The Political Academy of the Freedom Party of Austria
Like all the other parties in the Austrian National Council, the Freedom Party maintains its own legal entity that aims to provide civic education. In the case of the FPÖ, this is the “Freiheitliches Bildungsinstitut” (Political Academy of the Freedom Party of Austria, or FBI), which is based in Vienna. Herbert Kickl was its President from 2016 to 2021, when he was succeeded in this role by Axel Kassegger.
Party academies receive financial support on the basis of the 1984 Promotion of Journalism Act. This stipulates that all parliamentary parties represented in the National Council with at least five MPs are entitled to federal funding for their political education work. The amount of this funding depends primarily on the number of seats held by the parties in the National Council. The use of funds is also subject to strict control by the Court of Audit. In addition, a managing director is responsible for day-to-day business and strategy. This role is currently exercised by Klaus Nittmann (pictured).
The Political Academy of the Freedom Party addresses different target groups
Notwithstanding its comparatively small budget, the FBI offers a wide range of services. Focal points are, for example, the Young Academy, as well as the Women's Academy, the Media Academy and the European Academy. No less important are the programmes that the Academy puts together every year in collaboration with its regional training officers. Events and seminars as well as multimedia publications round off its range of services.
The History of the Political Academy of the Freedom Party started with the founding in the early 1970s of the Freiheitliches Bildungswerk (Freedom Party Education Institution). From this, there emerged in the middle of the 1990s the Freiheitliche Akademie (Freedom Party Academy). In the course of the 2006 election, there was a further restructure and the founding of the FPÖ-Bildungsinstitut (FPÖ Education Institute). 2018 saw this renamed as the “Freiheitliches Bildungsinstitut – Gesellschaft für Politik, Kultur und Meinungsfreiheit“ (Political Academy of the Freedom Party of Austria. Institute for Politics, Culture and Freedom of Speech).
Click here for the website of the FBI: https://www.fbi-politikschule.at/.