITY 72VI.II POLITICIANS 72VI.III INTELLIGENTSIA 76VI.IV MEDIA 77VII.I CONCLUSION 79BIBLIOGRAPHY 83ivLIST OF TABLESTITLE PAGETABLE 1 - PERCEPTIONS OF NEUTRALFfl’ AMONG THE AUSTRIAN PUBLIC 47TABLE 2 - PERCEIVED SECURITY THREATS IN EUROPE 50TABLE 3 - AUSTRIAN INSECURITY VIS-A-VIS NEIGHBOURING STATES 51TABLE 4- SAFEGUARDING EUROPEAN SECURITY 52TABLE 5 - NEUTRALITY VERSUS UN MEMBERSHIP 53TABLE 6- EC MEMBERSHIP AND AUSTRIAN SECURITY 54TABLE 7- AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF THE FUTURE INFLUENCEOF EUROPE IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS 55TABLE 8- ATTITUDES TOWARDS EC MEMBERSHIP 57TABLE 9A/B - AUSTRIAN ATTITUDES TOWARDS “REDEFINITION”OF NEUTRALITY 59/60TABLE 10 - AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY VERSUS EC MEMBERSHIP 62TABLE 11 - AUSTRIAN READINESS TO ASSIST EASTERN EUROPE 64TABLE 12- AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF EC INSULARITY VIS-A-VISEASTERN EUROPE 66TABLE 13 -AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF EC READINESS TOPROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO EASTERN EUROPE 68TABLE 14 -EC MEMBERSHIP AS A THREAT TO AUSTRIAN IDENTITY 70TABLE 1 5A/B- COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY 71VLIST OF FIGURESTITLE PAGEFIGURE 1 - MAP OF AUSTRIA 46FIGURE 2 - AUSTRIA’S EXPORTS TO SELECTED GROUPS OF STATES 49FIGURE 3 - TRENDS IN ATTITUDES TOWARDS EC MEMBERSHIP 56FIGURE 4 - EC MEMBERSHIP VERSUS NEUTRALITY 61FIGURES - THE ATTITUDES OF AUSTRIANS TOWARDS EC MEMBERSHIPAND NEUTRALITY 61LIST OF ABBREVIATIONSCFE Conventional Forces in EuropeCSCE Conference for Security and Cooperation in EuropeEC European CommunityEEC European Economic CommunityEFTA European Free Trade AssociationFPO Freiheitliches Partei Osterreichs (Austrian Freedom Party)IAEA International Atomic Energy AgencyIFES Institut für Empirische Studien (Institute for Empirical Studies)KPO Kommunistische Partei Osterreichs (Austrian Communist Party)MBFR Mutual Balanced Force ReductionNATO North American Treaty AllianceOlIP Osterreichisches Institut für Internationale Politik (Austrian Institute forInternational Affairs)OPEC Organisation of Petroleum Exporting CountriesOVP Osterreichische Volkspartei (Austrian People’s party)SALT Strategic Arms Limitation TalksSPO Socialistishe Partel Osterriechs (Austrian Socialist Party)SWS Sozialwissenschaftliche Studiengesellschaft (Society of Social Sciences)UNDCP United Nations Drug Control ProgramUNIDO United Nations Industrial Development ProgramUNOV United Nations Offices in ViennaUNRWA United NAtions Relief and Works Agency for Palestine RefugeesUSA United States of AmericaUSSR Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsWEU Western European Unionvii1.1 INTRODUCTIONPlato adopted the term mythos to denote the collection of needs and beliefswhich together provide a people with a definition of who they are, as distinct from otherpeoples. Mythos represents an emotional attachment to historical origins, to pastsufferings and glories, and to common traditions or institutions, all of which provide apeople with a collective identity and thus serve to integrate and as a rallying point(Schlesinger, 1972; 1 39) . Every society needs a mythos. Has neutrality becomepart of the Austrian national myth, or do Austrians view neutrality primarily as a policy-guiding instrument which serves pragmatic ends? If neutrality is part of the Austriansense of self, why and to what effect? Has neutrality become such a core value that itmight stand in the way of membership in the European Community (EC), if not forAustria as a whole, at least for many Austrians who might otherwise have benefittedfrom such a membership? Answering these questions will be the object of this thesis.I suggest that neutrality is more than simply a pragmatic instrument for mostAustrians - otherwise they would have renounced it with the dissolution of the SovietUnion and the fall of the “Iron Curtain”. The simple fact that it has become an importantissue in the debate on EC membership indicates that it is for many Austrians rooted ininterests which sit much deeper than mere pragmatism. If not, given current politicaland economic realities in Europe, Austrians would not have thought twice aboutexchanging this international status for another. At the same time, I suggest that mostAustrians are resorting to denial of the inconsistency of a neutral state seeking admissioninto the EC. There is no other explanation for the actions of a state which in one breathemphasises the “inviolability” and “sanctity” of its neutrality while in the next expresses itsintention of acceding to a supranational organisation with far-reaching powers.What evidence will I bring forward to support this hypothesis? According toRokeach, if neutrality is grounded primarily in pragmatism, by virtue of its “peripherallocation” within the belief system it represents no emotional commitment. Accordingly,if it no longer effectively serves those pragmatic ends or if the perceived costs ofneutrality outweigh perceived benefits, it will be readily abandoned. On the other hand,1 According to Milton Esman (Esman, 1975; 372), mythos has both objective and subjective attributes:the objective cultural properties of mythos are expressed in language, religion, historical experience orshared institutions, while the subjective properties are the more nebulous awareness of identity, belonging,solidarity and common interests. The boundaries, intensities and issues for any group may shift over time inresponse to evolving experiences and problems.1if neutrality is valued in that it is part of the Austrian national myth, then it represents apowerful emotional attachment. If this is the case, then attitudes towards neutrality willnot necessarily be grounded in reason; even if in pragmatic terms neutrality entails somany disadvantages that it has become a liability, any suggestion that neutrality shouldbe abandoned for another international political status which is less of a liability andbetter serves the pragmatic interests of Austria will be rejected.I have elected to focus on Austrian attitudes towards neutrality against theprospect of accession to the EC, using the principle of forced choice in accordance withRokeach’s model, because the question of membership in the EC is the first majorchallenge to neutrality since its inception in 1955. Until now, Austrians were able to“have their cake and eat it too” in that maintaining a posture of neutrality did not requirethat Austria sacrifice its pragmatic interests, such as economic well-being. However,fundamental social, economic and political changes in Europe have entailed greatchallenges for neutral Austria. Membership in the EC may be viewed as an embodimentof many of Austria’s pragmatic concerns; thus a “no” to membership in the EC will meansacrificing many of these pragmatic interests. However, the structure, programme andaims of the EC would appear to be incompatible with neutrality, necessitating a choicebetween the two. Basically the principle of forced choice maintains that when twothings (in this case beliefs) are incompatible, there are two alternatives: If not directlyconfronted with this incompatibility and compelled to make a choice, individuals mayresort to denial in order to preserve the security of the status quo. The other option isthat individuals choose to retain one of the two incompatible things while rejecting theother. Rationally, he will choose that which is of greater import or value to him; that is,that which has the strongest ties to the “centre” of his belief system.I begin my study of Austrian neutrality by considering the historical origins ofAustria’s declaration of neutrality. If neutrality is valued for its instrumentality, then itsorigins will reveal the pragmatic interests it was aimed at serving. If it is part of theAustrian mythos, it has an emotional connection to past experiences. In either case,history helps to explain how and why neutrality is valued as it is. Mindful of thishistorical context, I will expand my original hypothesis to suggest in what way neutralitymight have become part of the Austrian mythos; that is, how it might be connected topast experiences, both glorious and tragic, and to shared traditions and institutions. Thiswill serve as a guide in my search for evidence to prove that neutrality is indeed a corevalue, and why.2I will also set out the political and legal obligations entailed by neutrality, andcognizant of these how the structure, programme and aims of the EC render the twoincompatible, thus compelling Austrians to make a choice. This will explain whyneutrality has emerged at the forefront of the debate on Austrian accession to the ECand justify why I have chosen this context to examine Austrian attitudes towardneutrality.In searching for evidence to prove my hypothesis that neutrality has become partof the Austrian myth, I will consider the views of the general public as well as the“elite”2 towards Austrian neutrality and membership in the EC, making use of opinionpolls, political debates, party positions and the media in general. I have selected surveysconducted by OIIP, Fessel + GFK/IFES and SWS because they are by far the mostextensive and thorough available, and because all are major, reputable institutions.Moreover, Fessel + Gfk, which also conducted the polling for OIIP, is probably the mostrespected polling service in Austria. In light of this information and Rokeach’s theoreticalframework, it should be evident which of the three options Austrians show a tendency toopt for3, and in turn prove or disprove my hypothesis that neutrality is for manyAustrians a core value.1.11 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKMilton Rokeach’s model of human belief systems is useful to this study of Austrianneutrality in that it introduces and expounds the notion that human beliefs are notsimply a motley collection of ideas or values but together comprise a system, and thissystem methodologically guides the decision-making process which governs every move2That is, the politicians, intelligentsia and media, all of whom play an important role in influencingpopular attitudes3 Pro-EC, pro-neutrality, or denial. If Austrians opt to deny the reality of the incompatibility of neutralityand membership in the EC, this in itself is significant, as it indicates that neutrality is of enough import forthem that they cannot reject it outright. What indication might there be of “denial? It may be surmisedthat many Austrians are resorting to denial of the incompatibility of neutrality and membership in the EC if,rather than revealing a tendency to favour one institution while clearly rejecting the other, they demonstratea general awareness of the obligations stemming from a posture of neutrality as well as the implications ofmembership in the EC, but still maintain that it is possible and probable that Austria as a neutral state willsuccessfully accede to the EC. In the same vein, there is clearly resort to denial if a significant number ofAustrians are in favour of joining the EC, but at the same time express strong objections to relinquishing theneutral status of their country. Furthermore, the use of expressions like “reinterpretation and “adaptation”indicate cognizance of the fundamental irreconcilability of neutrality and membership in the EC; throughthe use of such expressions, which have the intention of “watering down” neutrality, Austrians areattempting to disguise or deny the contradictions between the two.3we make. Rokeach explains how these systems evolve in an orderly fashion, and aregoverned by and function in accordance with an inherent hierarchy. Furthermore, hesets out how this hierarchical, systematic ordering of beliefs influences identity, bothcollective and individual.Every individual has many thousands of beliefs, all of which are organised intoone coherent system. According to Rokeach, every system of belief is comprised of fourtypes of beliefs, ranging as follows from central to peripheral: primitive beliefs; specificbeliefs about authority; peripheral beliefs and inconsequential beliefs. As the modelsuggests, not all beliefs are of equal importance4. The more “central” a belief, themore intimate is its connection to identity; accordingly, the more import it has, the moreinterconnected it is with other beliefs within the system, and the more resistant it will beto change. If for some reason a core, or primitive belief does undergo a change, becauseof the contingency of many other beliefs upon it the repercussions within the remainderof the system will be extensive, far more extensive than those that might be producedby a change in a more peripheral belief. This principle that beliefs which are centrallylocated within the belief system are most closely linked to our sense of self and aretherefore difficult to change, while those which are of lesser importance are moreperipheral and are more easily altered without far-reaching repercussions within ourbelief systems and thus on our sense of identity as a whole, is the basic, theoreticalguide to this study.Primitive beliefs represent fundamental truths held about physical and socialreality, and about oneself. They lie at the very core of the belief system, where thedeepest emotional commitment lies, and are rooted in experience and in the evidence ofone’s senses (Rokeach, 1964; 72). There is a social aspect to primitive beliefs; withrespect to every belief a person forms, he will form a notion of how many others, basedon their experience and knowledge, share this belief or conviction with him. Becausethese beliefs are taken to be self-evident for those with the necessary information, theyare not open to discussion and are virtually unassailable by outside forces5.Furthermore, it would be a mistake to think that all human beliefs can occupy only one of four positionsin relation to one another. Rather, within each of the four subsystems embraced by the overarching humansystem of belief, there are an infinite number of positions which beliefs may occupy in relation to oneanother.An example of a primitive belief is awareness of and identification with the cultural and social group towhich one belongs, and with which one’s identity is intimately bound. (In modern societies this may -although will not always, as in the case of ethnic or national minorities- correspond to the political entitywhich is the state to which one claims allegiance.) For example, my identity is intimately linked to my beliefthat I am a Canadian, and all that I believe that entails. Furthermore, I assume that those with the necessary4As beliefs move from the periphery to the centre on Rokeach’s model, they standin a contingent relationship to one another. That is, non-primitive beliefs develop laterthan do primitive beliefs, and are subordinate in that they diminish in importance for theindividual who holds them proportional to their distance from the “centre” of his beliefsystem and may not contravene any primitive beliefs. Unlike primitive beliefs, non-primitive beliefs are not taken for granted, and although they may be deeply cherished,we learn to expect and even tolerate differences of opinion about them6. However,this does not mean that such beliefs are unimportant for the individual who holds them,nor that they are easily altered (although they should be more readily changed thanprimitive beliefs).How may change be introduced into a belief system? As already suggested,violation of any primitive belief which is believed to be supported by unanimousconsensus by those with the necessary knowledge to be in a position to share this beliefwill lead ultimately to a disruption of beliefs concerning self-constancy, and in turnidentity, and from this other disturbances will follow. Other beliefs which were firmlyentrenched and were believed to be an integral part of the essence of that individualmay be thrown into doubt and at the same time there is a shattering of trust in thedependability of one’s immediate world, which in turn entails a loss of trust in otherpersons or actors who are the transmitters and interpreters of that world7.Stimuli for change among beliefs which do not fall under the wbric of thosewhose verity is taken for granted, and where differences of opinion are thereforetolerated, may originate in the social, political or economic environment. All societalinstitutions are supported by a network of popular beliefs; it is this relationship whichinformation will not question the fact of my citizenship; if they were to do so, it would cast other beliefs, andin turn my overall sense of identity, into doubt.6 The most closely located on the model to primitive beliefs are those beliefs which concern positive ornegative authority; those persons, theories or well-entrenched practises which serve as positive or negativereferences as we go about our daily lives trying to make decisions about the good and the true. Differentindividuals will arrive at different answers, depending upon learning experiences within the context of hissocial structure- that is, family, social class, peer group, ethnic group, religious or political group, nationality(Rokeach, 1964; 25). Thus, common socialising experiences produce individuals who share similar beliefsand therefore similar allegiances, interests and concerns- hence the existence of social groups”.7 A case in point: the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the loss of all that the empirerepresented for Austrians had and continues to have a profound impact on needs and values anchoredwithin Austrian belief systems, and consequently on their sense of who they are in contrast to all other“peoples of the world. Austrians not only lost their identity as citizens” of this vast, multinational empire,they concomitantly lost a sense of prestige and security, as well as their general belief in what made themdistinct as a people.5lends such institutions legitimacy. Developments in the environment may disrupt therelationship between a society’s beliefs or values and those practises or institutions whichthey underpin. In attempting to reestablish a harmonious relationship between society’sinstitutions and values, there may be movement to alter or abandon certain institutions.In the case of Austrian neutrality, if it was valued because, for example, it wasinstrumental in securing Austrian security and economic interests in the bipolar cold warera, given the transformed environment there may be a perceived need to abandonneutrality and adopt a different institutional arrangement more in keeping with thosevalues or beliefs formerly served by neutrality.The process by which such societal, or institutional change takes place is furthercomplicated in that, like the membership of any society, value systems within society arenot homogenous; rather, there are as many different value systems as there areindividuals and, depending on what beliefs are held and the hierarchy which governsthem, some may be more subject to certain environmental factors than others. Thisleads to a situation where for some groups within society, there is a perceived need toadapt or reject certain institutions, while for others, whose belief systems have remainedunaffected by external influences, there is no perceived need to alter the status quo.This results in a tug-of-war, whereby each group seeks to maximise the harmonybetween its own particular value system and the institutions which are shared by allmembers of that society. The ability to resolve discrepancies and arrive at a point ofconsonance depends upon the stability of the society in question, the length of timethere has been to cultivate allegiance to the symbols and structures of the state, and theexistence of stable, well-integrated institutions designed to regulate and resolveintergroup conflicts (Esman, 1975; 377). Without pursuing this here any further, itshould be clear that change in belief systems is not undertaken lightly, because humansare attached to the many beliefs they hold, all of them, albeit to varying degrees.The foregoing assumes that human beings are wholly rational and likewisedemand a completely rational relationship between themselves and the world.However, one’s needs may be complex and conflicting, and one may feel the need todefend oneself against facing some truth about oneself or the outside world. That is,some alteration of the environment may so affect one’s system of belief that one iscompelled to institute change within that system, but one may at the same time feel anoverwhelming need to preserve the security of remaining within the comfort of thestatus quo. In such a dilemma, rather than face the difficult choice of weighing6conflicting needs grounded in dissonant beliefs and rejecting one or the other, theremay be resort to the denial mechanism. Unable to be wholly rational, individuals mayresort to rationalisation.Rokeach’s theory explains why the collapse of the empire, the AnschIuI.