History of Austrian Parliamentarianism

The history of Austrian parliamentarianism is strongly connected to the eventful history of Austria. While the MEPs' main task during the multi-ethnical Habsburg Monarchy was to represent Austria's different various ethnic groups, parliament faced all new challenges in the time of the First Republic. It was only in the time of the Second Republic that stable parliamentarianism made its way. 

Parliament in the Time of the Habsburg Monarchy

The history of the people's representation in Austria began with the civic revolution in 1848. Still, it was a long way to universal male suffrage and until the Emperor was willing to share political power with the people. 

Parliament in the Time of the First Republic

While after the fall of the Monarchy parties succeeded to establish a stable political basis, ideological conflicts complicated the work of the Parliament in the course of time. The First Republic ended abruptly with the elimination of the Parliament by the government of Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß in 1933. 

Parliament in the Time of the Second Republic

During the reconstruction of the Austrian Republic in 1945, the three anti-fascist parties SPÖ, ÖVP and KPÖ re-established the constitutional basis of the First Republic. Since then, parliamentary democracy was adapted constantly to changes in society and politics. In the 1980s, new parties arose and expanded the political spectrum represented in the Parliament. In 1995, Austria became a member of the European Union.