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Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary


Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary

Compromise of 1867

The Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary (German: k. u. k. Ministerium des Äußern) was the ministry responsible for the foreign relations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the formation of the Dual Monarchy in 1867 until it was dissolved in 1918.

The ministry was one of the three common ministries (kaiserlich und königlich, often abbreviated k.u.k.) created by the Ausgleich of 1867, together with the ones for War and Finance concerned for the common aspects of the Dual Monarchy, i.e. the Foreign Policy, the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Navy.

The headquarters of the ministry were at Baroque Geheime Hofkanzlei on No. 2 Ballhausplatz next to Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The building was erected in 1719 according to plans designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. The word Ballhausplatz was often used as a metonym for the ministry, similar to Downing Street or Quai d'Orsay.

The Ministry was led by the Imperial Foreign Minister, who was nominated by the Emperor and who was also a member of the Crown Council, the highest governing body of the Dual Monarchy. Directly beneath the minister stood the First Section Chief (equivalent to an Undersecretary) who deputised for the minister and was in charge of administrative affairs. The Second Section Chief (equivalent to a Head of Political Section) was lower in the hierarchy, but was in charge of the political departments of the ministry.[1]

For a list of Imperial Foreign Ministers, see List of Foreign Ministers of Austria-Hungary.

See also


  • William D. Godsey, Aristocratic Redoubt: The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office on the Eve of the First World War, West Lafayette, Purdue University Press, 1999.
  • Jahrbuch des k.u.k. Auswärtigen Dienstes, 22 vols., Vienna, K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1897–1918.
  • Erwin Matsch, Geschichte des Auswärtigen Dienstes von Österreich-Ungarn 1720-1920, Vienna, Böhlau, 1980.
  • —, Der Auswärtige Dienst von Österreich-Ungarn 1720-1920, Vienna, Böhlau, 1986.


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