(annexation) with Germany and the loss of two world wars violated primitive beliefswhich resulted in a disruption of identity, a loss of pride in being Austrian and all thatentailed as the centre of a mighty empire. According to my hypothesis, by speaking toneeds and beliefs rooted in past experiences neutrality helped to fill the void left by thisloss of identity. Today, however, a transformed environment could threaten thecontinued existence of Austrian neutrality. Whether or not it survives in contingent onwhether it is valued as an instrumental means to pragmatic ends, ends which in view ofthe contemporary international climate would be better served through adoption of adifferent institutional arrangement, or whether it has become part of the Austrianmythos and is thus impervious to cost/benefit analyses.711.1 A SMALL STATE WITH A BIG HISTORYThe present-day Republic of Austria is a land-locked state in south-central Europe,covering part of the eastern Alps and the Danube basin. With an area of 83,853 squarekilometres, inhabited by approximately 7.5 million people, it is one of the morediminutive western European states; it covers just one twenty-eighth of the area and hasless than one forty-sixth of the population of the vast European Community8. Austriais a federal republic with nine provinces, or Bundeslãnder, and, despite its diminutive size,shares a border with seven other states (since the breakup of Czechoslovakia andYugoslavia, it borders on nine states).Situated as Austria is in the heart of the European continent, it has from timeimmemorial been a historic junction for trade and communication links, both peacefuland offensive, particularly in the eastern plains of the Danube valley9. Therefore, bychoice or necessity Austria has always shunned insularity. This has left its mark in theAustrian character both as a desire to serve a “bridging” or liaising function, as well as ina sense of vulnerability to the forces of change. Complementing the bridge-buildingfunction which geography imposed upon Austria, its role as the nucleus of the AustroHungarian Empire bequeathed upon the country a long history of influence andimportance. Despite its minor political role in Europe today, prior to the first World WarAustria numbered among the great European powers. From 1278 until 1918 a vastempire spread gradually outwards from Vienna, until its arms stretched across much ofEurope and as far away as Mexico, earning it the title “an empire on which the sun neverset”10 Furthermore, from 1452 until the Napoleonic conquest of Europe in 1806, theHabsburg dynasty claimed with only brief interruption the title of Holy RomanEmperor11.8 EC has a total area of 2,354,255 square kilometres, and a population of 343,578,140.Western Austria has always, by virtue of its mountainous geography, been relatively isolated andindependent.10 Much of this terntoiy was acquired through dynastic marriage - although the Habsburgs were by nomeans adverse to territorial acquisition through conquest, they astutely preferred to expand their dominionpeacefully. Thus the ancient Habsburg principle was, fittingly, Bella gerant alii, Tu, felix Austria, nube... (“Letothers wage war for a throne, you, happy Austria, marry [to prosper]...” This perhaps can be viewed as theorigins of an Austrian tendency to prefer to influence others, thereby artfully protecting its own interests, by‘swinging a deal” rather than through direct confrontation.Aithough the Holy Roman Empire ceased in the course of the middle ages to be a functioning territorialconcept, it continued as a matter of historical prestige and enabled Austria to exercise a measure ofinfluence over other European states subsumed within this political aggregate.8However, towards the close of the nineteenth century the vast Habsburg empirebegan to pull apart at the seams, horizontally, along the lines of nationality, andvertically, along the lines of class and ideology, and in 1918, following nearly 700 yearsof Habsburg rule, the Austro-.Hungarian Empire collapsed. What had taken theHabsburg dynasty centuries to build was lost in the course of World War I. The republicwhich was established in 1918 from the shambles of the multinational empire was anamputated version of a handful of the oldest Habsburg holdings. The class andideological conflicts which marked the end of the empire were carried over into theyoung republic, while the redrawing of political borders to include only the diminutiveheart of the empire caused further social, political and economic disruption. Moreover,there was alienation among the various regions, whose only common allegiance hadbeen the institution of the emperor. No one was certain what Austria’s new role or whatits new identity was to be.11.11 THE FIRST REPUBLICThe lack of national cohesiveness which marked the outset of the First Republicmay be partially explained by the fact that the Bundesiänder (with the exception ofBurgenland) as distinct political entities predated the foundation of the republic bycenturies. It is important to remember that Austria as thought of today did not exist inany form until 191 8; rather, the area which is today Austria was broken down intoseparate and distinct holdings or titledoms, and the Emperor held a separate title foreach area. That is, he was Emperor of Styria, of Carinthia, of Tyrol, of Salzburg and soforth. In each of these regions, or Lander, a distinct character evolved, diverse despitegeographic proximity. The Habsburg dynasty served to unite these distinct holdingsunder the crown; once the emperor disappeared, the new Bundesländer naturallythought more in provincial than in national terms12The First Republic of Austria, often unfavourably referred to as “that which wasleft over” after the forces of nationalism had torn the Empire asunder, was, and still isdespite a high influx of foreigners to the country, linguistically and religiously highly12 For example, Vorarlberg, the westernmost province, drafted a provincial constitution which asserted itsindependence and sovereignty. It viewed its relationship to the young federal republic as provisional, andentered into negotiations with Switzerland about becoming a Swiss canton after 80% of the populace hadmandated the provincial government to do so in a plebiscite. Tyrol also regarded its relationship to therepublic as tentative and entertained the idea of establishing an independent and neutral state of Tyrol toprevent the impending division at the Pans Peace Conference in 1919. After the division of Tyrol was madea matter of fact, 90% of the population voted in a 1921 plebiscite for a provincial AnschIuI with Germany.Similar, if less pronounced tendencies existed in other alpine provinces as well.9homogenous13. However, notwithstanding this specious homogeneity, since thenineteenth century there has been a tendency for Austrian society to be polarised alongthe lines of religion, class and political ideology. Party allegiance has been traditionallydetermined by class, and class established according to occupation. Religious valueshave also been a significant factor in determining political allegiance. Notwithstandingthe religious homogeneity of Austrian society, religion has historically been a volatile anddivisive issue, with debate focussing on the political and social role religion should playin national life. On each of these issues, the same groups tended to take similarpositions; thus party influences as well as church and family status reinforced coincidingcleavages.The two dominant political factions of the First Republic were the SocialDemocrats and the Christian Socialists. Because political affiliation was determined bylargely coinciding interests, the two parties tended to monopolise not only the politicallife but also the social life of their constituents. Thus Austrian political factions havealways been more than parties in a narrow sense, but ideological communities14, bestdescribed by the concept of “Lagers’ or camps, a term first used by the press of the FirstRepublic. In the interwar period the Social Democrats, who drew their support fromnon-churchgoing industrial workers and the lower middle class in general, controlledVienna15 while the Christian Socialists, which represented an alliance betweenchurchgoing farmers, businessmen and the propertied classes, dominated much of thecountryside, further exacerbating regional alienation within the young republic.The Christian Socialist party, which stood for the protection of property rightsand traditional Catholic values, was a sworn enemy of the Viennese Social Democrats (ofwhich much of the membership and many of the leaders were Jewish), who espousedextensive state involvement in wide-ranging welfare programmes which in turnnecessitated high taxes on the propertied classes. Militant Catholics would denouncethe machinations of “the Jews” when, for example, a Socialist school board permittedchildren to stay away from religious classes. This Kulturkampf atmosphere fostered anti-Semitism among other things, and later played into the hands of the National Socialists.Eventually the deep factionalism resulted in civil war between the two parties, each of13Today over ninety-nine percent of the population speaks German as a mother tongue and eighty-eightpercent of Austrians are registered Roman Catholics (Keefe, 1976; 89).‘4 Still today, certain unions, banks, doctors, newspapers tend to be assodated with certain politicalaffiliations and are patronised by supporters of that particular party.15 Whence the name Red Vienna. In fact, from Woild War I continuously to the present day, themayorship and city council of Vienna have been monopolised by the socialist party.10which maintained and flaunted private armies. While the two main ideological campswere engrossed in civil battle16, the Austrian National Socialists with the support ofHitler’s regime in Germany grew increasingly active. Thus, the factional fighting andpolitical climate in general of the First Republic resulted in a de facto power vacuum asthe two major socio-political forces obsessed with discrediting and destroying the other,a vacuum which was then filled by the Austrian National Socialists, paving the way forHitler’s 1938 Anschiul3 of Austria which subsumed the tiny state within the powerfulGerman Reich.11.111 ANSCHLUf! AND WORLD WAR IIThe question whether Austria was the first victim of Hitlerite aggression, orwhether, as the “official” plebiscite indicated, Austria was willingly absorbed within theGerman Reich, is still today viewed as highly contentious within Austria.Notwithstanding this controversy, having abandoned their sovereignty completely tobecome one with the greater German Volk, Austrians were compelled to fight alongsidetheir German brethren. For political reasons, however, the Allies determined to considerAustria a victim of the Third Reich and “liberation” of the diminutive state began in thelast days of March 1945, with Soviet troops entering the country from the east andAmerican and British troops approaching from the west. In October 1945, the fouroccupying powers - Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States - granted theAustrian provisional government, a coalition of those same forces, including many of thesame leaders, whose hostility and inability to cooperate was directly responsible for thedemise of the First Republic, official recognition.For ten years, the Austrian government did all within its power to bring about thesigning by the occupation powers of an agreement restoring full sovereignty to thecountry, but the political climate was chilly and fraught with tension. The Soviet Unionfeared that an independent Austria would strengthen the western political camp and, tothe resentment of Austrians, manipulated the drawn-out negotiations on Austriansovereignty as a trump card to serve its own geo-political interests. The cold war strainsand abnormalities which were manifesting themselves internationally were in Austriamicrocosmically reflected; for example, Austrian citizens required special permission topass from one zone of occupation to another17, which in Vienna might mean passing16 Tension grew to the point where Chancellor Adelbert DoIIfu( dissolved Parliament and arbitrarilyestablished his Christian Corporate State in 1938, ostensibly to uphold domestic security in the midst offactional conflict.11from one district into another18 was not until 1955 that the Soviet Union finallyintimated its willingness to sign a treaty reestablishing Austrian independence. In April1955 an Austrian delegation went to the Soviet capital where, in what became known asthe Moscow Memorandum19, the Soviets gave assurance of their willingness inprinciple to draw up an Austrian State Treaty, provided that Austria promised to adhereto a state of permanent neutrality.In May 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was signed in the Belvedere palace20.Notwithstanding the specification within the Memorandum that the price for thereestablishment of Austrian sovereignty was a declaration of neutrality, in signing theState Treaty the four occupying powers recognised Austria only as an independent,federal and democratic state - nowhere was reference made to neutrality. Austria wishedto avoid any impression that neutrality had been imposed by the occupying powers, andtherefore waited until the last foreign soldier had left Austrian soil before a constitutionalamendment was passed in the now fully independent national parliament, wherebyAustria of its own free will declared its permanent neutrality. Austria thereby made itclear that its neutral status was voluntary, was desired by the Austrian people, and thatAustria itself would be the sole judge of its obligations as a neutral state.ll.lV LEGAL AND POLITICAL REQUIREMENTS OF AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITYAs a permanently neutral state, Austria is legally bound to abide by theinternational law of neutrality as codified in the V and XIII Hague Conventions of 1907.That is, Austria is obliged to retain and defend its sovereign independence, to refrainfrom any peacetime legal arrangement that would throw doubt on its ability andintention to remain neutral in time of war, to remain impartial at all times and toentertain equally friendly relations with all states regardless of their political and socio17 In stark contrast to their experiences as citizens of a powerful empire, such impositions on Austrians byforeign powers served as a constant reminder of their contemporary lack of influence and independence.Furthermore, the division of Austria into different zones of occupation and the vastly divergent occupationexperiences of the various sectors further exaccerbated national incohesiveness.18Ausans still look back with some bitterness on the Soviet occupation experience; in stark contrast tothe United States which introduced the European Recovery Programme (Marshall Plan), the Soviet Unionwas, not inaccurately, perceived to rape Austria of its resources in order to bolster its own war-torn economy- of all the occupation powers, the USSR was the only one to demand reparation payments after World WarII.19 It is significant from a legal perspective that this was not a legally binding treaty but a ‘gentlemen’sagreement’. Austria was careful to ensure that its neutrality could in no way be interpreted as an impositionby foreign powers.20significantly, and not unintentionally chosen as the venue for this event, the Belvedere was the home ofPrinz Eugen, the military commander who delivered Vienna from the final Turkish siege of 1683.12economic systems.The primary obligation of any neutral state is to remain independent, as bydefinition only an independent state can be neutral. Independence may be measured bythe ability of a state to determine its own position on all issues relevant to war and peace(Kennedy and Specht, 1990; 420). If this independence is alienated, the assurance thatthat state will at all times remain disengaged from conflict ceases to exist21.Although in legal terms neutrality is activated only in times of conflict, it isobviously necessary that a neutral state take precautions in peacetime to safeguard itsneutrality in the event of international hostilities, refraining from any action which wouldundermine its ability to act with complete impartiality at all times. Because anyinstitutional memberships that erode the ability to remain fully independent, andthereby impartial, would weaken Austria’s claim to neutrality, Austria must consider verycarefully any collective arrangement from which it could not extricate itself in time ofwar (Thalberg, 1985; 11 9-122).While a neutral state is obliged to militarily defend its neutrality (Gartner, 1992;124), as part of its “duties of abstentia” it must abstain from supplying war material orother military assistance to any other state. However, in order to uphold the principle ofimpartiality the neutral state is obliged to continue trade with belligerents on the basis of“average volume” in peacetime, known as the principle of courant normal (as was thecase for Switzerland in 1939 to 1945).Because Austria as a sovereign state unilaterally declared its neutrality, it is free tointerpret how it will implement the fundamental obligations which ensue from thisstatus. Moreover, Austria is under no legal obligation to remain neutral indefinitely.Nevertheless, neutrality is wholly dependent upon the recognition of that status by theinternational community, in that neutral states retain that status in any meaningful senseonly so long and to the extent that that status is accepted by other states. Thegovernment of a neutral state must behave in a manner wholly compatible withneutrality if the neutral status of that state is to be convincing and respected by theinternational community as meaningful22. Therefore, although Austria is legally free21 Given the twentieth century history of Austria and the circumstances under which it became a neutralstate, the obligation to remain politically, economically and militarily independent has particularsi9niflcance.2i the obligations of neutrality do not directly apply to individuals, individuals citizens of neutral13within certain parameters to define and redefine the implications of its neutral status, ifits commitment to the fundamental tenets of neutrality is widely perceived as purelycontingent upon economic or other self-interests, and if Austria redefines its obligationsat whim to better serve Austrian needs and goals of the moment, then Austrianneutrality is rendered useless in terms of being a constant in international relations.Clearly then, neutrality is not simply a discrete, perfunctory set of obligations astate must fulfill, but is a manifestation of certain values and priorities. If the citizens of aneutral state find themselves no longer willing to fulfill the obligations of that status, orwish to reinterpret these obligations to the degree that they no longer reflect theessence of neutrality, then they should ask themselves if and why retaining the status ofa permanent neutral state is still of value to them, and if these ends and the valuesneutrality supposedly represents might not be more effectively and more honestly servedthrough adoption of a different international status, more in keeping with contemporarysocio-political realities and needs.states must respect and place value upon these obligations if the neutrality of that state is to be perceived assincere.14111.1 THE STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND ITS IMPACT ONAUSTRIAN POLICY-MAKINGIn order to understand the significance of many of the issues at the forefront ofthe debate on Austrian accession to the EC, and why I have chosen this context to studyAustrian valuation of neutrality, it is necessary to have some understanding of thestructure, aims and programme of the EC, its impact on the Austrian socio-politicalculture and on neutrality. Within the EC, legislative and executive functions are sharedbetween the Council and the Commission, while the Parliament fulfills some limited codecision and control functions, and judicial authority is exercised by the European Court.All of these organs are served and supported by an extensive and broadly-empoweredbureaucracy. The European Parliament, directly elected since 1979, is the mostrepresentative of EC institutions. However, unlike most national Parliamentary bodies,the Parliament lacks significant legal authority. With the exception of budgetary issues,the role of the Parliament is only consultative. Among the Community decision-makinginstitutions it is the Council, consisting of ministers dispatched from the nationalexecutives according to the subject on the agenda, which has primary legislativeresponsibility. The Council takes decisions necessary for the attainment of Communitygoals, acting on proposals originating in the Commission. Acting as custodians of the“European interest”, Commissioners are formally appointed by the executives of memberstates. The Commission holds the right of initiative, and as such may be seen as the“source” of all decisions taken within the EC. It is the European Court and not theParliament which serves as a control on executive organs. Furthermore, the Court hasthe inherent and far-reaching power to establish interpretative approaches based on“necessities” dictated by the Community’s programme of political and economicintegration. Therefore, of the EC decision-making institutions, it is those bodies whichare least directly representative of the populations of member states which areempowered to make and interpret laws binding on all member states.This lack of democratic accountability is not because the EC determined to makepolicy-formation an elite, closed process, but because the Community continues toadopt a sectoral approach to integration, a carry-over from the genesis of Europeanintegration, where integration was driven by progress in specific, politically feasible,substantive sectors (Unterberger, 1991; 53)23. It is the continued adoption of this231n the early years of the EC, the legitimately democratic legislatures of member