Croatian diaspora in Austria
Number of Croats in Austria and their immigration
Croats began to settle in Austria in mid 60s and a major wave occured during 70s and 80s of the 20th century mostly caused by economic reasons. The third wave occurred after 1990 caused by the war on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The data show that there are about 90,000 Croats and their descendants living in Austria. The number of Croats in each federal province is the following: Viena 35,000, Lower Austria 6,000, Uper Austria 12,000, Salzburg 6,000, Tyrol 5,600, Vorarlberg 5,000, Carinthia 5,000, Styria 14,000 and Burgenland 1,000 Croats.
Status of Croats in Austria
Legislation is based on amendments made to the Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals in the Republic of Austria which came into force in January 2003. In these amandments the Republic of Austria encouraged the arrival of “ key workforce” , i.e. professionals who can prove that they have got a job and a regular salary. The Government of Republic of Austria adopted a new Citizenship Act in 2005. Amendments to the Act include restrictive provisions on the requirements for acquisition of citizenship: besides compulsory German language test, both written and oral, an applicant should submit evidence of no criminal record and sufficient funds for substinence during theee years spent in Austria.
Croatian Associations and Catholic Missions
Croatian associations in the Republic of Austria take part in the events whose goal is to preserve traditional music, language and customs of Croatian regions they come form. There is a large number of Croatian associations in the Republic of Austria but the most important are: Austrian-Croatian associations for culture and sport – Vienna, AHKU „ANNO 93“-Viena, HKD “Napredak“,Croatian world congress, “Klub Zagreb“ and HKU „Salzburg” and in October 2019 the association “Hrvatski dom” (Croatian Home) in Vienna started operating.
Croatian Catholic Missions in Austria (located in Vienna, St. Pölten, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Feldkirch, Graz andi Klagenfurt) have an important role in preservation of the Croatian identity.
Croatian classes and courses of the Croatian language
Classes of the Croatian language are within the competence of Austrian education bodies (so-called integrative type of education), although the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia provides funds for the work of three teachers: one teacher in Catholic Mission in Linz teaches around 100 pupils, and two teachers in Croatian children school in Vienna give classes for around 150 pupils at 4 different teaching locations.
Exchange programs of the Croatian language and literature are within the competence of Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia:
- Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz
- Pädagogische hochschule Burgenland
Academic courses of the Croatian language and literature which are not within the the competence of Ministry of Science and Education are held at : Universität Wien, Universität Innsbruck, Universität Klagenfurt and Institut für Slavistik, Salzburg.
Publishing and Media
“Bečki glasnik“, a monthly magazine published by the Vienna fund for integration should be mentioned. Croatian communities do not publish their own magazines, except in the Upper Austria where the Union of Croatian associations started a monthly “Baština“. At the Austrian television (ORF 2) broadcast half an hour long program for foreigners “Heimat, fremde Heimat” once a week. Sometimes there are items in Croatian ( depending on the events within the Croatian community).
A monthly magazine “Cro Vienna - Vijesti” has been published in the Republic of Austria since 2018 (www.vijesti.cro-vienna.at).