Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (Austria)

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Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism
Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus
Regierungsgebäude Vienna June 2006 006.jpg
Ministry overview
HeadquartersStubenring 1
48°12′35″N 16°22′59″E / 48.20972°N 16.38306°E / 48.20972; 16.38306
Minister responsible

In Austrian politics, the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (German: Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus or BMNT, although often called Nachhaltigkeitsministerium [1][2]) is the ministry in charge of agricultural policy, forestry, hunting, fishing, viticulture and wine law, environmental protection, energy, mining, animal welfare, and the tourism industry.[3] The Ministry was first created in 2000 through a merger of the Ministry of Agriculture (Landwirtschaftsministerium) and the Ministry of Environment (Umweltministerium); it gained responsibility for the energy sector, mining, and tourism under the Kurz cabinet in 2018.

The current Minister of Sustainability and Tourism is Elisabeth Köstinger.[4][5][6][7][8]


The Ministry's earliest precursor was the Cisleithanian Ministry of Agriculture (Ackerbauministerium), created in 1867. In additional to agriculture, the Ministry was responsible for regulating hunting, fishing, and hydraulic engineering, excluding hydraulic engineering of military importance.[9][10] The organization was renamed to Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Ministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft) in 1918 and was briefly called a department (Staatsamt) rather than a ministry during the two periods of constitutional transition following the two World Wars. Except for the name, however, the Ministry survived mostly in its original form until 2000.

In 1972, Austria established the Ministry of Health and the Environment (Ministerium für Gesundheit und Umweltschutz, usually called Gesundheitsministerium or Umweltministerium for short). In 1987, family affairs were added to its portfolio, turning it into the Ministry of Environment, Youth and Family Affairs (Ministerium für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie) [9][11]

In 2000, the two ministries were combined to form the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Ministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, although often called Lebensministerium).[11] Responsibility for family affairs was moved to the Ministry of Social Affairs (Sozialministerium) at the time.

When the Kurz cabinet took office in December 2017, the ministry was put in charge of the energy sector, mining, and tourism in addition to its existing powers and duties; it also gained its current designation.[10][11][12] The additional responsibilities created an institution with exceptionally broad authority; the new ministry has been described as a "super ministry" (Superministerium) [13] and a "behemoth" (Riese); the cabinet had difficulties finding a new name that would adequately reflect its extensive purview, the present minister has noted.[13] The move was not completely uncontroversial.[14]


As of January 2018, the Ministry is charged with regulating, supervising, or managing, respectively:[15]

  • agricultural policy and law;
  • the food sector with the exception of food safety;
  • forestry policy and law;
  • domestic markets for agricultural, food and forestry products, including seeds and seed stock, animal food, fertilizer, plant protection products, including their regulatory approval, with the exception of price regulation, surveillance, and control;
  • imports and exports;
  • wine law and viticultural supervision;
  • land reform; agricultural authorities; agricultural and forestry real estate transactions;
  • measures aimed at reducing the agriculture and forestry sector's exposure to debt;
  • water law and water management with the exception of the engineering aspects of waterway, water supply, and sewerage construction;
  • plant protection;
  • agricultural and forestry schools, including human resources management, to the extent not handles by the Chancellery;
  • agricultural and forestry commodity exchanges;
  • professional representation of agricultural and forestry entrepreneurs and freelancers;
  • management of public real estate used for agriculture and forestry;
  • hunting and fishing;
  • protecting Austria's border waters and safeguarding Austria's water rights and water management interests; engineering aspects of water construction in border waters, with the exception of the Danube, the March, and the Thaya downstream from Bernhardsthal;
  • climate and environmental protection;
  • waste management and rehabilitation of contaminated sites;
  • species conservation;
  • protection of natural caves;
  • protection from ionizing radiation;
  • traffic and commerce in poisonous substances;
  • the energy sector, excepting matters within the purview of the Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs;
  • mining;
  • tourism.


As of May 2018, the ministry consists of the Minister and her personal staff (Kabinett), the office of the general secretary, a special coordination department, and six numbered regular departments (Sektionen):[16]

  1. Environmental and climate protection (Umwelt und Klimaschutz)
  2. Agriculture and rural development (Landwirtschaft und ländliche Entwicklung)
  3. Forestry (Forstwirtschaft)
  4. Water management and hydraulic engineering (Wasserwirtschaft)
  5. Waste management, chemicals policy, and environmental technology (Abfallwirtschaft, Chemiepolitik und Umwelttechnologie)
  6. Energy and mining (Energie und Bergbau)

The Minister and her staff are political appointees; the general secretary and the section heads are career civil servants.