states were perceived todelegate authority to Community institutions within precise legal channels, and the act of transferring15sectoral approach, coupled with the immensely expanded, complex legislative agenda ofthe so-called 1992 programme, which has heightened the autonomous nature ofCommunity decision-making and has resulted in a governmental structure which isrelatively opaque and politically unaccountable to the populations of EC constituentstates (Kennedy and Specht, 1990; 445-46).Many decisions which are currently taken legislatively in Austria would be takenadministratively or judicially within the EC. Even those decisions taken in the “legislativebranch” of the EC institutional framework would be by representatives of nationalexecutives. This would seriously disrupt the balance of authorities characteristic ofAustria’s political system. The closed style of decision-making by representatives of theexecutive would preclude input by social organisations or bodies in policy-makingbearing on them, as is currently practised within the Austrian system. The AustrianLander would also suffer a drastic reduction of power, as Community institutions wouldacquire authority over a number of areas presently under the jurisdiction of provincialassemblies. Such shifts in decision-making authority from the Lander and other sub-national bodies to the EC might have no detrimental impact on the balance of powerwithin the Austrian political system if subnational groups could still participate in ECdecision-making affecting them. However, the institutional structure of the Communityis most responsive to national input into the EC policy-making process. Although sub-national policy-making organs may express concerns to be articulated through nationalexecutives, the confidential and consensus-oriented tenor of Council decision-makinglargely precludes sub-national supervision and would thus impact negatively on thebalance of authority within the Austrian socio-political system.111.11 THE IMPACT OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ON AUSTRIANNEUTRAUTYShifting from the institutional framework of the Community to its goals andprogramme, it is important to emphasise that membership in the EC is not a discrete setof collective intergovernmental obligations. The EC is a sovereign, supranational politicalstructure with its own rights and a legal system independent of those within memberstates, to which member states are subject24. Within the jurisdictional sphere of theauthority within explicitly delineated channels then served to limit the authority of the supranationalinstitutions which lacked democratic roots of their own. However, the 1992 programme has vastlyexpanded the legislative agenda of the EC, consequently undermining the sovereign authority andcompetence of national legislatures, without adjusting the institutional framework to provide acompensatory means of ensuring democratic legitimacy.16EC, the parliaments of member states must yield completely to the legislative machineryof the Community. Moreover, the broad substantive competence of the EC in areascentral to the political and economic life of its membership is increasingly extending,even to the conduct of foreign affairs25. Thus, Community institutions not only havebroad jurisdictional authority within member states, but are also empowered to establisha foreign policy to which member states are bound. Clearly, membership in the ECentails a radical and largely irreversible transformation of the substantive law,governmental structure and international status of all member states.Cognizant of the obligations of a permanently neutral state, membership in theEC, an autonomous, supranational structure to which member states cede full authorityin broad areas of political and economic competence, can in no way be renderedcompatible with a policy of neutrality. The obligation of all permanent neutral states torefrain in peacetime from assuming any obligations which might call into doubt theintention or capacity to remain neutral in time of international tension, and the duty toprotect its sovereign independence and political integrity require that the neutral stateprotect its freedom of action at all times. It must ensure that it retains the right toterminate all agreements it makes at any time, and that it retains full control over theirinterpretation. Membership in the EC would meet none of these conditions.In the economic realm alone, the tenets of neutrality would be unacceptablycompromised through economic integration. For example, political decisions on issuesof security and military planning are inevitably bound up with economic matters. Theregional integration of the economic infrastructure and trans-border linkage of industryaimed for under the Community’s unified internal market would situate member statesin a political economy in which military and non-military functions would be closelybound. As long as Austria remained outside of NATO, its lack of access to sensitiveinformation would render it more difficult to mark clear boundaries between economicand military cooperation. Austria might no longer be able to reliably discriminate24 The European Court of Justice has established the predominance of EC law over those of memberstates, whether the laws were enacted prior to or after a member’s admission to the Community. “[T]hevalidity of a Community measure or its effect within a member state can not be affected by allegations thatit runs counter to either fundamental rights as formulated by the constitution of that state, or the principlesof its constitutional strictures. (Wilson, 1990; 227)25 precise delineation of EC competence, established through Community law, is continually evolvingas it is interpreted by the European Court. The Court, interpreting Community law so as to fulfill the goalsand aspirations of a united Europe, has extended and specified Community authority so that the authorityto enter into bilateral and multilateral treaties with non-member states and international organisations isimplicit in every internal Community power (Wilson, 1990; 226).17between military and non-military applications of economic activity on its soil, whichwould profoundly undermine Austria’s ability to maintain a credible stance of neutrality.Furthermore, the principle of equal and unbiased treatment regardless of thepolitical and socio-economic system to which a state subscribes is invoked as one of thereasons why permanently neutral states may not become members of a supranationalorganisation such as the EC. The criteria for membership in the Community26may inthemselves be interpreted as biased, as they discriminate against those states which arenot European, and, more significantly, against forms of government which do notconform to the western democratic tradition. Furthermore, in a worst-case scenario inwhich tensions were to arise between an EC member and a non-member, Communityorgans could order sanctions imposed on the hostile state, a decision which could betaken by majority vote but with which all members would be obliged to comply. Thisobligation entailed by EC membership would be incompatible with the obligation of aneutral state to conduct itself with complete impartiality27. Norbert Stegler, formerlythe Austrian Vice-President responsible for foreign trade, in 1984 officially interpreted theeconomic dimension of Austrian neutrality as requiring, “the treating [of] all countriescorrectly and without favouritism” (Bergethon, 1990; 239). By its very nature,membership in the EC would oblige Austria to demonstrate favouritism toward fellowCommunity members. Finally, there is some concern that through EC membershipAustria would become party to a protectionist trading bloc of prosperous and highlyindustrialised countries directed against other countries less fortunately placed. Thiswould violate both the obligation to conduct economic affairs without favouritism andwould, in the eyes of many Austrians, discredit the identification of neutrality withhumanitarianism and the promotion of human welfare.26A state must be European, must be democratic and must want to join to be considered for membershipin the EC. It is the last criterion which necessitates holding a national referendum before a state may accedeto the Community.27 Proponents of Austrian membership in the EC point to the free trade agreements the three EFTAneutrals concluded in 1972 with the European Economic Community and the European Coal and SteelCommunity, which safeguard the special status of the neutral parties by providing for the suspension ortermination of the treaties in case of international tension, as a possible means whereby a neutral statemight join the EC yet retain its neutral status. Aside from the fact that such a provision could be invokedonly in times of international tension and would therefore do nothing to render the inherently partial natureof EC membership compatible with the obligation of a neutral state to remain at all times impartial, it iswidely felt that such a special arrangement for a full member of the EC would be neither acceptable norappropriate- that a member may not “pick the raisins out of the cake” (Simonitsch and Sterk, 1989; 22). Ifa state wishes to reap the benefits of membership then it must be prepared to accept the limitations whichaccompany such membership, but it is wrong to join, then impair the functioning of the Community as anintegral unit by insisting on special arrangements and escape clauses.18Finally, because European integration is an ongoing process, whose leadingproponents envision not only full political and economic union but also a future securityunion, it is important to consider Austrian membership not only in view of the form ofthe EC at present but also with a view to the professed aims of that Community.Without any doubt, membership in an organisation fully integrated not only in thepolitical and economic spheres but also in the realm of security policy would constitute afundamental violation of the essence of neutrality.19IV.I ThE DEEP ROOTS OF NEUTRALITY: A HYPOTHESISIn this chapter I expand on my original hypothesis to suggest how neutralitymight have become part of the Austrian mythos. Why have I elected to place the“explanation” before the “demonstration”, that is, before my study of the opinion polls?In examining the polls, I have two objectives: to prove that neutrality is indeed a corevalue, and to establish why. While the former is relatively straightforward, the latter isnot.As discussed earlier, if neutrality is a core value, it is so because it represents anemotional attachment to the past. Therefore, cognizant of Austrian history and inparticular the context in which Austria declared its neutrality, it should be possible tospeculate as to which needs, beliefs, traditions and institutions neutrality speaks, andthus why it might have become a component of the Austrian mythos. In turn, becausein my examination of the polls I will be seeking to prove or disprove a clear hypothesisand not aimlessly sifting through evidence, this hypothesis will serve to direct and thussimplify my search.lV.ll HISTORICAL REASONS FOR THE VALUATION OF NEUTRALITYAustrians have viewed the neutrality of their country as a means of preservingtheir historic relationship with the east while at the same time fostering economic tieswith the western EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and EEC (European EconomicCommunity) states. Furthermore, given the diminutive size of the country and itsgeographic position wedged between the ideological blocs of east and west, neutralitywas also viewed as the best means of ensuring the geo-political security of tiny Austria.Although both of the foregoing appear to be primarily pragmatic interests, they mayalso involve more deep-seated undercurrents or concerns, rooted in Austrian history.Why might it have been important to Austrians to safeguard their historical tieswith the east, when their eastern European neighbours had relatively little to offer themeconomically? After seven centuries of living within one political entity, Austriansculturally and ethnically identify strongly with their eastern neighbours, much more sothan with those who lie to the West28. Yet politically and economically, Austria has28 Geographically, Austria does not lie in western European- in fact, Vienna is situated further to the east20since 1945 been more closely aligned with those values which govern Western Europe.The bipolar climate which followed the conclusion of World War II confronted Austrianswith a dilemma, in that they wished to be a member of the family of liberal democratic,market-economy states of Western Europe29,but had no desire to sever ties with thoseeastern European states with whom they shared a long history. Neutrality providedAustrians with the best means of bridging this gap between east and west. By carefullycultivating relationships with states of all political leanings and maintaining a balancedforeign policy, neutrality enabled Austria to be a place where east and west could meetpolitically, economically and culturally as well as geographically, allowing Vienna toreassume its historical role as a crossroads in the heart of Europe, albeit under completelychanged circumstances.Aside from being considered the best means of geo-political defense for Austria ina bipolar Europe, neutrality may speak to other insecurities rooted in past experiences.Due to many experiences over the centuries, from Roman times and the great Turkishsieges of Vienna in 1529 and 1683, when Austria was the European “bulwark ofChristendom” against the Moslems, to the Napoleanic conquest of Austria whichconcluded Austria’s monopoly of the titular headship of the Holy Roman Empire,Austrians suffer from a profound sense of vulnerability to the forces of change. However,it is the experiences of the last century which most profoundly marked Austrians with asense of vulnerability and loss; the break-up of the venerable Austro-Hungarian Empire,the precariousness of the First Republic and its expeditious obliteration from the map, aten-year occupation by powers which manipulated Austrian sovereignty as a pawn in amuch larger game, and the insecurities of existence as a buffer between two hostile andpowerful ideological blocs.The dissolution of the empire was a shattering experience, producing in thoseremaining in the diminutive core what has been called a “reduction complex”. Followingthe destruction of their world as they knew it, Austrians experienced a profound loss ofidentity30. For centuries, Austria had been the hub of an empire which by thethan is Prague.29 Neutrality does not imply ideological neutrality. Austria made it clear from the outset that it belongedto the camp of democratic, free-market western states ideologically, (an orientation which was reinforced byAustria’s negative occupation experience under the Soviet Union, in comparison to that under theAmericans) while the pnndple of neutrality would govern the military realm (and the realm of the economy,as the economic and military spheres are so closely bound that they cannot be held distinct from eachother.)30 Societies undergoing profound transition in response to developments in the environment mayexperience the loss of a coherent belief system by which to live. Thus cultural and social change may be21beginning of World War I numbered 54 million inhabitants. It was the second Europeanpower in terms of territory and the third according to population. The Austria whichremained comprised just one eighth of the area and one ninth of the population of theold empire. The lack of self-esteem and insecurities which ensued were aggravated bythe fact that what remained of Austria had been the bureaucratic centre of the empire,sustained by the hinterlands, and was now scarcely economically viable. Thus, inaddition to the identity crisis there were desperate material shortages within theshrunken republic. Newly independent states, formerly subsumed within the Empireand upon which Austria had relied for fuel and food, ignored the plight of Austria andoffered no assistance to ease the drastic adjustment process.Notwithstanding the many troubles which plagued the young republic, it didmaintain its independence, albeit precarious, until the rise of the National Socialistregime in Austria, aided by the German National Socialists and above all the politicalinfighting which marked contemporary domestic politics in Austria. Immediately priorto the Austrian capitulation to Hitler in 1938, the government of Kurt Schul!niggcontacted Rome, Paris, London and Washington to plea for help. Embroiled in domesticproblems and unwilling to become involved in another conflict with Germany in defenseof a diminutive country whose fate they considered insignificant, they refused to offerassistance.The experiences of having been relegated overnight from a major power tovirtually a micro-state by comparison, of having been ignored by their neighbours asthey faced starvation and having been again abandoned when the Germany army sweptonto Austrian territory have had a decisive impact on Austrian domestic and foreignpolicy in the Second Republic, and have marked the Austrian character in such a way asto render it particularly suitable for a posture of neutrality. The consociational style ofgovernment in Austria is a manifestation of the belief that Austrians will have tocooperate to ensure the well-being of their state, as they cannot rely upon others tomake sacrifices in the interests of Austria31. The agreement which was reachedfollowing the first postwar elections in November 1945 to govern jointly as a “grandcoalition”, thereby uniting the the two arch-enemies of the First Republic, was to lastexplained as a sort of collective trauma, when profound change imposes upon whole social groups the taskof revising or replacing defunct belief systems. To overcome such fragmentation of society divided bychange, there is need of a new national mythw.31 This sentiment was reinforced when, in the autumn of 1956 and hardly a year after the last Sovietsoldier had left kistiian soil with the other occupation forces, the anti-Soviet insurrection in neighbouringHungaEy was brutally repressed by the Red Army as the world looked on powerless to do anything.22more than two decades, was resumed in 1987 and continues to this day. As I shalldiscuss in more depth shortly, the low-conflict, consensual style of decision-makingrequired in a coalition government corresponds to the characteristics required of aneutral state in its capacity as mediator of conflicts, traditionally associated with the“good offices” of neutrality.Furthermore, the memory of having been left to their own devices as Hitlerprepared to enter Austria may have been a principle reason why neutrality’s “goodoffices” (the hosting of bilateral talks, international conferences and permanentorganisations such as the UN) appealed to Austrians. Bruno Kreisky, who as chancellorled Austrian government from 1970 to 1983, instigated heightened Austrianinvolvement in global affairs and strove to make such involvement permanently visibleby attracting to Vienna an imposing array of international bodies and conferences32.Kreisky frequently expounded on the necessity of attracting as many internationalgroups to Austria as possible, reminding Austrians that as Hitler poised to invade Austriathe pleas for assistance from Schuanigg’s government were in vain, because the worldwas indifferent to the fate of the diminutive country. Neutrality and the attendantprovision of facilities for summit meetings, conferences and bilateral talks would create anew identity for the neutral country, and would guarantee it would never again beforgotten or written off in times of crises.Therefore, the loss of stature suffered after World War I as “the state that nobodywanted” may to a large degree have been resolved through neutrality and the goodoffices entailed therein, which grants Austrians reason to be proud of their new statebecause of the distinct and important function which it serves. Through dynamic effortsin peacekeeping operations as well as facilitating mediation and communication throughthe provision of “good offices”, all aspects of Austria’s Neutraiitätspolltik33,neutralityhas allowed Austria to wield disproportionate influence by playing a brokerage role.Consequently, Austrians may perceive neutrality to have lent their diminutive statedignity and to confer on it a measure of prestige.32 Some of the meetings held in Vienna: MBFR from 1974 to 1989; the SALT talks, CFE, CSCE, many highlevel eastJwest talks, the most famous of which might be the meetings between Kennedy and Khruschev in1961 and between Carter and Brezhnev in 1979. (Interestingly, perhaps as some sort of subconsciouslinkage between the past and the present roles of Austria as meeting place, most of these talks took place inthe Hofburg, the former royal palace where the Conference of Vienna was held in 1815 and which nowhouses the offices of the Austrian head of state.) UNOV, UNIDO, IAEA, UNRWA, UNDCP and the permanentsecretariat of OPEC are just a few of the international assemblies which are permanently located in Vienna.Literally, the “politics of neutrality”.23Accordingly, there is a certain affinity between small states and neutrality.Austrians since World War II have, in contrast to their attitude following the break-up ofthe empire in 1918, cultivated a “small-is-beautiful” attitude. The small state is glorifiedas more humanistic, focussing