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) asDivision II for Arts and Culture. Until the elections in September 2019, the Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs was responsible for the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery.
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 ten departments of the Arts and Culture Division are:
- Dep. II/1 Medals and awards, event management, special projects, digitisation
- Dep. II/2 Music and performing arts, art schools, general art matters
- Dep. II/3 Film
- Dep. II/4 Monument protection, heritage, provenance and art restitution
- Dep. II/5 Literature and publishing, Libraries
- Dep. II/6 Visual arts, architecture, design, fashion, photography, video and media arts
- Dep. II/7 Cultural initiatives, folks culture
- Dep. II/8 Investment in management of federal theatres, legal matters
- Dep. II/9 Investment in management of federal museums and other entities
- Dep. II/10 European and international cultural policy
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)
- KulturKontakt Austria
- Artothek (art collection which manages the works of art acquired by the Federal authorities)
- Österreichische Fotogalerie (together with the Rupertinum, Salzburg)
The Minister for EU Policy, Arts and Culture and Media in the Federal Chancellery is furthermore in charge of:
- media policy and matters concerning the new media
- the information society
- matters relating to ethnic groups
- coordination of regional policies (federal level / Bundesländer)
- Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria)
- European Union affairs
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 civilisations
- 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 II/10 European and international cultural policy of the BKA. 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 Austrian Foreign Policy Yearbook, published by the BMEIA. The tasks and objectives for the period 2015-2018 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 for Sustainability and Tourism (Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus BMNT).
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.