Austrian People's Party

Austrian People's Party

Österreichische Volkspartei
ChairmanSebastian Kurz
Secretary-GeneralKarl Nehammer [de]
Parliamentary leaderAugust Wöginger [de]
Managing directorAxel Melchior [de]
Founded17 April 1945; 74 years ago (1945-04-17)
Preceded byNone (de jure)
Christian Social Party
(de facto, partly)
Fatherland Front (de facto, partly)
HeadquartersLichtenfelsgasse 7 A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Youth wingYoung People's Party
IdeologyChristian democracy[1][2][3]
Liberal conservatism[6]
Political positionCentre-right[7][8][9][10] to right-wing[11][12][13]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colours     Cyan      Black
National Council
71 / 183
Federal Council
22 / 61
6 / 9
State cabinets
7 / 9
State diets
136 / 440

The Austrian People's Party (German: Österreichische Volkspartei; ÖVP) is a conservative[4][5] and Christian-democratic[1][2][3] political party in Austria. A successor to the Christian Social Party of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was founded immediately following the reestablishment of the Republic of Austria in 1945 and since then has been one of the two largest Austrian political parties with the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ). In federal governance, the ÖVP has spent most of the postwar era in a grand coalition with the SPÖ. However, the ÖVP won the 2017 election, having the greatest number of seats and formed a coalition with the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Its chairman Sebastian Kurz was the youngest Chancellor in Austrian history.[14]


The ÖVP is conservative. For most of its existence, it has explicitly defined itself as Catholic and anti-socialist, with the ideals of subsidiarity, as defined by the encyclical Quadragesimo anno, and decentralization.

For the first election after World War II, the ÖVP presented itself as the Austrian Party (German: die österreichische Partei), was anti-Marxist and regarded itself as the Party of the Center (German: Partei der Mitte). The ÖVP consistently held power—either alone or in so-called Black-Red coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ)—until 1970, when the SPÖ formed a minority government with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). The ÖVP's economic policies during the era generally upheld a social market economy.

The party's campaign for the 2017 general election under the young chairman Sebastian Kurz was dominated by a rightward shift in policy, which included a promised crackdown on illegal immigration and a fight against 'political Islam',[15] making it more similar to the program of the FPÖ, the party that Kurz chose as his coalition partner after the ÖVP won the election.