State Treaty: Foreign Minister L. Figl presenting the signed Treaty from the balcony of the Belvedere in Vienna.
State Treaty, Austrian, governing the re-establishment of an independent and democratic Austria, concluded between the allied powers USSR, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA and France on the one hand and Austria on the other, signed by the foreign ministers of the signatory states, V. M. Molotov, J. F. Dulles, H. Macmillan and A. Pinay and the Austrian Foreign Minister L. Figl in the Belvedere in Vienna on May 15, 1955. The Austrian State Treaty, which was concluded in the 354th session of the delegations of the allied powers, became effective on July 27, 1955, twelve years after the Moscow Declaration of October 30, 1943, in which Great Britain, the USSR and the USA sought to liberate Austria from German rule, since Austria was considered the first victim of Hitler´s policy of aggression.
Closely linked with the State Treaty is the Federal Constitutional Law governing Austrian Neutrality, designed after the Swiss model, which was enacted by the Austrian Parliament on October 26, 1955, when the occupying forces had withdrawn from Austria. When the Soviet Union had stopped insisting on linking the German question with Austria, all points at issue between the Soviet Union and Austria were settled in the Moscow Memorandum of April 15, 1955, allowing the Treaty to be concluded.
The State Treaty consists of a preamble and nine parts: 1) political and territorial provisions, 2) military and aviation provisions, 3) withdrawal of the allied armed forces, 4) claims resulting from the war, 5) property, rights and interests, 6) general economic relations, 7) settlement of disputes, 8) various economic provisions, 9) final clause.
The most important political provisions refer to the re-establishment of Austria as a free and independent state, the preservation of Austria´s independence and its territorial integrity by the allies and the recognition of Austria´s independence by Germany. Furthermore the political provisions comprise the prohibition of political or economic union of Austria and Germany (prohibition of annexation), the recognition of Human Rights and the rights of Slovene and Croat minorities. Along with the commitment to the protection of democratic institutions, the Treaty enjoins Austria to dissolve Nazi and Fascist organisations and prevent the resurgence of National Socialist agitation.
Literature: H. Portisch and S. Riff, Österreich II, vol. 2: Der lange Weg zur Freiheit, 1986; G. Stourzh, Um Einheit und Freiheit. Staatsvertrag, Neutralität und das Ende der O-W-Besetzung Österreichs 1945-1955, 41998.
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