|Chancellor of Austria|
|Assumed office |
6 December 2021
|President||Alexander Van der Bellen|
|Preceded by||Alexander Schallenberg|
|Chair of the People's Party|
|Assumed office |
14 May 2022
Acting: 3 December 2021 – 14 May 2022
|Preceded by||Sebastian Kurz|
|Minister of the Interior|
7 January 2020 – 6 December 2021
|Preceded by||Wolfgang Peschorn|
|Succeeded by||Gerhard Karner|
|Secretary-General of the People's Party|
20 January 2018 – 3 January 2020
|Preceded by||Stefan Steiner|
|Succeeded by||Axel Melchior|
|Member of the National Council|
9 November 2017 – 7 January 2020
|Succeeded by||Rudolf Taschner|
|Constituency||9 – Vienna|
|Born||18 October 1972|
|Political party||People's Party|
|Alma mater||University for Continuing Education Krems|
Karl Nehammer (German: [kaɐ̯l ˈneːhamɐ]; born 18 October 1972) is an Austrian politician who is the 32nd and current chancellor of Austria since 6 December 2021. A member of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), he previously was Minister of the Interior from 2020 to 2021, general secretary of the ÖVP from 2018 to 2020, as well as a member of the National Council from 2017 to 2020. Nehammer assumed the chancellorship as the successor of Alexander Schallenberg, who resigned to return as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Early life and education
Nehammer grew up in Vienna, where he attended Kalksburg Grammar School and subsequently Amerlingstrasse Grammar School, graduating in 1992. He completed his military service as a one-year volunteer with further service until 1996. In 1997 he was discharged as a lieutenant. He then worked as an instructional trainer for information officers for the Federal Ministry of Defence and as a trainer for strategic communication for various institutions, such as the Vocational Promotion Institute (BFI) and the Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party.
Nehammer became active within the ÖVP party organisation after leaving the military, initially working with the party academy. He was then head of the service and mobilisation department at the party headquarters from 2007 to 2008 and the training and networking department from 2008 to 2009. He then became director of the party academy's Lower Austria association and was considered close to then-deputy governor Wolfgang Sobotka.
In October 2015, Nehammer was appointed deputy general-secretary and federal organizational speaker of the Austrian Workers' Union (ÖAAB), the trade union association of the ÖVP. During the 2016 Austrian presidential election, he was appointed replacement manager for the ÖVP's Andreas Khol partway through the campaign, but was unable to save him from a historically poor result of 11%.
He succeeded August Wöginger as general-secretary of the ÖAAB in 2016 and held this position until January 2018. In November 2016, he was also elected regional chairman of the ÖAAB Vienna. Since April 2017, he has been district party chairman of the ÖVP in Vienna-Hietzing.
In the 2017 federal election, Nehammer was elected as a representative for Vienna. During the subsequent government formation, he was a member of the ÖVP negotiating team in the area of defence. He was elected as deputy chairman of the ÖVP parliamentary faction on 8 November and was appointed media spokesman. On 25 January 2018, he succeeded Elisabeth Köstinger and Stefan Steiner as general-secretary of the ÖVP. In September 2018, he also succeeded Efgani Dönmez as spokesman for integration and migration.
Nehammer ran in the 2019 federal election in fifth place in the ÖVP Vienna state list, and eleventh place on the ÖVP federal list. He was also one of the ÖVP's five assessors at the electoral authority during the election. In the course of the subsequent government formation, he negotiated in the areas of Europe, migration, integration, and security.
Minister of the Interior
Nehammer was appointed minister of the interior in the second Kurz government, and was sworn in on 7 January. Under his leadership, the Austrian government filed charges in mid-2020 against a person who had confessed to spying for Turkey's secret service. He was one of three public crisis managers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with responsibility for the enforcement of lockdowns and restrictions. He is considered a strong supporter of Sebastian Kurz's refugee policy.
Nehammer led the government response following the 2020 Vienna attack. He described the attacker as an "Islamist terrorist" and a sympathiser of the Islamic State, and admitted that intelligence services under his jurisdiction had failed to communicate information that could have prevented the attack. Nehammer's wife and children received police protection as a result of death threats received after the attack.
Chancellor of Austria
In October 2021, Sebastian Kurz resigned as chancellor in the wake of a corruption investigation and was succeeded by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. Kurz remained as leader of the ÖVP until 2 December, when he announced his retirement from politics. Soon afterwards, Schallenberg announced he would not seek the leadership and would resign as chancellor in favour of the new ÖVP leader once one had been elected. On 3 December, Nehammer was provisionally appointed as leader of the ÖVP by the federal party committee and proposed as chancellor. He was sworn in by President Alexander Van der Bellen on 6 December. In an extraordinary party convention on 14 May 2022, Nehammer was elected ÖVP chairman by 100% of the votes.
Under Nehammer's leadership, Austria's government implemented a package of measures worth six billion euros ($6.3 billion) in 2022 aimed at cushioning the blow to households of the rising cost of living. On 8 December 2022, he was the architect of blocking Romania and Bulgaria's access to the Schengen area. In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt in September 2023, Nehammer called for the termination of full membership negotiations between the EU and Turkey and the development of a new concept within the relations between the EU and Turkey.
- National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2020)
On February 22, 2022, Greek minister of migration & asylum Notis Mitarachi awarded Karl Nehammer the Commendation Medal of First Class Migration Assistance in recognition of Nehammer's and the Austrian government's contribution in managing the crisis in Evros in March 2020.
Nehammer is married to fellow ÖVP member Katharina Nehammer. They have two children. The couple received criticism in early 2020 after Katharina was appointed spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence, with Herbert Kickl accusing the government of putting interior and defence policy "in the hands of one family". She began working in the private sector in public relations in July 2020. Nehammer's father-in-law is former ORF presenter Peter Nidetzky.
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- Board of Trustees National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.
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