on such matters as sodal programmes and refugeeconcerns rather than on economic or military hegemony. Moreover, to the extent thatneutral states tend to divert less energy and resources to nationalistic aspirations ofhegemony, they often become more active in defending human rights and promotingthe welfare of individual human beings34. Thus, Austrians may value neutrality as amanifestation of a national commitment to world peace and humanitarianism. Becauseof its neutrality, Austria has become a haven for refugees from all over the world,especially the former lands of the Habsburg Empire in the east with whom, as alreadydiscussed, Austria still feels strong ties.Austrians take their role of providing asylum to refugees, which is an enormousdrain on national resources, very seriously. Austria has consistently provided asylum forrefugees from eastern Europe: approximately 180,000 Hungarians following the 1956Hungarian Revolution; 130,000 Czechoslovaks after the crushing in 1968 of the “PragueSpring”; and 40,000 Poles during the Solidarity crisis in the early eighties alone. Austriahas also granted asylum to thousands of refugees from troubled developing countries,and has served as a transit country for over 200,000 Soviet Jews on their way to newhomes in Israel or elsewhere. From the “displaced persons” of 1945 to the victims ofpolitical, religious or racial persecution today, Austria has been a haven for well over 1.7million people (Johnson, 1987; 159). Considering the current population of Austria issome 7.5 million people, these figures are impressive. The ability to lead in the “openingup” of neighbouring eastern European states in the past four years, as well as the leadingrole which Austria has assumed in addressing the refugee problems in the formerYugoslav republics, have further strengthened this value theme in Austrian awareness.A policy of neutrality may further promote the self-respect of a small statebecause its most likely policy alternative would involve some degree of dependence on amajor power, and the abasement that dependence would entail. Moreover, becauseAustria is in no way subservient to a dominant power, many perceive that neutralitypermits Austria more leeway in domestic and foreign decision-making. For example, inthe 1986 dispute regarding the appropriateness of electing Kurt Waldheim as34Furthermoce, this image is often promoted as part of the Neutraiitatpolitik in order to project a morepositive image of neutrality.24Bundespresidentdue to controversies centering on his war record, Austrians knew theycould take any decision they wished and the United States, not wishing to meddle tooextensively in the domestic affairs of a neutral state, would do little more than protestloudly35. Another example of the Austrian preference to “cook their own soup’, as theexpression runs in German, is the measures which were undertaken by Austria in themonths just prior to the Gulf war. Shunning pressure from western states to make ademonstration of solidarity by refusing to deal with Saddam Hussein, Austria opted toopen high-level negotiations to secure the release of Austrian citizens trapped in Iraq andKuwait at the time of the invasion, succeeding at the same time in arranging for therelease of other western individuals trapped in the area. Austria was aware that theseactions earned it the displeasure of many western states, but chose to disregard this,secure in the knowledge that as a neutral state it could pursue its chosen route of actionwith little danger of international interference. A more recent example of Austrian policywhich runs counter to that of their western European neighbours has been their moreliberal attitude towards refugee and political problems in former Yugoslavia. When allwestern European states imposed a visa requirement on refugees hoping to flee the war-torn remnants of Yugoslavia, Austria insisted on keeping an “open doors” policy for aslong as it was feasible36, despite a negative response to this policy from westernEurope, where it was perhaps feared that once settled in Austria these individuals couldmore easily slip unnoticed into other European states37. Therefore, Austrians mayvalue neutrality in that it is perceived to offer an additional measure of independence inpolicy-making. Moreover, having been for decades the sole European state occupied bySoviet troops to have escaped the Soviet orbit, neutrality is widely perceived as havingbeen their “ticket” to freedom from Soviet influence. Neutrality is thus equated withhaving realised Austrian independence. This value theme is strengthened wheneverAustrians are reminded of the vast socio-political and economic disparities between themand their eastern European neighbours.IV.lll CULTURAL REASONS FOR THE VALUATION OF NEUTRALITYAustrians as a people markedly exhibit a proclivity to avoid at all cost clearlyAnd to deny Waldheim entrance into the United States! Interestingly, many Austrians did not care forWaldheim personally, but supported him as a protest vote against perceived international interference inAustrian domestic matters.36 In the summer of 1992, it was decided on demographic and economic grounds that Austria would haveto adopt a more restrictive policy.37 In shunning the approach adopted by the EC, Austria chose to adopt a common position vis-à-vis theformer Yugoslav republics with other eastern European states formerly subsumed within the AustroHungarian Empire.25setting out their point of view on any given issue, preferring the comfort of ambiguitiesand ambivalence. They possess an innate tendency to feel at the same time bothattraction and repulsion, to say “yes” and “no” to everybody and everything. This is likelya carry-over from the empire, where the highly stratified nature of society convincedmany Austrians that to get ahead they needed to secure personal patronage, an attitudewhich invites a measure of opportunism as well as servility. The Austrian author RobertMusil captured this Austrian quality in the classic “The Man Without Qualities”:“Every bad action will in some respect appear good to him. Only apossible connection will decide for him how he views something. Thusevery one of his answers is a partial answer, every one of his sentimentsonly a view...” (cf. Hofmann, 1988; 50).This Austrian propensity to gaze in both directions at the same time, like thedouble-headed imperial eagle, was exemplified by the Christian Socialist leader KarlLueger, for years at the forefront of politics in the First Republic and admired for his anti-semitic policies and teachings by Adolf Hitler amongst others. Despite his racist policiesin public office, privately he had many jewish friends and acquaintances. Whenconfronted with this apparent contradiction, his retort, now famous, was, “I decide whois a Jew”. More recently, this Austrian trait was exemplified by Kurt Waldheim during thepublic inquisition into his wartime activities.This proclivity toward ambiguity, to avoid viewing any situation as black andwhite, is also manifest in the Austrian propensity to compromise rather than confront, aquality which enabled twelve nations to live centuries together within the AustroHungarian Empire with considerably little strife and bloodshed. These characteristicsalso suit Austrians to the peacetime functions of a neutral state; the provision of goodoffices through mediation and actively pursuing a “policy of reconciliation” betweenconflicting parties.This preference to keep all options open through avoiding categorical statementsand to avoid showdowns and radical solutions in politics, a reaction to the turbulentpolitical climate of the First Republic38,are embodied in a favourite technique of the38 Obviously, this readiness to compromise did not charactense the First Republic. This may perhaps bepartially explained by the break-up of the Empire which, as already discussed, brought about severedisruptions in Austrian belief systems, in identity and in turn in behaviour. Another possible explanationmight be that popular participation in government was only introduced in any meaningful way in the FirstRepublic, and there was a dearth of institutionalised means to control the strong potential for conflictresulting from deep societal cleavages, cleavages which still today mark Austrian society but which arecontained through the socio-political institutions discussed above.26Austrian art of government called “fortwursteln”, a dialect term which, literally, is areference to wading through sausages, and which may be best rendered as “muddlingthrough”. It is also manifest in the consociational, closed-door style of government andthe unique, Austrian socio-political institutions of Proporz and Sozialpartnershaft (socialpartnership), all viewed by Austrians as the domestic counterpart to neutrality.As discussed earlier, if neutrality is to be effective and meaningful it must havethe confidence of other states. If neutrality is to command the confidence of theinternational community, the qualities of constancy and predictability must be manifestin domestic affairs, as domestic upheaval inevitably influences foreign policy. Thesequalities demand that the political system of a neutral state entail means through whichto diffuse potential domestic tensions which might lead to dramatic disruptions orstrong demands for fundamental changes, and which might in turn invite involvementby outside interests (as in 1938), anathema to neutrality. While neutrality has providedAustria with stable foreign relations, the neutral posture of Austria has been reinforced bydomestic stability, stability which has been ensured through Austrian federalism and theconsociational style of government, as well as the institutions of Proporz andSozialpartnerschaft and the socio-political culture which underlies these institutions.Because membership in the EC would have a far-reaching, detrimental effect on thefunctioning of these institutions, it is important to examine the role they play in ensuringthe smooth functioning of Austrian domestic politics, in view of their relationship toneutrality.Many find it surprising that such a small, relatively homogeneous country asAustria is divided into provincial units to ensure domestic stability. However, asdiscussed earlier, Austrian provinces, or Bundesländeç have their own histories as politicalunits dating back long before the foundation of the Austrian state. Each region has avery distinct character and provincial/regional identification is very strong. This ismanifest in consistently different voting patterns, dialect, traditions and lifestyles, whichindicate disparate orientations and values. Notwithstanding their long history withinone political entity, once the institution of the emperor disappeared, there was littleoverarching identity which bound the provinces together (see page 10). This lack ofoverarching loyalty combined with strong regional identification was a significant causeof instability in the First Republic.In recognition of this diversity and in a move to avoid undermining the Bund27(federation) through the centrifugal pressures inherent in such diversity, the federalgovernment determined that it would delegate extensive jurisdictional authority toprovincial legislatures in diverse fields39. In recent years provincial authority hasexpanded even to the sphere of foreign policy40. Such decentralist practises on thepart of the federal government do not pose difficulties for national unity. On thecontrary, by allowing the provinces elbow-room in pursuing and protecting concerns ofspecial importance to their particular regions, the federal government has managed toavoid destabilising upheavals and diffuse possible challenges to the political order whichmarked the First Republic.Austrian society and politics have been further stabilised through theconsociational style of decision-making, which encourages a low-conflict, low-profile,face-saving approach to policy-formation, involving representatives of all politicalfactions, as well as through the tendency to govern by coalition and the institutions ofProporz and Soziaipartnerschaft. Through the involvement of all major social and interestgroups in the decision-making process, the perception that general societal interests arerepresented within the political system has been heightened, thereby diminishing thescope for sudden, extreme change within or challenges to the system.Following the traumatic interwar period which ended in civil war and the drawnout occupation experience subsequent to World War II, the ruling OvP/sPO 41coalition decided to check and balance each other’s influence by sharing power throughProporz, a proportional spoils or parity system designed to serve as a tacit means ofensuring that the coalition of power in government, which was to reflect the cleavagesIn many cases, these jurisdictions are not fully delegated to provincial governments, rather, decision-making is shared with the federal government. Nevertheless, provincial input in policy-making is extensive.40 For example, a perceived need for cooperative approaches on issues relevant to the Alpine region hasspawned several trans-border working groups, concerned with such issues as traffic and environmentaldegradation, agrkulture and rural planning, cultural affairs arid economic issues of mutual interest.Furthermore, trans-border tensions concerning the fate and interests of the Slovenian ethnic minority in theAustrian province of Carinthia and of the German-speaking ethnic group in Italian South Tyrol havecompelled the federal government to allow a high degree of provincial involvement in policy-making andpolitical initiatives, even at the international level. For example, the Tyrolean and South Tyrolian parliamentsconvene once a year for a joint session, and the two parliaments have established a standing committee,consisting of the speakers of the two Parliaments, five members of each Parliament and representatives ofthe provincial executive. The purpose of these initiatives is to foster political and cultural contact.41 The ÔVP (Austrian Peoples’s Party) is an outgrowth of the former Christian Socialist Party, while the SPO(Austrian Socialist Party) has its roots in the former Social Democrats. Four other political parties round outthe Austrian political spectrum: The FPO (Austrian Freedom Party), which subsumed many former NationalSocialists; the Green Alternative; the virtually defunct KPO (Austrian Communist Party); and, just founded inFebruary 1993 following a split within the FPO, the Liberal Forum.28and diversity of society in general, is reflected within the political economy as awhole42. Although wholly unofficial, Proporz has been omni-present in Austriansociety. Lonnie Johnson describes it as follows:“In order to understand the theory of Proporz, one has to imagine theentire sphere of political influence in society as a checkerboard with blackand red squares in the first row, an alternating sequence of red and blacksquares in the second row and so forth. The end result, regardless ofwhich direction one moves on the political checkerboard, up, down orsideways, is an alternating red-black or black-red sequence. In order tocomplete the picture of the political practise of Proporz, one simply has toimagine that certain black squares have been traded for certain red onesand vice versa. This does not affect the total number of squares eachcolour has at its disposal, but it does create some inordinately large blocksof one colour or the other. For example, the OVP dominates atraditionally conservative area like agriculture, just as the SPO controls atraditionally socialist sphere of interest like labour” (Johnson, 1987; 1 61).Another socio-political institution adopted since the outset of the SecondRepublic is “Sozialpartnerschaft’, a unique method of resolving the traditional disputesbetween labour and management, industry and agriculture. Leading representatives ofmajor interest groups meet regularly to discuss issues of common concern and to workout collective solutions, attempting to resolve disputes before they becomecontroversies. The “social partners” are high-ranking representatives of four umbrellaorganisations which in turn represent various interest groups: the conservative-dominated Chamber of Agriculture and Chamber of Commerce, and the socialist-oriented Chamber of Labour and Austrian Trade Union Federation. Representatives meetregularly to discuss issues like wages, prices and economic and social policy43 and toagree upon terms acceptable to all parties44.The critical key to understanding the success of this unique institution is not inthe intricacy of its organisation but in the underlying attitudes of Austrians in general. Itis not so much an institution but a state of mind, whereby the quintessential Austrianreadiness to bend or compromise allows the “social partners” to make decisions with aminimum of conflict, and a lack of political involvement among Austrians in general4542 The modern Austrian socio-political institution of “Proporz” is a carry-over of the feudalistic practise ofProtektior(the seeking of personal patronage), whereby positions and favours are granted on the basis ofpersonal connections rather than according to need or desert.43m1s successful socio-political institution is sometimes called dass struggle at the conference table”If, for example, one of the leading unions like the steel workers negotiates a 5% raise in wages, this setsthe standard for others - the postal workers won’t go out and demand 10%.Despite the fact that Austria constitutionally is a modern democracy, and although Austrian society ishighly politicised in the sense that many aspects of social life are defined according to political affiliation,29permits deference to the “experts” in the business of decision-making for the masses.Thus, many of the Austrian traits which are often viewed, particularly by their Germanbrethren, as “parochial” and “backward” in fact serve as a stabilising factor in domesticpolitics.To use the nomenclature of German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies, societies maybe classified according to two types: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (cf. Johnston, 1972;19-23 and 76). According to Tännies, Gemeinschaft societies are traditional andcohesive, whereas the term Geselischaft applies to modern societies in which there is aheightened anonymity within its membership as a result of the forces of modernisation.Persons living in a “Gemeinschaff’ society (literally, “togetherness”) tend to shuncompetition, and instead practise mutual support while striving to preserve commonbeliefs. Gesellschaft society individualises and alienates its members by obliging them tocompete with each other rather than to strive together toward common goals.Geseilschaft society thus breeds anxiety and conflict through unravelling closely-knitcommunity bonds. In Austria, the forces of modemisation never fully erased the patternsof traditional society, so that into the twentieth century Austria has preserved“Gemeinschaft’ attitudes and practises which characterised western Europe in generaltwo centuries earlier.These Gemeinschaft qualities and values is in Austria institutionalised in thepractise of social partnership. Social partnership may be understood as a rejection of theconflict inherent in a competitive, modern society in favour of practising mutual supportand promoting a cooperative approach to ensure domestic stability, through theresolution of problems with as little politics as possible. A society-wide economiccoalition which mirrors the political coalition in government, as does the high-consensus,low-conflict decision-making process which it adopts, social partnership has contributedimmeasurably to the economic, social and political stability of the Second Republic ofAustria (Johnson and Lehne, 1 985;1 67). Furthermore, the integration and acceptance ofall the socio-political institutions discussed above into Austrian culture has ensured theAustrian political culture would be best described as subject-oriented rather than participatory. Critics haveperceived the tendency of Austrians to vote strictly according to party allegiance, allegiance which wasfrequently passed automatically from parent to child, as a vestige of the mindset of the old empire.Austrians are caught in a frame of mind in which they still perceive themselves to be subiects of their staterather than participants in the decision-making process, accepting their station in the community and votingfor the appropriate party often with little regard for the issue at hand. This is likely also a consequence ofthe consociational style of government, where decisions are made through consultation among leaders ofthe various political parties and interest groups representing the populace, but with relatively little directinput into or knowledge of the process by the population at large.30existence of institutionalised means through which centrifugal domestic forces (whichwreaked havoc at the end of the empire and during the First Republic) may be diffusedor redirected, and as such has bred a moderate and stable environment, conducive to asuccessful policy of neutrality. Neutrality may therefore be valued by Austrians in that itis associated with the stable, democratic system of government in the Second Republic,the first political formula to function and ensure domestic peace since the dissolution ofthe Empire. In reaction to the devastating interwar period and the drawn-outhumiliation of occupation following World War II, Austrians may have come to valuetheir new identity as a democratic republic pursuing a policy of neutrality as a means ofensuring the stability and in turn the independence of their state.In addition to the insecurities discussed earlier, Austrians suffer from a sense ofcultural insecurity. Severed from the magnificence of their imperial patrimony, thisinsecurity manifests itself in obsession with the glorious past. As innovation occursabroad, Austrians lovingly savour their rich tradition, wrapping themselves in vivid detailsof their past, bolstering their sense of identity and self-worth with gemutlich4’5,time-honoured traditions. This tendency may be also understood as a yearning for the oldorder, when things were supposedly better and people happier than they are now. Acultural mystique has evolved around rural life in particular, which has becomesynonymous with untainted tradition47 and Gemeinschaft society. Rural society isviewed, consciously or subconsciously, as the keeper of Austrian culture, an embodimentof the past. Policy-makers are careful not to undermine the values and patterns of thistraditional lifestyle, an achievement which owes much to the practise of power-sharingat all levels and the institution of social partnership, which enables the powerfulChamber of Agriculture to wield substantial influence in the policy-forming process.Insofar as neutrality is perceived to safeguard independence in policy-making and theprerogative to directly translate Austrian values into policy, and at the same time is, asalready discussed, intimately linked to the successful style of domestic politics manifest inthe Second Republic, neutrality may be perceived and valued as safeguardingGemeinschaft society and Austrian traditions and culture.46 Meaning “comfortable” or “cosy”, this is an expression which has its genesis in the police-stateatmosphere under Mettemich, when Austrians withdrew completely from politics into closed private circles,and is today one of the best-known terms characterising Austrian society in general.