Werner Kogler
Vice Chancellor of Austria
Assumed office
7 January 2020
ChancellorSebastian Kurz
Preceded byClemens Jabloner
Minister for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
Assumed office
7 January 2020
ChancellorSebastian Kurz
Preceded byEduard Müller
Spokesman of the Green Party
Assumed office
17 October 2017
Preceded byIngrid Felipe
Member of the National Council
In office
23 October 2019 – 7 January 2020
In office
29 October 1999 – 8 November 2017
Personal details
Born (1961-11-20) 20 November 1961 (age 59)
Hartberg, Styria, Austria
Political partyThe Greens
Alma materKarl Franzens University Graz

Werner Kogler (born 20 November 1961) is an Austrian politician of the Green Party who has been serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Austria and the minister for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport in the government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz since 7 January 2020.

Kogler has also been serving as the federal spokesman of the Green Party since October 2017. He was a member of the National Council of Austria from 1999 to 2020.

Early life and career

Kogler was born in the small east Styrian town of Hartberg. He took his university entrance exams in 1980 and subsequently studied economics and law at the University of Graz. He graduated with his degree in economics in 1994.

Political career

Early beginnings

Kogler formed the Alternative List Graz and, in 1982, he was one of the founders of the Alternative List Austria, which merged with the United Greens of Austria to become the current Green Party.[1][2] In 1985, he was elected to the municipal council of Graz.

Member of the National Council

In 1999, Kogler won election to the National Council. He served the Greens in various positions, including as a member of the federal executive board, and as a representative for the Styrian Greens in 2010. In 2010, Kogler, who was the Greens spokesman on budget issues, delivered a 12-hour, 42-minute speech in opposition to the government's proposed budget, a record breaking filibuster.[3] He spoke against proposed transatlantic trade agreements and, after the government takeover of Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, traveled the country referring to the affair as Hypo-Krimi, the "Hypo whodunnit".[1][4]

In 2017, the Greens failed to capture the minimum 4.0% of the vote to be seated in the Austrian parliament.[5] Kogler, having lost his seat, took over as the interim party leader from Ingrid Felipe, which was made permanent in 2018.[6] Following the Ibiza affair, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, terminated his coalition agreement, which led to a vote of no-confidence and a new election in 2019.[5]

During the 2019 election campaign, Kogler expressed a willingness to go into a coalition with the Austrian People's Party, which was expected to win the election. The Greens' campaign pushed for an end to government subsidies of fossil fuel and larger investments into environmental initiatives, including public transport and renewable energy.[7]

In 2019, the Greens re-entered the Austrian parliament, achieving their largest vote total in the party’s history with 14% of the vote. From 2019 to 2020, Kogler led coalition negotiations with the Austrian People’s Party and with former chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The parties agreed to a legislative program going forward that included the Greens' desire to make Austria carbon neutral by 2030, an overall increase in the air passenger tax and a €3 day ticket for public transport. The program included additional restriction on migrants, an extension of the ban on Islamic headscarves in school and lower personal and corporate tax rates.[8] On 7 January 2020, he became the new vice chancellor of Austria.[9][10][11]

Other activities

References

  1. ^ a b "Werner Kogler: Spitzenkandidat der Grünen im Porträt". Vienna.at (in German). 2019-08-29.
  2. ^ "Das ist Österreichs neuer Vizekanzler". Tagesschau (in German). 2020-01-02.
  3. ^ "Fast 13 Stunden: Grüner Kogler hält Rekord-Rede". Die Presse (in German). 2010-12-17.
  4. ^ "10.000 Menschen lauschten Koglers "Hypo-Krimi"". Kurier (in German). 2015-05-25.
  5. ^ a b "Austria Kurz: Why young favourite could turn to Greens". BBC. 2019-09-28.
  6. ^ "Wer ist Werner Kogler". News.at (in German). 2020-01-02.
  7. ^ "Austria's Greens want Kurz to show willing, and fast, on coalition". Reuters. 2019-09-25.
  8. ^ "Austria backs green agenda with new coalition deal". BBC. 2020-01-20.
  9. ^ Nachrichten, Oberösterreichische. "Doppelspitze übergibt die Grünen an Werner Kogler".
  10. ^ "Die Grünen - Die Grünen" (in German). Gruene.at. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  11. ^ "Austria's conservative People's Party forms coalition with the Greens". Euronews. Lyon. 1 January 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  12. ^ Board of Trustees National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.