First Republic[edit]

State Secretariat of Agriculture
Staatsamt für Landwirtschaft
Cabinet:Secretary:Party:Date appointed:
Renner IJosef Stöckler CSOctober 30, 1918
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft
Cabinet:Minister:Party:Date appointed:
Renner IIJosef Stöckler CSMarch 15, 1919
Renner IIIOctober 17, 1919
Karl Renner (interim)SPÖJune 24, 1920
Mayr IAlois Haueis CSJuly 7, 1920
Mayr IINovember 20, 1920
Schober ILeopold Hennet noneJune 21, 1921
BreiskyJanuary 26, 1922
Schober IIJanuary 27, 1922
Seipel IRudolf Buchinger CSMay 31, 1922
Seipel IIApril 17, 1923
Seipel IIINovember 20, 1923
Ramek INovember 20, 1924
Ramek IIAndreas Thaler CSJanuary 15, 1926
Seipel IVOctober 20, 1926
Seipel VMay 19, 1927
StreeruwitzFlorian Födermayr CSMay 4, 1929
Schober IIISeptember 26, 1929
VaugoinAndreas Thaler CSSeptember 30, 1930
EnderDecember 4, 1930
Engelbert Dollfuß (interim)CSMarch 18, 1931
Buresch IJune 20, 1931
Buresch IIJanuary 29, 1932
Dollfuß IMay 20, 1932
Dollfuß IISeptember 21, 1932
Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg VFJuly 26, 1934
Schuschnigg IJosef Reither VFJuly 29, 1934
Ludwig Strobl VFOctober 17, 1935
Schuschnigg IIKurt Schuschnigg (interim)VFMay 14, 1936
Peter Mandorfer VFMay 15, 1936
Schuschnigg IIINovember 3, 1936
Schuschnigg IVFebruary 16, 1938
Seyß-InquartAnton Reinthaller NSDAPMarch 11, 1938

Second Republic[edit]

State Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry
Staatsamt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft
Cabinet:Secretary:Party:Date appointed:
RennerRudolf Buchinger ÖVPApril 27, 1945
Josef Kraus ÖVPSeptember 26, 1945
Ministry of Agriculture
Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft
Cabinet:Minister:Party:Date appointed:
Figl IJosef Kraus ÖVPDecember 20, 1945
Figl IINovember 8, 1949
Franz Thoma ÖVPJanuary 23, 1952
Figl IIIOctober 28, 1952
Raab IApril 2, 1953
Raab IIJune 29, 1956
Raab IIIEduard Hartmann ÖVPJuly 16, 1959
Raab IVNovember 3, 1960
Gorbach IApril 11, 1961
Gorbach IIMarch 27, 1963
Klaus IKarl Schleinzer ÖVPApril 2, 1964
Klaus IIApril 19, 1966
Kreisky IJohann Öllinger noneApril 21, 1970
Oskar Weihs SPÖMay 22, 1970
Kreisky IINovember 4, 1971
Kreisky IIIOctober 28, 1975
Josef Staribacher (interim)SPÖOctober 1, 1976
Günter Haiden SPÖOctober 1, 1976
Kreisky IVJune 5, 1979
SinowatzMay 24, 1983
Vranitzky IErich Schmidt SPÖJune 16, 1986
Vranitzky IIJosef Riegler ÖVPJanuary 21, 1987
Franz Fischler ÖVPApril 24, 1989
Vranitzky IIIDecember 17, 1990
Jürgen Weiss (interim)ÖVPNovember 17, 1994
Vranitzky IVWilhelm Molterer ÖVPNovember 29, 1994
Vranitzky VMarch 12, 1996
KlimaJanuary 28, 1997
Schüssel IFebruary 4, 2000
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft
Cabinet:Minister:Party:Date appointed:
Schüssel IWilhelm Molterer ÖVPApril 1, 2000
Schüssel IIJosef Pröll ÖVPFebruary 28, 2003
GusenbauerJanuary 11, 2007
Faymann INikolaus Berlakovich ÖVPDecember 2, 2008
Faymann IIAndrä Rupprechter ÖVPDecember 16, 2013
KernMay 17, 2016
KurzElisabeth Köstinger ÖVPDecember 18, 2017
Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism
Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus
Cabinet:Minister:Party:Date appointed:
KurzElisabeth Köstinger ÖVPJanuary 8, 2017


  1. ^ "Der Standard archive search". May 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  2. ^ "Die Presse archive search". May 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  3. ^ "Bundesministeriengesetz-Novelle 2017". BGBl. I No. 164/2017 of December 28, 2017 (in German). Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  4. ^ "Türkis-Blau: Das sind die neuen Minister". Kurier. December 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  5. ^ "16-köpfiges ÖVP-FPÖ-Team vereidigt". ORF. December 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  6. ^ "Curriculum Vitae of the Federal Minister Norbert Hofer". BMVIT. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  7. ^ "Die Minsterin" (in German). BMNT. March 19, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  8. ^ "Köstinger gibt Landwirtschaftsministerium neue Organisationsstruktur" (in German). Die Presse. January 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  9. ^ a b "Geschichte des Ministeriums" (in German). BMNT. January 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  10. ^ a b "150 Jahre Landwirtschaftsminiterium" (in German). BMNT. April 4, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  11. ^ a b c "History of the Ministry". BMNT. January 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  12. ^ "Acht Minister neu angelobt" (in German). Die Presse. January 8, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  13. ^ a b "Warum Landwirtschaft im Superministerium von Köstinger keinen Platz hat" (in German). Die Presse. January 19, 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  14. ^ "Kurz' Minister: Wie sie wurden, was sie nun sind" (in German). Die Presse. December 16, 2017. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  15. ^ "Bundesministeriengesetz 1986 in der Fassung vom 28. Dezember 2017" (in German). BKA. December 28, 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  16. ^ "Aufgaben und Struktur dem BMNT" (in German). BMNT. Retrieved 2018-05-06.

External links[edit]