‘ A rustic style of furniture and dress is marketed and sought after by Austrians across the countly,regardless of whether they live in the country or in urban centres, a trend which first manifest itself after thefirst world war and the demise of the empire.31IV.IV SUMMARYIn summary, I hypothesise that neutrality may have eased the transformationfrom empire to small state in that, in a kind of retournement a ía Nobel, it provided acontext in which Austria could slip into the role of “conscience for the world’. This valuetheme may have been strengthened insofar as in the pursuit of humanitarianismneutrality allowed Austria to foster ties with their neighbours to the east, with whom itshares a long past. Moreover, in that this role lent Austria a measure of prestige andinfluence through the provision of “good offices”, it may have filled the void in identityleft by the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and at the same time resolvedthe need felt by Austrians, accustomed to being the centre of a mighty empire but nowcondemned to existence as a diminutive state, to have some import beyond their ownborders and (albeit under changed circumstances) to resume their position as the“crossroads” of Europe. Neutrality also speaks to the Austrian tendency towardambivalence, their preference to avoid taking sides, and thus complements theGemeinschaft-oriented, consensual political culture of contemporary Austria.Furthermore, in that neutrality offers Austria independence in policy-making at all levels,it may be valued as a means of safeguarding Austrian values, culture and traditions frombeing undermined by outside influences, a value which is particularly important in thecontext of membership in the EC and in view of Austria’s past relationship with theirGerman cousins.32V.1 POPULAR A111TUDES TOWARDS NEUTRALITY: IS NEUTRALITY A CORE VALUE?Austrians find themselves today in a situation in which fundamental changes inEuropean (and global) socio-political and economic realities, realities which have shapedAustrian politics and policies for the past thirty-seven years, have transformed theinternational environment. It is in reaction to this transformed environment that Austriahas applied for membership in the EC; however, as discussed earlier, there can be littledoubt that a neutral state within the EC entails fundamental contradictions. Mindful ofRokeach’s model, this inconsistency, if recognised, necessitates a choice. The choicewhich Austrians make will reveal whether neutrality is a core value.What evidence is there that Austrians do indeed desire membership in the EC?According to polls conducted between 1987 and 1992 by Fessel + Gfk and IFES Institutes(see Figure 3), the number of Austrians decidedly in favour of membership in the EC hasalways exceeded the number opposed to membership48.This is supported by the OIIPpoll, in which those opposed to membership were only three fifths the number of thosedecidedly in favour of EC membership. Clearly then, the majority of Austrians are infavour of accession to the EC.What are the primary reasons why Austrians want to give up a significant share oftheir sovereignty to join this supranational body? There are two main value themespushing for membership in the EC. One is rooted in economic interests; that is, theeconomic opportunities and advantages perceived to accompany membership in thecommon market along with a fear of economic isolation and the disadvantages whichwould ensue if Austria remains outside the [C. The other is ground in the growingperception that developments in the international environment have left Austriavulnerable to the increasing unrest outside its borders and that Austria should seek toprotect its geo-political security through solidarity with western Europe.From its inception, neutrality satisfied Austrian needs for geo-political as well aseconomic security, leading many Austrians to feel they lived isolated on an “island of theblessed”49. However, developments of the past five years have undermined theseperceptions of security and well-being. While in the past neutrality provided a measure48witI the exception of one brief period in the first quarter of 1989, when those opposed to membershipwere 2% greater than those in favour.This phrase was first coined by Pope Paul VI in 1971, a reference to Austria’s social peace, politicalstability, and economic prosperity.33of economic security in that it allowed Austria the freedom and independence to activelypursue trade with both east and west, with east/west polarity a thing of the past andincreasing economic integration occurring globally, Austria fears it may become isolated.With the recent official establishment of the common market as of January 1, 1993, theintegration of western Europe economically poses a great challenge to neutral Austria.Previously EFTA membership and the bilateral free-trade agreements of 1972/73 weresufficient to safeguard Austria’s economic interests within that western market, whileremaining outside of the community proper. However, the establishment of thecommon market places non-member states at a serious disadvantage, and has led toperceptions of economic vulnerability in Austria.These concerns may best be understood in view of vivid memories of the not-too-distant past when Austria was severed from markets and supplies of goodsimmediately following the fall of the empire in 1918 and the hardships that ensued, aswell as Austria’s special economic situation vis-a-vis the EC. Austria is particularlydependent on the EC and vulnerable to the integration process from which it, as a non-member, is excluded, more so than the other EFTA states. This is because Austria isextremely reliant on its export trade5°and because Austrian companies have a verylow physical presence in foreign countries51. This lack of internationalisation rendersAustrian companies far more dependent on exports than those of the other Europeanneutrals, and highly sensitive to integration in Western Europe. Clearly, as the EC isAustria’s most important export market (see Figure 2), it is vital that Austria safeguard itslinks with that market. Consequently, in view of the 1992 completion of the commonmarket and the disadvantages non-members will automatically experience, there exists awidespread perception that the only effective means to safeguard Austria’s economicinterests is through full membership in the EC.At the same time developments in the international environment haveundermined faith in the capacity and suitability of neutrality to ensure Austria’s geopolitical security. Although the cold war tensions located diminutive Austria betweentwo very hostile powder kegs, the end of the cold war has not brought about a50 Per capita Austria exports more than Taiwan, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan or the USA, and has thehighest proportion of trade with the EC to total national trade of any other country in the world. As of1989, 66% of Austria’s exports went to the EC while 70% of its imports originated in the EC, primarilyGermany and France (Keesings Archives, 1989; 36822).the mid-i 980’s Swiss-owned companies in the EC countries employed some 350,000 persons, whilethe figure for Sweden is 160,000. Exact numbers for Austria are not available, but in 1984 the number ofpeople working for Austrian companies abroad was between 30,000 and 50,000 (Luif, 1991; 131).34heightened perception of security in Austria, as might have been expected. Rather, thetension of the bipolar climate and the attendant possibility of escalation and threat ofdestruction may have served as a means of preventing or containing open conflict.Although the danger of involvement in conflict between the two military blocs of eastand west has largely evaporated, it is feared that traditional ethnic and religious conflicts,previously suppressed due to fear of escalation, might explode. Many Austrians fear thatpresent instabilities in eastern Europe may herald a repeat performance of thedevastation and chaos of 1914. According to the OIIP poll, while in 1990 only 27%polled actually expected civil war in neighbouring states to break out, following theoutbreak of war in the former Yugoslav republics the figure rose dramatically to 77%,and those who viewed conflict elsewhere in western Europe as possible quadrupled from6% to 24%.Furthermore, it is widely feared that dramatic changes and conflicts in easternEurope have rendered the sanctity and inviolability of political borders in generalmeaningless (see Table 3). This fear is heightened by the increased activism on the partof, and danger of conflict stemming from ethnic, nationalist or religious fundamentalistmovements, actors which have demonstrated a propensity to ignore geo-politicalboundaries (Höll, 1992; 1 32). The inability to arrive at some agreement in the formerYugoslav republics as well as the recent division of Czechoslovakia have furtherunderlined these fears, as did the violation of Austrian territory during Serb retaliationagainst the break-away republic of Croatia52. Moreover, many Austrians fear the GulfWar was not an isolated incident, but may prove a harbinger of other similar conflicts tocome between the industrialised north and developing south, or among Third Worldcountries, which invite international involvement (see Table 2)5g. These developmentshave impressed upon Austrians that they do not and can not live isolated fromdevelopments outside their borders, neither economically nor politically.Because the actors in these conflicts are often of a different nature than thosewhich threatened in the bipolar cold war climate, wielding influence across politicalborders by way of ethnic or religious solidarity, increasingly Austrians feel that neutrality52 According to the OIIP poll (see Table 6), when examining responses broken down according toBundesland, following the outbreak of civil war in the former Yugoslavia and the violation of Austrianairspace in July 1991 by Serbian aircraft in the two Austrian BundeslOnder which share a border with theformer Yugoslavia, Carinthia and Styria, the figures of those who were fully in agreement with the view thatmembership in the EC would heighten Austrian security rose to 61 % and 60%, respectively.53 According to the OIIP poll, 67% believe the Gulf War was not an isolated event, but a harbinger ofsimilar conflicts to come35is ill-suited to provide any meaningful measure of security against such threats.Furthermore, few Austrians have faith in the capacity of the Austrian Bundesheer (army)to provide Austria with an effective defense54 or in the readiness of stronger states tocome to the assistance of smaller states like Austria not bound by an alliance (see Table1). Rather, Austrians tend to believe that small states can expect assistance only when itcorresponds to the interests of larger states55. Given heightened perceptions ofinsecurity, the perception that Austria’s defense policy of the last four decades is nolonger equipped to deal with the security threats of today and that neutral Austria will beleft without allies unless its security needs correspond to the interests of larger states,security concerns are increasingly pushing for Austria’s accession to the EC (see Table 6).Because Austria’s borders would comprise the “last frontier” between the instability ineastern Europe and the EC, it is believed that member states of the Community wouldbe especially vigilant in ensuring no violations of Austrian sovereignty occurred.Mindful of the fact that the majority of Austrians desire the instrumental benefitsof membership in the EC as well as the fact that neutrality and membership in thiscommunity are incompatible, what are Austrians saying about neutrality? Do they desireEC membership, even at the cost of neutrality? Both OIIP and Fessel + Gfk/IFES askedrespondents in separate polls whether, assuming that Austrian accession to the EC wereonly possible if Austria were to give up its neutrality, they would rather forego ECmembership or abandon neutrality (see Table 10, Figures 4, 5). The vast majority was infavour of foregoing membership in the EC, while the number of undecided was strikinglylow. Clearly then, despite the fact that Austrians are eager to enjoy the instrumentalbenefits of EC membership, they are not prepared to want them at the cost of neutrality.This proves that neutrality is a core value, or at least that it is associated with valueswhich are more centrally-located than those represented by EC membership.What further evidence is there which demonstrates that neutrality is a core value?According to Rokeach, the extent to which popular valuation of any given institution hasAlthough legally obliged to militarily uphold its neutrality and sovereignty, according to a 1981 pollconducted by OIIP (Neuhold, 1992; 95) only 10% of Austrians believed that Austria would be capable ofdefending itself. Austria, unlike Switzerland, has never placed strong emphasis on military defense. Rather,Austria tended to rely on the political collateral of providing good offices, as well as on the assurance that ina polarised climate violation of Austrian neutrality would result in severe international sanctions. However,the actors which are perceived to pose a threat to European security today appear unimpressed byinternational legal norms and immune to the threat of international pariahism, as demonstrated by thesituation in Bosnia-Herzogovina.Perhaps a legacy of the bitter experience of 1938 as the ‘state nobody wanted’, when Austrians wereleft to their own devices to resist pressure from the Hitler regime in Germany to capitulate.36transcended pragmatic interests and is part of identity is revealed by the sacrifices thatpopulace is willing to make to safeguard that institution. According to responses to apoll conducted by SWS, in general the Austrian public perceives the cost of neutrality, asmeasured by the balance between perceived advantages and disadvantages, to beincreasing, while the advantages which follow from this institution are on the decline(see Table 1 5A). This view was especially pronounced when respondents were remindedthat neutrality might frustrate Austria’s application for membership in the EC (see Table1 5B). According to Rokeach’s theory, if an institution continues to be highly esteemedby the members of a society, although it increasingly fails to address the pragmaticneeds of that society and may in fact serve as an impediment to the fulfillment of theseneeds, then its valuation derives from beliefs which are more centrally-located, beliefswhich are bound to identity and are therefore not subject to a cost/benefit analysis.The foregoing proves that Austrian neutrality is not valued for its instrumentality butbecause it is part of their mythos.Furthermore, when confronted with a theoretical choice between neutrality andmembership in the UN, because of the potential difficulties entailed by a neutral stateactively participating in a system of collective security, the majority expressed theirreadiness to give up Austrian membership in the UN (see Table 5). By stepping out ofthe UN collective security arrangement, Austria could no longer expect assistance frommembers of that world body if Austrian sovereignty were violated. To appreciate themagnitude of this sacrifice which Austrians are prepared to make to safeguard neutrality,it should be mentioned that according to the same opinion poll, the majority ofAustrians believe the most effective means of countering threats to peace and stability inEurope today is not a unified European defense force or any other type of alliancearrangement, but the collective security system of the UN (see Table 4). The fact that amajority of Austrians would be willing to leave the UN system, which has become veryimportant for Austria56 and in which as a neutral state they have been very active, inorder to safeguard its neutrality is a striking testimony to the value which Austrians placeon this institution.V.11 WHY IS NEUTRALITY A CORE VALUE?In seeking to answer this question, I will be guided by my hypothesis as set out in56 Especially following Operation Desert Storm and in view of the deteriorating situation in Yugoslavia,many Austrians have come to look to the ‘blue berets’ as their best hope should conflict to the east andsouth spread into Austria. In the SWS opinion poll of September 1991, 62% believed that Austria could relyon the assistance of the UN were its sovereignty violated.37chapter IV. If my hypothesis is accurate, then given the inconsistency of a neutral stateseeking admission to the EC these issues should in some form appear in the debate onaccession to this supranational body as factors pushing in favour of the retention ofneutrality. As my hypothesis was divided into two categories, historical and culturalreasons why neutrality might be part of the Austrian mythos, I will break down mydiscussion here correspondingly.V.11.1 HISTORICAL REASONSI suggested that neutrality was a core value in that it lent Austria stature, thussatisfying both a deep-seated need to be identified with something greater and thereforemore prestigious than themselves (which may be traced to their long history as the coreof a powerful empire and which may help to explain the fascination with the “glorydays” of the empire which pervades Austria today) and assuaging Austrian insecurities byraising the stakes for any state considering violating Austrian sovereignty. Is thishypothesis accurate, and if so, have developments in the international environmentaffected the relationship between neutrality and these value themes?According to the SWS poll, many Austrians perceive neutrality to have providedtheir country with a new identity as intercessionary, which lent Austria greater prestigeand in turn ensured both that Austria would be able to remain apart from the conflicts ofothers and that outside interests would not interfere in Austrian domestic affairs (seeTable 1). However, increasingly Austrians are expressing the fear that the end of thebipolar standoff will mean that much of the scope for influence which Austria onoccasion enjoyed through engaging in bridge-building efforts between east and westwill evaporate. As a result, many Austrians fear their country has suffered a loss ofstature, and perceive their country to be in a position similar to that of the First Republic,where decisions taken abroad impact on it directly but on which it has little scope forinfluence. The perception that Neutraiitatspolitik is passé and Austria is left with littleinfluence in international affairs has heightened feelings of insecurity and fears of beingforgotten by the international community, as was the case in 1938.The fear of being again viewed as insignificant and consequently that threats andviolations of Austrian sovereignty will be overlooked has been aggravated by the hesitantmanner in which Austrians perceive western Europe to have dealt with the crisis set offby the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the perception that Europe wishes to keep that messy38conflict and the refugees which have resulted from it at arms length to minimise itsimpact on their own domestic affairs, similar to their attitude vis-a-vis Austria in 1938.Many Austrians share the view that Europe has brushed aside the intractable problems inthe Balkans as of lesser importance than their own integration concerns as the recentJanuary 1993 deadline drew near, except to the extent that such ethnic