Culture, and above all traditional, representative culture, shapes Austria’s image in the world. Culture and art overcome borders, open doors and connect people of the most diverse origins, religions and world views. International cultural policy is therefore an essential and invaluable instrument of Austrian foreign policy.

With the aim of promoting Austria as a forward-looking country, Austrian international cultural policy prioritises the communication of contemporary aspects of cultural and scientific creation. Austria is presented as an innovative-creative country whose achievements in art, culture and science build on traditions and also create innovations today.

Cultural work abroad requires clear priorities. These are set within a planning period of several years, both geographically and in terms of content, and are controlled by allocating annual cultural budgets of varying amounts to the representation authorities. The geographical priorities of Austria’s foreign policy – Neighbourhood Policy, Western Balkans and South Eastern Europe – are reflected synergistically in the cultural relations work abroad.

Foreign cultural policy is implemented by the Austrian International cultural policy network, which currently consists of 31 Austrian Cultural Forums, embassies and consulates general, 65 Austria Libraries, ten Austria Institutes, two Science and Technology Offices, one Cooperation Office and 110 Austrian lecturers at universities abroad.