The basis for the administrative structure in the field of culture is the Federal Ministry Act. Since 2014, after alternating ministerial responsibilities in recent decades, arts, culture and cultural heritage were integrated into the Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt BKA). Since the transformation into a State Secretariat end of 2019, the art and culture agendas are the responsibility of Division IV ‘Arts and Culture’ of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport (BMKOES).
The tasks of the Arts and Culture Division are the promotion of contemporary art in Austria and to foster the presence of Austrian artists abroad, the creation of adequate and suitable conditions for artistic and cultural production as well as participation in art and culture and its broad benefit for a majority of people. Further issues are monument protection and cultural heritage as well as EU culture policy and international cultural affairs. The departments of the Arts and Culture Division are:
- Dep. IV/10 European and international cultural policy
- Cluster IV/A Policy for Art, Culture and Funding
- Dep. IV/A/1 Medals and awards, event management, special projects, digitisation
- Dep. IV/A/2 Music and performing arts
- Dep. IV/A/3 Film
- Dep. IV/A/4 Monument protection, heritage, provenance and art restitution
- Dep. IV/A/5 Literature and publishing, Libraries
- Cluster IV/B Investment Management
- Dep. IV/B/6 Visual arts, architecture, design, fashion, photography, video and media arts
- Dep. IV/B/7 Cultural initiatives, folk culture
- Dep. IV/B/8 Investment Management of Federal Theatres
- Dep. IV/B/9 Investment Management Federal Museums and other legal entities
Institutions under the responsibility of the Arts and Culture Division are:
- Austrian Federal Theatres Holding
- Austrian Federal Museums
- Austrian National Library (ÖNB)
- Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI)
- Artothek (art collection which manages the works of art acquired by the Federal authorities)
- Österreichische Fotogalerie (together with the Rupertinum, Salzburg)
Key tasks of Austrian international cultural policy are the responsibility of the Directorate-General for Cultural Policy of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres, BMEIA). The Cultural Policy Department (Section V) is devided into four divisions:
- V.1 – Policy and legal issues, cultural agreements, cultural budget and evaluation
- V.2 – Organisation of cultural and scientific events abroad
- V.3 – Scientific cooperation and dialogue of cultures and religions
- V.4 – Multilateral cultural policy affairs and sports related matters
Austria’s representation in EU and international cultural bodies takes place in close consultation between the BMEIA and Department IV/10 European and international cultural policy of the Division IV ‘Arts and Culture’ of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport (BMKOES). The BMEIA is involved in the framework of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) through its cultural forums and agencies. Austria is an active member of UNESCO.
International cultural policies and cooperation activities are described in the annual Yearbook of Austrian Culture Abroad, published by the BMEIA. The tasks and objectives of the current foreign cultural policy are formulated in the International Cultural Policy Concept.
Other ministries dealing with culture are:
The Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung BMBWF); together with the BMEIA it shares responsibility for:
- centres for Austrian studies and chairs (professorships)
- science and education attachés
- the OeAD (Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research)
The BMBWF is furthermore responsible for the Oskar Kokoschka state prize, which is awarded every two years to a visual artist in recognition of his/her work.
(Cultural) tourism issues are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism (Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft, Regionen und Tourismus, BMLRT).
The Creative Industries (e.g. architecture, design, TV, advertising etc. as well as the “Evolve” initiative (a supporting programme for the Creative Industries), and bilateral agreements on film are maintained by the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort, BMDW).
The Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium für Inneres, BMI) is in charge of matters of immigration, asylum, visas, residence permits, work permits for artists and for data security. The Ministry is also responsible for the commemoration of the Holocaust and supports the Austrian Holocaust Memorial, a society organising “remembrance-service” and alternative civilian and social services as well as the Mauthausen Memorial.