and religiousconflict might threaten to spill over onto their own territory.Having lost their scope for influence with the close of the Cold War and at thesame time the prestige which accompanied the role of intercessionary, Austrians arecasting about for a new identity. According to the Our poll, the overwhelming majorityof Austrians believe that the influence of Europe in global affairs will either increase in thefuture or at the least remain at its present, not insignificant level (see Table 7).Therefore, many Austrian view membership in the EC both as the best means ofresolving their need for greater influence in international politics, thereby recreating asense of security, and at the same time, of providing them with a more prestigiousidentity as member of a wealthy, influential conglomeration of states.I suggested that this desire for prestige was also fulfilled by the humanitarian aidassociated with neutrality, in that it is associated with diversion of national resourcesfrom the self-serving drive for economic and military hegemony to international aid anddevelopment. Moreover, I hypothesised that insofar as the economic dimension ofneutrality allowed Austria the freedom to pursue historic ties with their eastern Europeanneighbours, neutrality had become a core value. These two value themes cannot beconsidered separately. What proof is there that these value themes occupy a centralposition within the Austrian consciousness, that they are linked to neutrality and throughthis linkage neutrality has acquired a more central position within Austrian beliefsystems? Does not Austria’s application to join the EC, driven largely by self-servingeconomic interests, undermine these value themes?The OIIP posed a number of questions to examine the extent to which thereadiness to provide humanitarian assistance is an important value for Austrians. Whenpresented with a list of ten topical global problems, 74% chose poverty and hunger in“refugee-producing” countries as the most pressing, while 78% approved that theAustrian government provide generous aid to developing countries. Moreover, althoughlegally inaccurate 53% believed that the status of neutrality entails the duty to providehumanitarian aid in crisis areas. This means that for many Austrians the two are39inextricably linked, and more importantly, in declaring their neutrality Austrians weremaking a statement about the value they place as a nation on humanitarian assistanceand their readiness to provide aid57.Before the fall of the “Iron Curtain” both of these values were manifest in Austria’sgenerous asylum policy for refugees from Eastern Europe58,since then they have beenexhibited by Austrian eagerness to assist in the reconstruction process in eastern Europe(see Table 11). A few years ago these values would have been undermined had Austriaelected to foster closer ties with the west through EC membership, as eastern Europeanstates were generally unwilling to accept western aid59. However, east/west polarity isa thing of the past, and there is today a perception among Austrians that they can assistin the reconstwction process in eastern Europe just as well from within the EC, if notbetter insofar as coordinated assistance is typically more efficient and therefore has agreater effect. An overwhelming majority of Austrians do not believe that the EC willencapsulate itself against eastern Europe while concentrating on its own concerns, buton the contrary will offer extensive assistance to aid in economic development and topromote democracy in those countries (see Tables 12, 13). Moreover, of thosedecidedly in favour of membership in the EC, 82% believed that the EC would offerextensive assistance in the east. Therefore, for those Austrians who are in favour ofmembership, they do not perceive it as compromising their relationship with easternEurope, but as a means of cultivating it.Furthermore, the significance of the Austrian asylum policy as a component ofneutrality, insofar as it benefitted political refugees from eastern Europe, has beendiminished. Thus, many Austrians no longer feel they must politically “sit on the fence”between east and west in order to maintain historic ties with the east and to promoteeconomic and socio-political growth there. Indeed, at a time when many easternEuropean states are clamouring for heightened cooperation with the west and evendream of membership in the EC themselves, some Austrians fear that a hard line, passépolicy of neutrality may cause them to “miss the boat”, which in turn has againAn example of the importance placed on this aspect of their Neutralitdtspolitik, Austria has to dateprovided vastly more material aid to the war-tom former Yugoslavian republics than any other single state inthe world. Furthermore, this programme of assistance has not been a purely government effort, rather theentire society has been voluntarily mobilised through a programme called Nachbar in Not (Neighbour inDistress), which, as of May 1993, had filled 2000 full-sized trucks with foodstuffs, medical supplies, clothingand building supplies, as well as opening private homes in Austria to refugees.58A policy which applied to refugees from all over the world.59A case in point: eastern European states did not participate in the Marshall Plan.40heightened perceptions of vulnerability, precisely the opposite of what Austrianneutrality was intended to achieve.On the other hand, although there is widespread belief that the EC will beforthcoming with assistance for eastern Europe, there is an uncomfortable perceptiongrowing among some Austrians that Europe is increasingly developing into a world of“haves” and “have nots”, where the elite concern themselves first and foremost withincreasing their own wealth, and then throw the scraps to the poor neighbours to theeast. If Austria were to join the EC, it would comprise the eastemmost border of thisprivate club, demarcating those who “belong” from those who don’t. Because of theirnational commitment to promoting the welfare of individual human beings, and in viewof their strong cultural ties with the “poor cousins to the east”, this idea is offensive. Thisgrowing concern may partly account for the overall decrease in support for membershipin the EC (see Figure 3). Moreover, this concern may be increasingly topical given thenegative opinion among Austrians of Europe’s efforts to deal with the problemsstemming from the breakup of Yugoslavia, in particular the flood of refugees.V.11.11 CULTURAL REASONSNotwithstanding the growing desire to “go directly to the strong ones” to ensureeconomic and geo-political security (Profil, 22.6.1992)60, a significant disadvantage ofEC membership would be the loss of Austrian independence, the prerogative to go italone or as they say, to “cook their own soup”. As discussed earlier, membership in theEC would entail a vast and ever-increasing abrogation of sovereignty and independenceof decision-making powers. Those in favour of EC membership argue that even if Austriawere to remain outside the EC, there would be a de facto loss of sovereignty as Austriabecause of its economic dependence on the EC would have to conform to EC norms,without being able to influence EC policy. Notwithstanding this argument, this issueremains perhaps the major drawback for Austrians in considering EC membership.Perhaps because Austrians have only known independence for the last thirty-seven years, they demonstrate a pronounced tendency to guard decision-making powersjealously. Even those individuals who according the OIIP poll wished to “reinterpret”neutrality in order to render a coordinated foreign policy with the EC possible (see Table60 The extent to which this sense of insecurity and vulnerability pervades Austrian society is underlined bythe appearance in the past year of several priodicals with the title SicherheiC (Security), in which concernswhich threaten the well-being of Austria and Austrians are discussed.419), when specifically presented with a number of possible joint measures and asked inwhich they would be willing for Austria to participate, indicated a strong preference toremain independent61. Furthermore, when Fessel + Gfk and IFES presentedrespondents with a list of eleven distinct realms of policy-making, out of eleven only twowere areas where Austrians would be prepared to cede powers of decision-making to theEC: in the field of taxation (in the hope that they would be lowered to the more modestEC levels!) and in science and technology (where it is perceived that Austria is morebackward than the rest of western Europe). The two areas where Austrians were mostunwilling to cede any authority were in agriculture and asylum policy62.Contrary to what might have been expected, the western Bundesländer in generaldemonstrated less desire to join the EC than did those Bundesiänder which lie to the east(see Table 8). This was despite a greater geographical proximity to western Europe,where one might expect there would be greater cultural affinity. A possible reasonmight stem from the fact that a primary occupation in these alpine Bundesländer isfarming, and alpine farmers have much to lose with the EC agrarian policy63? One ofthe most problematic issues in the debate concerning Austrian accession to the EC is therealm of agriculture. Although both Austria and the EC engage in large-scale agriculturalsubsidy programmes, the two programmes are of a fundamentally different nature.While one values the preservation of a traditional lifestyle the other is geared whollytoward efficiency of production.By virtue of geography, many of the farmers in Austria are located in alpineregions. Farming in a mountainous region involves smaller tracts of land which aredifficult and time-consuming to till, and therefore is, relative to farms located on an evenplain, inefficient and unproductive. In order to support farmers who have to struggleagainst these adverse agricultural conditions, there is an subsidisation system in Austriaso that the Bergbauem64 are not forced by their extreme disadvantage to abandontheir livelihood (EC “Opinion”, 1991; 19). To the extent that it strives to preserve a way61 In particular, there was a marked reluctance to coordinate military efforts with other states or to allowforeign troops onto Austrian territory, perhaps a sentiment which can be traced back to the World War IIexperience of being amalgamated into the German Reich and then for ten years being occupied by troopsfrom four different countries.62 Respectively as of September 1991, 13% pro EC: 74% pro domestic jurisdiction; 16% pro EC: 70% prodomestic jurisdiction! These figures aLso support my statements regarding Austrian valuation of these twoconcerns.63 According to the OlIP poll, of all occupation groups, farmers demonstrated the greatest opposition toAustrian membership in the EC (see Table 8).64 Uterally, “mountain farmers”. As discussed earlier, a cultural mystique has evolved around theseAustrian farmers, who have come to represent unsullied Austrian tradition.42of life, the Austrian agricultural policy is a reflection of the Austrian socio-political culture,which is “Gemeinchaft”-oriented, promotes the protection of community bonds, andabhors allowing market forces alone to determine lifestyle.The style of Community agricultural subsidisation is very different from thatpractised in Austria. The EC subsidises farms capable of cultivating vast tracts of land,aiming for optimum efficiency of production, and allows the smaller, less modern farmsto falter65. Because these expansive farms evolve through the consolidation of smallerones, unable to compete without state assistance, the EC agricultural policy has resultedin high levels of unemployment of persons formerly employed in agriculture.If Austria were to join the EC its agricultural subsidisation programme would haveto give way to Community policies. Because competition in agriculture would naturallybe very intense within the EC, many Austrian farmers fear that their small, traditionalfarms would be unable to compete and would sooner or later become insolvent. Thus,concern over the welfare of Austrian farmers denied government assistance within thehighly competitive common market has become one of the most contentious issues inthe debate over EC membership. Moreover, because agriculture is viewed in Austria asthe guardian of tradition, threats to Austrian agriculture are perceived as threats toAustrian culture66.Agricultural policies in Austria are shaped through social partnership, where thepowerful farmers unions granted Austrian farmers significant input in the policy-makingprocess. In a country of stark rural/urban contrasts, the institution of social partnership isvalued as a means of safeguarding domestic stability67. If Austria were to join the EC,both the provincial authorities and the venerable farmers associations, whose originsmay be traced back long before the establishment of Austria as a republic, would losethe ability to influence policy-making relating to agriculture. This would be perceivednot only as a loss of input into decisions bearing on food production and animalhusbandry, but a loss of control over a way of life. Membership in the EC could thereby65 In the EC, there are more than 1 30 million hectares of land tilled, but only 10 million individuals aredirectly employed in agriculture (Simonitsch and Sterk, 1989; 46).66 Similar concerns to those which have placed the issue of agriculture at the forefront of the debate onAustria’s application to join the EC apply to the issue of small Austrian businesses (often family concerns),which would have to struggle to remain solvent in the highly competitive market of the EC. Again, this isbecause Austrian socio-political culture is not governed by the “survival of the fittest” principle, but rather,places a high premium on quality of life and promoting the welfare of individual human beings.67 With the exception of Vienna (population 1 .5 million), Graz (population 246,000) and possibly Linz(population 212,000), the remainder of the country is largely rural-oriented.43polarise society and possibly result in instability if the rural sectors of the country were toperceive membership as benefitting cosmopolitan businessmen at the expense offarmers.Therefore, although for some neutrality no longer seems worth the economicsacrifice of remaining outside the EC and the diminished stature it entails, Austrians placegreat premium on the competency to translate their own values into policy directlyrather than dilute them through cooperation with others and insofar as neutrality isassociated with independence of decision-making it will continue to be highly valued inprotecting the Austrian lifestyle and identity itself. Furthermore, as Austrian disunity inthe First Republic led to a complete loss of independence, the safeguarding of bothAustrian stability and independence are intimately bound up with each other, as well aswith the socio-political institutions which guarantee this stability and independence,namely neutrality, consociationalism, social partnership and Proporz.Another significant fear which characterises the Austrian debate on accession tothe EC, which Austrians do not tend to articulate as such but suggest in general allusionsto uneasiness about becoming one with such a vast conglomeration of states, has itsroots in the Gemeinschaft nature of their society. The majority of those Austrians whowere unhappy with the prospect of membership in the EC believed that Austrian identitywould be threatened by the vast European “Einheitsbrer, or cultural “unity brew” (seeTable 14). Moreover, the EC is perceived by Austrians as being dominated by Germanyand the traits which characterise the German people68, and is thus viewed by manyAustrians as a remote and impersonal monolith, anathema to Austrian society and thepolitical institutions and practises of the Second Republic. There is fear that the cost of“going to the strong ones” will be an undesired “cultural Anschlul3 through the backdoor” with Germany, that once Austria is subsumed within the same supranational bodyas Germany, sharing the same policy-making organs, the Germans will begin todominate and bully their Austrian cousins as they have in the past.68 Before the unification of Germany under the Prussians and the prodamation of a new German Reich in1871, Austrians were iust one of the many political subcategories of Germans, like Bavarians, Saxons orPrussians. However, the proclamation of the German Reich under Prussian leadership and the ensuingGerman rise to influence, partially at the expense of the old Habsburg empire following their defeat atKoniggratz, brought on Austrian perceptions of inferiority to the Germans, and signalled the beginning ofmany of the German/Austrian diches: there were the Germans from the Reich, literally Reichsdeutsche, withtheir proverbial effidency, sense of duty, assertiveness and firmness of character (traits which wereextrapolated from the Prussians onto all Germans, in many cases without justification) and the German-speaking Austrians, known for their proverbial GemOtlichkeit or comfortableness, understanding andflexibility bordering on sloppiness and corruption, submissiveness and charm.44Many Austnans fear that membership in the EC, where they would be compelledto abide by all decisions already taken and many others which increasingly aredetermined by majority vote, would endanger the Gemütiich, humane Gemeinschafttenor of their sodety, which holds Austrians distinct from their German-speakingbrethren in Germany and the rest of Europe. While opinion polls indicate that the mostsignificant advantages which Austnans expect and desire from membership in the EC allrelate to the realm of the economy69,these advantages derive from the Geselischaft,highly competitive nature of the EC which would, in addition to entailing theseeconomic advantages, at the same time threaten the cohesive, traditional way of lifewhich characterises Austria. Therefore neutrality, in that it is perceived to safeguard theAustrian prerogative to take decisions wholly independently of other states and in turnpromote tradition, remains highly esteemed by Austrians.69 Specifically,, lower prices, larger market, facilitated import/export, greater opportunities for branchoffices, no customs duties, heightened employment opportunities, lower taxes, larger selection of products,higher wages, higher standard of living.45•11 G) m -LAfria•Lh..L.r—h.i.n..t..,.I•Pr..,n.Inp.t.I.bOLlp(c.rLC)0\TABLE 1PERCEPTIONS OF NEUTRALITY AMONG THE AUSTRIAN PUBLICWhich of the following statements corresponds best to your own views?(More than one response possible, percentage value)in 96Austria’s neutrality was not so much a matter of independent 25choice but was a concession to the former USSR in return forthe State Treaty.Neutrality is an “unverzichtbarer’ (non-negotiable,impossible to relinquish) ingredient of the Austrian state. 80Neutrality provides Austria with Wermittlertätigkeii’(liason, intermediator - ‘Vermittler’ means, literally,middle man, while a ‘Tätigkeit’ is a function or calling). 77Austria declared its neutrality to remain outside theconflicts of other states. 53On account of its neutrality, Austria shall not becomeinvolved in military conflicts. 71Neutrality ensures that other states wil not becomeinvolved in Austrian internal affairs. 69On account of its neutral status, Austria can expectnot to be directly attacked. 77However, neutrality provides no guarantee or securitythat other states will support Austria in the event it is avictim of aggression. 46Large powers come to the aid of small states only when itcorresponds to their own military and economic interests. 56Small states can more likely expect outside assistance asa member of an allance than as a neutral state. 4447Given the de facto conclusion of the Cold War, which has entaileda loss of the traditional function of Austrian neutrality and itscentral raison d’etre as defined from its inception:A. Developments in the international climate have not had animpact on Austrian neutrality. 46B. Political developments have rendered Austrian neutralityZeitgemaa (outdated, no longer au courant), but neutralityshould not be abandoned completely but adjusted to meet newconditions. 43C. Neutrality should be abandoned altogether. 4SOURCE: DIE SOZIALWIS$ENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. March 1991Total number of respondents: source cited usually interviews between 1700 nd 2000individualsPopulation sample: all of Austria48AUSTRIA’SEXPORTSTOSELEUIEL) GROUPSOFSTATES(in%ofTotalExports)50/-EFTA25\IIIIIIII1937195619581960196219641966196819701972197419761978198019821984198619881990SourceStat!stischesHandbuchderRepublikOsterrichundStatistischeNachrkhtenvariousannualvolumesTABLE 2PERCEIVED SECURITY THREATS IN EUROPEWhat do you believe will be the greatest threat to security in Europe. and specifically in Austria, in thenext ten years?