Popular Petition for a Schilling Referendum
In 1997, the FPÖ initiated a popular petition intended to secure a popular referendum on the forthcoming introduction of the euro. The popular petition obtained 254,329 signatures. The registration week was 24 November to 1 December 1997. It ranked 25th of the 50 popular petitions conducted up to 2020.
In its distant history, the Freedom Party had always pushed for European integration, but after the 1992 Maastricht Treaty establishing the European Union, it changed course and in the 1994 referendum, it opposed Austria's accession. Immediately prior to the introduction of a common European currency, the Freedom Party launched a popular petition that called for a referendum to be held on the introduction of the euro.
On World Savings Day 1997, as part of its campaign for the referendum, the FPÖ distributed outside banks some 200,000 savings books, in which people were warned of possible asset losses due to the introduction of the euro.
The popular petition was available for signing from 24 November to 1 December 1997 and obtained 254,329 signatures.
The goal of the petition for a referendum on the abolition of the schilling and the introduction of the euro was rejected in the National Council. On 1 January 1999, the euro was introduced as legal tender in Austria and in ten other EU Member States.