State visit to Austria

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to the Republic of Austria from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 June at the invitation of President Alexander Van der Bellen. Their Majesties will be accompanied on the visit by Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra.

As partner countries, Austria and the Netherlands maintain excellent political, economic and cultural relations, both bilaterally and within the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN). The state visit will reaffirm the strong ties between the two countries and give the relationship renewed impetus. The visit will focus on sustainable mobility, a united society and cultural exchange.

The state visit will begin on Monday 27 June in the capital, Vienna, with a welcome ceremony at the Hofburg. In the afternoon, a wreath will be laid at the Shoah Wall of Names Memorial in Ostarrichi Park in memory of the victims of the Second World War. The royal couple will then be shown round the monument, which commemorates victims of the Holocaust. After this, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a visit to the mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, and to the Deputy President of the Austrian Parliament, Doris Bures. In the evening, Their Majesties will be the guests of President Van der Bellen at a state banquet at the Belvedere, at which both heads of state will give a speech. Early next year, in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Belvedere will present the exhibition ‘Klimt: Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin,  Matisse’.

Accompanied by President Van der Bellen and his wife, Their Majesties will start the second day of their state visit at the Brotfabrik cultural centre, a former bread factory which hosts a range of projects aimed at promoting social integration. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will talk to volunteers about cultural exchange and also converse with Ukrainian refugees about their stay in Austria. Afterwards, Their Majesties will visit the Sonnwendviertel, a residential district with a focus on future-proof building and maximising liveability at local level. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will then return by tram to the centre of Vienna, where they will take a short walk through the city and learn about various aspects of Viennese and Austrian culture, and the historic ties between Austria and the Netherlands. They will visit the National Library and a traditional coffee house. Afterwards, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer will host a lunch at the Natural History Museum. Later in the day, a reception will be held for members of the Dutch community in Austria. In the evening, the King and Queen will host a concert in the Konzerthaus by the Netherlands Chamber Choir, to thank the president for his hospitality during the state visit. The choir will perform the world première of ‘Van Gogh in Me’, during which works of art by Vincent van Gogh and Gustav Klimt will be evoked through the music of their contemporaries.

On Wednesday 29 June Their Majesties will travel by train to Austria’s second city, Graz, together with President Van der Bellen and his wife, for the final day of the state visit. During the journey they will have talks with the minister for climate action, Leonore Gewessler. In the morning Their Majesties will pay a visit to automotive company AVL. During a guided tour and meetings with employees and partner companies they will hear about sustainable motorised transport, innovations in e-mobility, autonomous driving, hydrogen applications and battery technology. Afterwards, Their Majesties will pay a visit to the mayor of Graz, Elke Kahr. This will be followed by lunch hosted by the governor of the federal state of Styria, Hermann Schützenhöfer, with a focus on women in STEM. The afternoon programme will conclude on the theme of cycling policy. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will attend a presentation about the ‘Radoffensive Graz’, a plan for cycling infrastructure in and around the city, that is based on Dutch expertise.

Government Information Service, no. 159