(More than one response possible, percentage value)in%Civil war, specifically Ubergriffe (encroachment) and Grenzverletzungen(border infringements) 44Armed conflict between eastern European states 25Armed conflict between poor, developing countries and developed,industrialised countries such as Europe and the USA (such as the Gulf War) 21NOTE: Outstanding figures: 26% ‘don’t know’; 8% conflict between the USSR and USA/NATO; 6%between individual eastern and western European states; 3% between single states in western Europe.SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGENPoll conducted for OllP by Fesselt-Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andjanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria50TABLE 3AUSTRIAN INSECURITY VIS-A-VIS NEIGHBOURING STATES (in 96)Sichere Verletzung Vieileicht(certainly) (perhaps)(the former) Yugoslavia 41 37(the former) Czechoslovakia 12 40Itaaly 12 36Hungary 10 34Germany 7 18Switzerland 3 7NOTE: outstanding percentage values responded ‘don’t know’SOURCE: Die Sozialwissenschaftliche Studiengesellschaft. September 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually Interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of AustriaSITABLE 4SAFEGUARDING EUROPEAN SECURITYWhich of the following do you believe to be the best means of guaranteeing security in Europe?The United Nations 34A common European army 19The existence of two or more defense alliances in Europe 13No answer 10SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE IN5TITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGENPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel÷Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJaruaiy 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria52TABLE 5NEUTRALITY VERSUS UN MEMBERSHIPWith the conclusion of the cold war era, the UN collective security arrangement has for the first timesince its inception begun to function to some degree as designed. As a member of the UN, Austria isparty to this arrangement, and accordingly, Austria participated in sanctions against Iraq following itsinvasion of Kuwait by allowing troops to be transported through Austrian airspace. As a one-timeevent, this might be overlooked, but if this marks the initiation of a regular occurance of suchpractises, the participation of neutral states in the collective security system of the UN may becomeproblematic. If forced to decide between retention of their neutrality and membership in the UNbody, would you...?in %Forego UN membership to retain Austrian neutrality 61Abandon neutrality in favour of remaining within theUN collective security system 15No answer 24SOURCE: DIE SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. March 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of Austria53TABLE 6EC MEMBERSHIP AND AUSTRIAN SECURITYMembership in the EC would heighten Austrian security. To what extent do you agree/disagree withthis statement?in %Strongly in agreement 25Rather in agreement 31Rather opposed 25Strongly opposed 13Don’t know 6SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGENPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessek-Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria54TABLE 7AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF THE FUTURE INFLUENCE OF EUROPE IN GLOBAL AFFAIRSin %Europe’s influence in global affairs will diminish 3The capacity of Europe to influence international politics will remain atthe present, significant, level. 40The influence of Europe in global affairs will increase. 53No answer 4SOURCE: DAS ÔSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGENPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel÷Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuaty 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria55TRENDSINATflTUDESTOWARDSECMEMBERSI-IIP(1987-1992)Source:Fessel +Gfk. country-widepoll(1987-91)Fessel+Gfk/IFES,EG-BeitrittOsterreichs(1991/3rdquarter throughMay1992)Total number of respondents;SourcecitedusuallyInterviews between1700and2000IndildualsPopulationsample:allofAustriain8788888889899090919191919292%2.Q.1.Q.2.Q.3.Q.1.Q.3.Q.1.Q.2.Q.1.Q.2.Q.3.Q.4.Q.Feb.May1Promembership5148453935434846474938474444Contra1320192737343429383730363427membershipundecIded3632363428231825151433.11•2228Margininfavourofmembership34+28+26+12—2+9+14+17+9+12+8+11+10+14‘1 C C m Ca)TABLE 81 rather for2 rather against3 no answermalefemale14 to 19 years20 to 29 years30 to 44 years45 to 59 yearsover 60Businessman/FreelancerTradesman/ManufacturerSenior Civil Servant/EmployeeJunior Civil Servant/EmployeeSkilled WorkerUnskilled WorkerFarmer936106421239949341548156 28 1644 33 2353 31 1544 36 2051 36 1354 29 1847 23 348 19 3352 39 970 27 250 35 1665 21 1444 32 2483 14 65 20EDUCATIONno high school finishinghigh school finishingBaccalaureateUniversity6789902478540 32 2955 30 1451 29 1953 37 10HOUSEHOLD INCOMEto 8,000 Schillings/monthto 12,000 Schillings/monthto 22,000 Schillings/monthover 22,000 Schillings/month38 26 3645 28 2750 32 1952 32 16ATTITUDES TOWARDS EC MEMBERSHIPAll in all, are you personally for or against Austrian membership in the EC??Qti 1 2TOTAL 2000 49 31 20SEXAGEOCCUPATION19366546526515814418466182857SIZE OF CITYto pop. 2,000 433 46 35 19to pop. 50,000 909 49 30 21to pop. 1 million 250 55 24 21PROVINCEVienna 409 50 33 17Lower Austria 373 47 27 26Burgenland 73 52 35 13Styria 315 57 28 15Carinthia 143 53 24 23Upper Austria 340 43 34 23Salzburg 123 45 31 24Tyrol 147 46 38 15Vorarlberg 77 61 23 16PARTY PREFERENCESPO 735 52 29 18OVP 426 49 30 22FPO 166 60 26 15Green Alternative 89 32 63 4none! no answer 583 46 30 24SOURCE DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel+Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andjanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria58TABLE 9AAUSTRIAN ATTiTUDES TOWARDS REDEFINrnONW OF NEUTRALITYIn the view of the EC Commission as expressed in their official *Opinionw on Austria’s application tojoin the EC, if the EC were to continue integration to the point where foreign policy would be largelysubsumed within the jurisdiction of the Community, Austrian neutrality would pose a stumbling block.In view of this, the possibility of incompatibility between neutrality an EC membership must be takeninto consideration when weighing the Austrian application for membership in the EC. Which of thefollowing options best corresponds to your opinion?in %Retain neutrality in its current form, even at the price offoregoing EC membership. 57‘Reinterprets the meaning and obligations of neutrality,so that future coordination of foreign policy with otherstates might be feasible. 28 -Abandon neutrality in favour of membership in the EC 4No answer 11SOURCE: DIE SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. March 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of Austria59TABLE 9B(Only applicable to those who were in favour of wreinterpretationu above7 Which of the followingmeasures might, under a “reinterpretecV’ neutral status, be acceptable to you?in %Taking positions en masse with other EC states within the UNframework to make public grievances against other states. 76Financial support of militaiy measures embarked upon by otherECstates. 26Participation of Austrian troops in EC manoeuvres. 18Allowing EC troops to operate from Austrian temtoiy. 11* In this case, 28% of the total number of respondents.SOURCE: DIE SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. March 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of Austria60FIGURE 4EC MEMBERSHIP VERSUS NEUTRALITYAssuming Austrian accession tothe EC were only possible if Austria were to give up neutrality. ShouldAustria (in %)...Give up neutrality 14Sept 914 4 6Source: Fessel + Gfk/IFES, Das Aussenpohtischebewuatsein der Osterreicher (1990/91)Fessel + Gfk/IFES, EG-Beitntt Osterreichs (1991)Total number of respondents: Source cited usually Interviews between 1700 and 2000 IndividualsPopulation sample: all of AustriaFIGURE 5THE ATTITUDES OF AUSTRIANS TOWARDS EC MEMBERSHIP AND NEUTRALITY (IN %)Jan. 91forego EC membershipE forego neutralitydon’t knowSource: Das Osterreichische Institut f’Jr lnternationale BeziehungenPoll conducted for OlIP by Fessel + Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 and lanuary1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of AustriaNov 90/Jan 91Forego EC membethipNo answer1878May 922569100806040200Oct 88 Nov. 90-61TABLE 101 give up neutrality2 forego EC membership3 no answermalefemale14 to 19 years20 to 29 years30 to 44 years45 to 59 yearsover 60tol200093610642123994934154811 214 82 419 78 310 86 413 84 312 86 216 80 413 84 315 79 6OCCUPATIONBusinessman/FreelancerTradesman/ManufacturerSenior Civil Servant/EmployeeJunior Civil Servant/EmployeeSkilled WorkerUnskilled WorkerFarmer21 65 1419 73 916 81 316 80 417 81 210 85 410 89 1EDUCATIONno high school finishinghigh school finishingBaccalaureateUniversity6789902478512 84 413 84 323 73 418 73 9HOUSEHOLD INCOMEto 8,000 Schillings/monthto 12,000 Schillings/monthto 22000 Schillings/monthover 22,000 Schillings/monthAUSTRIAN NEUTRALITY VERSUS EC MEMBERSHIPAssuming Austrian accession to the Ec were only possible if Austria were to give up neutrality, shouldAustria...?TOTALSEXAGE1936654652651588314418466182810 85 612 81 713 84 316 81 362SIZE OF CITYto pop. 2000 433 11 86 4to pop. 50,000 909 15 81 4to pop. 1 million 250 20 78 2PROVINCEVienna 409 12 84 4Lower Austria 373 7 90 3Burgenland 73 15 81 4Styria 315 17 79 4Carinthia 143 18 78 4Upper Austria 340 12 85 3Salzburg 123 16 80 5Tyrol 147 23 71 6Vorarlberg 77 22 78 0PARTY PREFERENCESPO 735 11 87 3OVP 426 13 83 5FPO 166 30 70-Green Alternative 89 10 88 2none! no answer 583 15 79 6SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel+Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria63TABLE 11AUSTRIAN READINESS TO ASSIST EASTERN EUROPEIn many eastern European states there are numerous problems for which these states must find andimplement solutions. Should Austria...?1 Offer assistance only to neighbouring Hungary and theCzechoslovakia and Yugoslavia2 Assist all east European states3 Do nothing and leave the poblems to the countries who have them4 No answerformermalefemalel4to l9years20 to 29 years30 to 44 years45 to 59 yearsover 60total20009361064212399493415481128 51 20 130 53 17 026 49 23 231 58 10 127 52 20 123 56 20 129 51 18 130 41 27 2OCCUPATIONEDUCATIONno high school finishinghigh school finishingBaccalaureateUniversity6789902478530 40 2825 55 1928 62 1034 60 5211TOTAL (and in %)SEXAGEBusinessman/Freelancer 19 40 60 - -Tradesman/Manufacturer 36 34 47 16 2Senior Civil Servant/Employee 65 33 56 11 -Junior Civil Servant/Employee 465 20 64 15 1Skilled Worker 265 30 53 17 -Unskilled Worker 158 24 43 32 1Farmer 83 26 39 30 5Other 90864HOUSEHOLD INCOMEto 8,000 Schillings/monthto 12,000 Schillings/monthto 22,000 Schillings/monthover 22,000 Schillings/month15 43 42 024 42 29 529 50 19 129 55 15 1SIZE OF CITYto pop. 2,000to pop. 50,000to pop. 1 millionViennaLower AustriaBurgenlandStyriaCarinthiaUpper AustriaSalzburgTyrolVorarlberg433909250409373733151433401231477724 52 23 128 48 23 130 52 16 130 56 1326 46 2622 58 2025 54 2021 53 2627 48 2539 45 1029 48 2029 53 191I19162PARTY PREFERENCEsPOOVPFPOGreen Alternativenone! no answer7354261668958330 48 21 -128 51 19 231 45 24 023 69 8 024 53 21 2SOURCE DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel+Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria144184661828PROVINCE65TABLE 12AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF EC lNSULARfY VIS-A-VIS EASTERN EUROPE.The EC will encapsulate itself against eastern European countries and cooncentrate on its own integration.Which of the following best corresponds to your opinion regarding this statement?1 Rather agree2 Rather disagree3 No answermalefemalel4to l9years20 to 29 years30 to 44 yearsover 60total200093610642123994934811 222 69 919 76 524 64 1216 75 1026 71 421 70 922 62 16OCCUPATIONEDUCATIONno high school finishinghigh school finishingBaccalaureateUniversity6789902478520 65 1524 70 618 79 324 74 3HOUSEHOLD INCOMEto 8,000 Schillings/monthto 12,000 Schillings/monthto 22,000 Schillings/monthover 22,000 Schillings/month20 56 2319 66 1622 69 923 73 4TOTAL (and in %)SEXAGEBusinessman/Freelancer 19 19 81 -Tradesman/Manufacturer 36 21 66 13Senior Civil Servant/Employee 65 19 79 2junior Civil Servant/Employee 465 21 75 4Skilled Worker 265 21 74 5Unskilled Worker 158 24 63 13Farmer 83 30 57 13Other 90814418466182866SIZE OF CITYto pop. 2,000 433 23 67 10to pop. 50,000 909 20 70 10to pop. 1 million 250 21 71 7PROVINCEVienna 409 24 69 7Lower Austria 373 20 69 11Burgenland 73 22 75 3Styna 315 19 74 7Cannthia 143 17 72 11Upper Austria 340 24 68 8Salzburg 123 19 75 5Tyrol 147 25 61 14Vorarlberg 77 24 61 16PARTY PREFERENCESPO 735 20 72 8OVP 426 20 64 16FPO 166 26 68 6Green Alternative 89 26 72 2none/ no answer 583 24 70 6SOURCE DAS OSTERREICHI$CHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OiiP by Fessel+Gfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuaty 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria67TABLE 13AUSTRIAN PERCEPTIONS OF EC READINESS TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO EASTERNEUROPEThe EC will provide eastern European states with massive asistancein order to secure economicdevelopment and democracy in these countries. Which of the following best corresponds to your opinionregarding this statement?1 Rather agree2 Rather disagree3 No answerTOTAL (and in %)SEXmalefemale14 to 19 years20 to 29 years30 to 44 years45 to 59 yearsover 60200093610642123994934154811 2 171 22 778 19 466 25 1079 19 267 30 476 19 572 21 766 21 14EDUCATIONno high school finishinghigh school finishingBaccalaureateUniversity6789902478568 20 1273 22 574 24 272 26 1AGEOCCUPATIONBusinessman/Freelancer 19 68 32Tradesman/Manufacturer 36 73 15Senior Civil Servant/Employee 65 77 23Junior Civil Servant/Employee 465 72 25Skilled Worker 265 79 19Unskilled Worker 158 69 21Farmer 83 64 27Other 908 - -12329968HOUSEHOLD INCOMEto 8,000 Schillings/monthto 12,000 Schillings/monthto 22,000 Schillings/monthover 22,000 Schillings/monthSIZE OF CITYto pop. 2,000to pop. 50,000to pop. 1 millionViennaLower AustriaBurgenlandStyriaCarinthiaUpper AustriaSalzburgTyrolVorarlbergSPOOvPFPOGreen Alternativenone/ no answer40937373315143340123147777354261668958356 27 1863 22 1574 19 773 23 469 22 970 22 779 16 571 25 467 26 881 16 379 17 475 16 972 20 764 32 462 25 1371 13 1772 21 770 19 1179 17 463 36 170 24 6SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OIIP by Fessel+Gfk and IFES Institutes betweenJanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of AustriaNovember 1990 and144184661828433909250PROVINCEPARTY PREFERENCE69TABLE 14EC MEMBERSHIP AS A THREAT TO AUSTRIAN IDENTITYThrough membership in the EC Austria will lose its distinct identity and become submerged in a westEuropean ‘Einhe!tsbrer (literally, ‘unity brew’). Do you agree with this statement?Those in favour of membership in the EC 28Those opposed to membership 74Those undecided as to membership 50NOTE: Outstanding percentage values are either those who disagree with this statement, or have noanswer, breakdown not available.SOURCE: DAS OSTERREICHISCHE INSTITUT FÜR INTERNATIONALE BEZIEHUNGPoll conducted for OllP by Fessel-fGfk and IFES Institutes between November 1990 andJanuary 1991Total number of respondents: 2000Population sample: all of Austria70TABLE iSACOST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF AUSTRIAN NEUTRALITYIn your view, does Austrian neutrality entail...?in %More disadvantages than advantages 6More advantages than disadvantages 52Equal advantages and disadvantages 33No answer 9SOURCE: DIE SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. March 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of AustriaTABLE 15BConsidering that the price of retaining Austrian neutrality could be abstention from membership in the EC,in your view if Austria retains its neutrality without a TMredefinition” of the nature and obligations of thisstatus in view of the changing international climate, will Austrian neutrality in the future entail...?More disadvantages than advantages 34More advantages than disadvantages 15Equal advantages and disadvantages 31No answer 21SOURCE DIE SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTLICHE GESELLSCHAFT. September 1991Total number of respondents: Source cited usually interviews between 1700 and 2000individuals.Population sample: all of AustriaVI.I ELITE VIEWS TOWARDS NEUTRALITYIn this chapter I look at the views of the Austrian “elite” (that is, the politicalparties, government, intelligentsia and media) towards neutrality. Although the “elite” ofsociety is only a small minority, because they are considered to be “social leaders” theyare a significant force in shaping the views of the public at large, and therefore must betaken into account.Vl.ll POLITICIANSAccording to their respective “platform papers”, with the exception of the FPOevery one of Austria’s political parties would appear, at least officially, to place a highvalue on neutrality. This is supported by responses to questions posed in the OIIP poll,broken down according to political affiliation. When faced with an ultimatum betweenEC membership or neutrality (see Table 10), the figures for the SPO, OVP and GreenAlternative were strikingly similar in favour of the retention of neutrality, with the Greensthe least willing to give up neutrality. In the same poll, supporters of the FPO werealmost three times as likely to be willing to give up neutrality to join the EC70.Since its outset the FPO, whose membership generally comprises former NationalSocialists and staunch “Gesellschaft”-oriented entrepreneurs, has promoted greater unionwith western Europe, driven largely by economic considerations. In view of this, it ishardly surprising that the FPO is strongly in favour of Austrian accession to the EC, evenat the expense of neutrality. Moreover, in a recent interview party chief Jorg Haiderscoffed at the suggestion that neutrality had served to safeguard Austrian sovereigntyand in turn had become part of the Austrian identity. Instead, he warned that if theAustrian people believe such nonsense about neutrality, they will find themselves ananachronism and shut out of the Europe of tomorrow (Interview with Burkhart List andMartin Halama, Edition Zeitthema, 1 993; 30-1).The KPO71 is increasingly less a meaningful force in Austrian political life (and70Although even among FPO supporters a majority was opposed to abandoning neutrality. This may be amanifestation of a typical Austrian way of thinking; we’ve had it for so long, why change?”- it representssecurity in that it is now part of their past; furthermore, to make a decision to alter this status wouldnecessitate a drastic policy change, something which both politicians and the public are loathe toundertake.71 Kommunistische Partei österreichs- The Austrian Communist Party72was therefore not included in the OIIP poll). Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to consider itsposition on neutrality, as over the past five years the KPO has been the most active andconsequent of all Austrian political parties in promoting Austrian neutrality at theexpense of EC membership. Judging by official statements, the views of the GreenAlternative towards Austrian neutrality generally coincide with those of the KPO. Bothparties maintain that neutrality still allows Austria to play a mediatory role, albeit indifferent conflicts. Furthermore, in separate interviews (with Burkhart List and MartinHalama, Edition Zeitthema, 1993; 1 2-6, 20-1) both Peter Pilz of the Green Alternativeand Walter Baier of the KPO warned that with the integration of western Europe an ironcurtain of poverty threatens to fall across Europe. They maintained that in view of theincreasingly screaming social opposites in Europe as well as globally, neutrality, in that itis associated with humanitarian aid, a generous refugee policy and meaningful economiccooperation, not just a sharing of the leftovers driven by tactical calculations, isexemplary is bridging the widening social gap and therefore continues to be anirreplaceable element of the Austrian state.Cognizant of the inconsistency entailed by a neutral state seeking admission tothe EC, of which a well-informed elite must be aware, if certain individuals or groupsindicate a strong valuation of neutrality then rationally those same individuals or groupsshould demonstrate reluctance to accede to the EC, for fear of compromising the morecentral value of neutrality. However, while supporters of the Green Alternative weremarkedly opposed to EC membership, both the OVP72 and SPO membership were infavour of Austrian accession to the [C (see Table 8). Moreover, in a different poll, whilethe Greens indicated that they feared neutrality would be compromised through ECmembership, both SPO and OVP supporters indicated little concern that [C membershipwould entail problems for neutrality (OIIP-question 19, 1992; 295-7). Furthermore,despite strong views on Austrian neutrality, until now there has been little meaningfuldebate on the issue within Parliament. What might explain this seemingly contradictorybehaviour of the ruling parties?The OVP and SPO together formed the governing coalition in 1989 when Austriaformally applied for EC membership, as they do today. At that time, they establishedthe retention of Austrian neutrality as a precondition for Austria’s accession to thissupranational body. Still today, they “officially stand by this precondition. However,since the time of this application for membership the government has consistently72 Overall, the OVP is less in favour of EC membership because traditional supporters; farmers andconservative business interests, are split on this issue.73whittled away at the essence of neutrality, until, as accused by the Greens, they haveremoved the “meat” of neutrality and have nothing left but the “sausage casing”.In 1992 the European Secretary of State Brigitte Ederer defined the core ofneutrality (Edition Zeitthema, 1993; 24-7) as prohibiting membership in a militaryalliance and stationing of foreign troops on Austrian soil. In contrast to earlierstatements on the obligations entailed by Austrian neutrality (see page 18), thisdefinition has officially erased the economic dimension of neutrality. The motivationbehind this is clear, as obviously, neutrality in the economic sphere would be patentlyincompatible with membership in the EC. However, even this definition has beenfurther eroded.Obviously, the obligations of a neutral state preclude its participation in a militaryalliance, where the main obligation of alliance members is to stand ready to use militaryand other measures to support fellow alliance members against outside aggressors. Thisis clearly recognised by Ederer. Notwithstanding this, in November 1992 Austriaofficially applied for membership in the Western European Union (WEU), whose currentraison d’etre is to coordinate security and defense measures by those European stateswhich are party to the North Atlantic defense alliance. Ederer, in response to a directquestion whether EC membership and in turn its foreseen security union (almostcertainly an extension of the WEU) would not compromise neutrality, responded: “Thequestion can not be put so. The Maastricht Treaty does not mention a defensecommunity, but rather, in somewhat vague terms a coordinated defense policy.