Responsibilities and Functions
© BKA/Andreas Wenzel
On 17th May 2016 Christian Kern was sworn in by Federal President Heinz Fischer as Federal Chancellor of Austria.
The Austrian Federal Chancellor is the head of government. However, he does not have the authority to direct the other members of the Cabinet.
The Chancellor and the other members of the Austrian Cabinet chosen upon his advice are appointed or removed from office by the Federal President of Austria (head of state). Neither the appointment of the Chancellor nor the appointment of the members of the Austrian Cabinet needs to be confirmed by the Austrian Parliament. However, the Parliament can pass a vote of no confidence against individual members of the Cabinet or the entire administration. As a consequence, the Cabinet or the respective Minister would have to resign.
The Vice-Chancellor acts as a deputy to the Chancellor in all his spheres of responsibilities. If both – the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor – are simultaneously unavailable, the Federal President appoints a cabinet member to act as a deputy to the Chancellor.
The Chancellor countersigns the federal acts executed by the President. If the President is unavailable, all his duties are assigned to the Chancellor for a period not to exceed 20 days.