Vox Populi: Josef Dengler from Vienna, Austria

1. What are your expectations/hopes from these elections?

No one in Austria knows what the European Parliament is actually doing. The candidates of most parties are old politicians – old white men – and almost all of them explain to their voters that they want to “represent Austria in the EU”. Therefore the Austrians live with the completely false expectation that they will elect their representation in the EU on 26 May. This is the fundamental misunderstanding after 35 years of populist storytelling and it is deliberately nourished by almost all parties and therefore many discussions do not revolve around European issues, but around Austrian ones. Austria’s representatives in the EU sit in the European Council, not in the European Parliament. Go tell.

An example: Instead of discussing what a European defense and security doctrine should look like, it is discussed that Austrian «perpetual neutrality» must be maintained. Neutrality has been virtually abolished, however, with the accession of Austria to the EU due to the EU member states’ obligation to provide mutual military assistance. Instead of making this clear to the Austrians, the parties represented by old white men continue to promise that Austrian neutrality must not be shaken.

With such a schizophrenic attitude in almost every European policy issue, the Austrians go to the polls.


Josef Dengler


2. Do you/people in your member state still have faith in the EU to deliver?

No. This is because Austrian politicians are afraid of the EU’s performance. The EU has great successes to show, but Austrian politicians repeatedly deny them, according to the motto: If something is good, the nation state has done it. On the other hand, if something is bad, it comes from the EU. The opposite is true, but it does not get through to the population.

This is also due to the Austrian media, a large percentage of which are dependent on government money. In such an environment, the EU is in a difficult position.

3. Will you be voting? If so, who for (if you are willing to say)?

Yes, I will elect the only party that demands the United States of Europe and credibly represents it with the only female (30 year-old) top candidate. The party belongs to ALDE and competes in Austria under the name NEOS.



4. Tell us some very brief persona/biographical details about yourself?

I was born in Sweden, raised in (former) Yugoslavia, worked and lived in France, Germany, Italy, Russia and China. I am a European citizen with an Austrian passport. A united Europe is the future of European citizens in a multi-polar world dominated by 3 (and 2 would-be) superpowers.