[Furthermore], the members of the EC are not in a position to even bring into effect thediverse criteria for economic and monetary union as quickly as planned. I’d like to seethem manage a common line on coordinated defense” (Edition Zeitthema, 1993; 26 -translation and emphasis mine).This tendency to avoid unpleasant choices, to put off uncomfortable questionsuntil later and to resort instead to ambiguity and compromise is, as discussed earlier,very much a component of the Austrian character and is a trait which rendered Austriaespecially suitable to a posture of neutrality and the “politics of neutrality”. Furthermore,because of the power-sharing which occurs at virtually all levels of governance in Austria,and because of this inbred tendency to “hedge their bets”, Austrian politicians are asunaccustomed to taking and standing by unpopular decisions as is the Austrian public tosupporting or accepting them. If Austrian political parties cannot agree on the terms for74sharing responsibility for decisions which may turn out to be less than popular with thepublic, they have demonstrated a tendency to shy away from standing by them on theirown.It is because of this general unwillingness to make unpopular choices that there isa tendency among Austrians to push aside the uncomfortable decision between ECmembership and neutrality, through denial of any fundamental contradictions and theuse of expressions such as “reinterpretation” and “adaptation” which have the intentionof diluting neutrality. Off the record, when discussing Austrian membership in the ECAustrian politicians have been heard to admit that there is no way that neutrality andmembership in the EC can be reconciled. However, officially they retreat into vaguitiesand half-truths73, insisting there will be no difficulties involved in a neutral stateacceding to the EC, that somehow a deal can be struck with Brussels. This is also whyPeter Jankowitsch, Austrian Minister of State for European Integration and DevelopmentCooperation could make the amazing assertion, in direct contravention to declarationsmade a few short years ago by Alois Mock as chancellor concerning the “sanctity” ofAustrian neutrality (Keesings Archives, 1989; 36822), that no contradictions existbetween the obligations of a neutral state and the structure, programme and goals ofthe EC (Jankowitsch, 1991; 14), and receive the endorsement of the Austriangovernment as well as a broad spectrum of Austrian society.Neither the SPO nor the OVP wishes to be the first to confront the Austrianpublic with the need to make the difficult choice between neutrality and the EC.Although the government has spent eighteen million Schillings in the past one-and-a-half years on a pre-referendum campaign to heighten public informedness of the issuesin the debate, there has been strong criticism especially from the Greens thatgovernment “information” has been unadulterated propaganda. Nowhere have theproblems and contradictions entailed by a neutral state seeking admittance to the ECbeen seriously discussed. The governing coalition officially maintains that neutrality willnot pose a problem in the admittance proceedings, but never has it been explicitlydiscussed what would actually become of Austrian neutrality within the EC74.‘ Austrians refer to this quality as SchmOh, which means a cosmeticising of the truth in accordance withwhat you believe your audience wishes to hear, or in order to project a desired image, regardless of whetherit corresponds to the truth.In response to pressure mainly from the Green Alternative, a date has been set in parliament inNovember 1993 , four years after the official application to join the EC, to debate the future role ofneutrality in the Europe of tomorrow.75This misleading behaviour is intended to detract attention from the intractableproblems entailed by neutrality and membership in the EC. It has, however, achievedthe opposite, and now all parties are beginning to recognise that neutrality will be thekey issue in the national referendum on Austria’s accession to the EC. Furthermore, ingoing to such lengths to convince the Austrian public there is no need to choosebetween neutrality and the EC, the government has indicated that Austrian neutrality isgrounded in concerns more profound than simply pragmatic interests.There can be little question that Austria’s material and geo-political securityinterests would, given the contemporary international climate, be better served fromwithin the framework of the EC. If neutrality had since 1955 been primarily valued inthat it offered Austrians the best means to address their economic and security needs,then in view of today’s transformed climate and the dramatically diminished capacity ofneutrality to speak to these needs, neutrality would be readily discarded as an instrumentbetter suited to the cold war and the economic and geo-political polarities whichcharacterised this era. However, by going to such lengths to convince both the Austrianpublic and the international community that Austrian accession to the EC does notnecessitate a renunciation of neutrality, the Austrian government has underlined justhow important neutrality is for Austrians, above and beyond pragmatic interests.Vl.lll INTELLIGENTSIATo date there exists no poll which explores the views of Austrian academiatowards neutrality and EC membership. The most useful information is provided by theOIIP poll, in which responses were broken down according to degree of education.When asked whether they were in favour of or opposed to EC membership, university-educated respondents were split, in that they were the group most opposed tomembership but were also among the two groups most in favour (see Table 8). Oneexplanation for this interesting result is that respondents to this poll falling under therubric of those with higher education were not only academics but also included manybusinessmen, among others, whose interests in the issue of [C membership wouldobviously be very different from those of university instructors. When asked whether,given the problems entailed by a neutral state within the EC, they would rather foregoEC membership or abandon neutrality, the large majority of university-educatedrespondents were in favour of foregoing EC membership to safeguard neutrality (73%;see Table 10).76Judging by these results and informal dialogues I have had with a number ofacademics at the University of Vienna and at the Austrian Institute for InternationalAffairs, the Austrian university-educated elite does not display a marked view towards ECmembership, one way or the other. With respect to neutrality, however, it displays adesire to avoid compromise and the tendency to “muddle through” which marksAustrian society, and as such often plays the role of “conscience” in public debates.Vl.lV MEDIAObviously, the media has immense scope for influencing the views of the public.However, it is worthwhile to take the views expressed by the mass media into accountonly when that media is independent. In Austria, this is not really the case. As discussedearlier, Austrian society is marked by a “Lager” mentality, in that certain unions, banks,newspapers et cetera are affiliated with and patronised by certain political parties (seepage 10), a carry-over from the First Republic. Because of this, one cannot really speakof an independent media in Austria, as for the most part the media simply reflects theviews of the political party with which it is affiliated75. Although this may besurprising, this fits into the Austrian socio-political culture, where decision-making shouldbe left to the “qualified” elite and the masses should only be provided with sufficientinformation that it can be said that the decision-making process is “open”, whilemeaningful participation in the process is precluded (“Just vote ‘yes’ in the referendum,we’ll iron out the problems”).Notwithstanding this, there have been some very open editorials which havestrongly criticised the approach of the government towards informing the public ofissues involved in accession to the EC, particularly in dealing with the controversial issueof neutrality. In Die Presse (7 july 1992) the government’s EC campaign, “We areEurope, was criticised for spending vast sums of money but, despite a proliferation ofpublic information products, avoiding any meaningful discussion by skirting arounddifficult issues such as neutrality or the impact of the EC’s decision-making structure onthe Austrian system. The author of this editorial reminded the government, “throughoutthe decades, communication studies have demonstrated that any attempt to convinceMoreover, until 1992 there was a government monopoly in radio broadcasting, and still today thegovernment controls the only Austrian television broadcasting service - Der Osterreichische Rundfunk.Moreover, the major Austrian newspapers are controlled by German interests, which colours theirpresentation of the facts.77the public can only be successful when opposing arguments and meaningfulconsideration of controversial issues are admitted. The person who should be convincedmust have the feeling that the discussion is both open and honest. To date, thegovernment-initiated public discussion has been neither”. As a result, as reported in theNeues Volksblatt (9 October 1992), the attitude of Austrians towards the EC is marked bydisinterest, fear and the feeling that they are insufficiently or inaccurately informed.An editorial in Der Standard (10 November 1992) pointed out that ECinformation products “...can not be packaged like an advertisement for laundrydetergent. Accession to the EC would entail the greatest political transformation inAustria since the 1955 State Treaty, therefore, Austrians have a right to be informed,both of the advantages and of the disadvantages. It is senseless if only a small elite isaware that integration is driven by political and economic necessities, but that it willhave a great cost.” Again in Die Presse (7 July 1992), it was written, “It is high time thatthe government begin to speak openly about neutrality. The position that neutralitywould pose no stumbling block to integration in the spheres of security and foreignpolicy, the official line of the government if one examines any of the material producedfor the EC campaign, is not only unadulterated propaganda, but wholly incorrect.”78Vll.l CONCLUSIONWhat are the consequences of neutrality having become a core value? Willneutrality be an obstacle to Austria joining the EC? In answering these questions, at leastfour factors must be taken into account: the deciding powers within the EC, theinternational community at large and in particular the former four occupying powers,the Austrian government and the Austrian people.For those in the EC who decide whether Austria’s application will be approved,will Austria’s insistence that it remain neutral prove a stumbling block to membership?The answer to this question will most probably depend upon just what is entailed byAustrian neutrality. If Austrians are prepared to “redefine” and thus dilute the economicand military-political obligations of neutrality so that the obligations entailed byneutrality no longer clash with those required through EC membership, both those ofthe present and those foreseen for the future, and therefore in no way present aroadblock to future integration and the integral functioning of the community as awhole, then there should be no pragmatic reason why Austrian neutrality would pose astumbling block to membership, absurd though it might seem to have a “neutral” statewithin the EC.Will Austria be permitted to undermine the essence of neutrality until all that isleft is a hollow shell? After all, the status of legal permanent neutrality is established anddefined under international law. This will depend upon Austria itself as well as on theinternational community. In the bipolar cold war era, Austrian neutrality served a criticalgeo-political strategic function as “no-man’s land” between two hostile powers. Anymove to alter the balance of power would with little doubt have been strongly opposedby both east and west. Mindful of this and the fact that Austrian neutrality was inessence the price demanded in 1955 by the former USSR in return for removing all holdsit had on Austrian territory, although legally not necessary before officially applying forEC membership the Austrian government sought the allowance of the Soviet, American,French and British governments. However, the end of the cold war and the dissolutionof the USSR has meant that Austria’s traditional role as buffer has evaporated. For theinternational community, Austrian neutrality today has little instrumental value. In viewof this, it is unlikely there would be any objections to Austria redefining its obligations asa neutral state, even to the point of absurdity. The fact that the issue of neutral Austria79acceding to the EC and applying for membership in the Western European Union has,for the most part, been a non-issue outside of Austria itself supports this.Judging by its actions to date, the Austrian government is not unwilling toredefine neutrality to the point where it is no longer incompatible with membership inthe EC. What about the Austrian populace in general? Without the approval of theAustrian people the government can not bring Austrian accession to the EC into reality,nor can it institute dramatic alterations in the content of Austrian neutrality76. Will thefact that neutrality has become a core value for the Austrian people pose an obstacle tojoining the EC?To answer this question, I return to my earlier study of popular attitudes towardsneutrality. Why is neutrality valued as part of the Austrian national identity, and whatrole might that play in Austria’s bid to join the EC? The valuation of neutrality insofar asit safeguards Austrian sovereignty, or independence, is perhaps the most profound endwhich neutrality serves. This value theme is manifest in the following contemporaryAustrian billboard slogan, “Neutralltät 1st Freiheit, die EG grenzt aus” (Neutrality isfreedom, the EC limitates/circumscribes). Neutrality accords Austrians the freedom toimplement their own methods and institutions of decision-making, and is therebyperceived as safeguarding domestic stability. It is also valued in that it allows them theindependence to determine their own policies on issues of import to them, be it in therealm of agriculture, the environment, refugees or other. Moreover, insofar as neutralitydisassociates Austria from any bloc of states and thereby safeguards their prerogative todirectly translate their own values into policy, it allows them to protect the distinct,Gemeinschaft tenor of their society.The special relationship between Austrians and their eastern Europeanneighbours, as well as a rejection of elitism which is to some extent a product of Austria’s‘underdog’ relationship vis-à-vis their powerful and domineering German neighbours,are increasingly important value themes in Austrian awareness which speak in favour ofremaining a neutral state outside the parameters of the EC. Although there is awidespread belief that the EC will be forthcoming with assistance for eastern Europe(what better way to provide for stability in Europe?), and that Austria could assist theireastern European neighbours with redevelopment just as well from within the EC, thereis a growing uneasiness that Austria would become the new European front line, the76 Both would entail changing the national constitution of 1955, which under Austrian law requires that anational referendum be held and the proposed change be approved by a qualified majority.80demarcation between the “haves” and the “have nots”, those who belong and those whodo not77. Increasingly, Austrians perceive economic redevelopment aid andinvestment from western Europe as the elite packing up the leftovers from the banquettable for the poor cousins, an idea which offends Austrian sensibilities. As a result of thisperception, there is a growing movement that neutrality should be redefined, not interms of bridging political opposites, but as a bridge between the “haves” and the “havenots” of Europe.In view of the foregoing value themes, neutrality could very well pose astumbling block to Austrian accession to the EC. Notwithstanding this conclusion, theopinion polls indicated a slight abatement in support for neutrality and a tendency tolean in favour of membership in the EC (see Figures 4, 5). Why is this the case? If beliefsgrounded in identity take precedence over pragmatic needs, then why does it appearthat, in the end, Austria’s pragmatic concerns may win out?I suggest this trend is not what it appears. It must not be forgotten thatneutrality is valued as a component of Austrian identity through association with needsand beliefs rooted in past experiences, with shared traditions and institutions. If forsome reason neutrality no longer retains these associations, its valuation based upon thefulfillment of these ends will be lost. How then may the trend toward a decrease inloyalty to neutrality be explained? While some of the values associated with neutralityare still well-served by neutrality, given developments in the international communityothers would now be better satisfied through membership in the EC. Increasinglyunfulfilled by neutrality is the deep thread of insecurity which runs through the Austriancharacter, and the related need to compensate for this insecurity and sense of inferioritythrough association with something, an institution or body larger than themselves,which in turn boosts Austrian prestige and influence outside their own borders. Thepolitical collateral which derived from the good offices of neutrality, as well as the abilityto wield disproportionate influence, more than satisfied these needs. However, theswing away from a bipolar climate has rendered much of the scope for good offices athing of the past, and as such, it is increasingly felt that these needs could be betterserved through membership in the EC, a powerful and wealthy bloc of states whosevoice in international affairs is perceived to carry as much weight as almost any other77 Leading EC ideologues, among them jacques Delors, have already wsuggestedff that the EC should notbecome too inclusive, or the ambitious vision of full political union will never be realised. Therefore,assistance for the east will be forthcoming, but they will not likely be welcome as new members in the nearfuture.81single state in the world. While on balance there remains at present a wide margin ofsupport for neutrality, if the EC is increasingly perceived to speak to other needs andbeliefs of import within the Austrian mythos, there may be a gradual shift in supportfrom neutrality to the EC.For some Austrians neutrality may be shifting from a core to an intermediateposition within their belief systems, in reaction to developments in the internationalenvironment. However, in view of the overwhelming loyalty to neutrality still indicatedin the polls as well as a significant level of support among Austrians for membership inthe EC, I suggest that both neutrality and EC membership may eventually cohabitatewithin Austrian belief systems, despite what might seem to be a clear case ofincompatibility. This may be attributed to the existence of the tolerance of dissonance,or the tolerance of contradiction, as a strong, central value within the Austrian psyche.Nevertheless, in closing I speculate that for the present the Austrian reluctance to takeirrevocable, momentous decisions, especially those which represent a dramatic departurefrom the past, will hold Austrians back from saying “yes” to EC membership, at least inthe upcoming referendum. Instead, they will probably adopt a “wait and see” attitude,and may reapply at a later date.82BIBLIOGRAPHYAndrén, Nils. Reflections on Reading Dr Mussi’s Paper”, in Bo Huldt, ed., Neutrals inEurope: Austria - Conference Papers #7. Stockholm : The Swedish Institute ofInternational Affairs, 1987.Bassett, Richard and John Lehmann. Vienna: A Traveler’s Companion. London: Constableand Co. Ltd., 1988.Berger, Maria and Klaus Pendl. Das Buch: Europa von A - Z. 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