European Way of Life | Who is EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn? 

Austrian politician Johannes Hahn designated for ‘Budget and Administration’ Commissioner.

Austrian politician Johannes Hahn has been designated EU ‘Budget and Administration’ Commissioner by incoming EU Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Yesterday, October, 3, he was approved by the European Parliament. It will be Hahn’s third term as commissioner. But who is he?

Hahn, 61, became leader of the Vienna ÖVP – the center-right Austrian People’s Party – in 1992, continuing in various leadership roles until becoming CEO of the international gambling company Novomatic.  He returned to politics as Minister for Science and Research (Wissenschaftsminister) from 2007-10, creating quite a diverse background outside of the bloc.

He first served as Austria’s Commissioner in 2010, overseeing regional policy, and from 2014, the bloc’s enlargement policies, where his responsibilities included deepening relations with EU neighbors, promoting stability at Europe’s borders and helping nearby countries develop democratic institutions, and strengthening economic governance and competitiveness – all focused on further strengthening the European image.

When shaping her new team, Von der Leyen created the portfolio title: “Protecting the European Way of Life” for Greek politician Margaritas Schinas to include migration, security, employment, and education policy – a grouping the center and left-leaning politicians see as misleading and dangerous.

“I don’t like the idea that the European way of life is opposed to migration,” said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “Accepting those that come from far away is part of the European way of life.” Hahn, however, defended von der Leyen: “I think we can be proud, we should be proud, and we should be more self-confident about the European way of life.”

As one of the longest-serving EU Commissioners, Hahn is widely respected. Austria’s interim Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein has nominated him to serve as Austria’s EU Commissioner for a third term, while Sebastian Kurz, too, extended his support: “I congratulate [him] on his new role as EU Budget Commissioner,” he said. “As a European politician recognized across party lines, he will ensure that the right course is set for a European Union that is strong in the world.”

Bridget Carter
Bridget Carter is an international relations graduate student at Webster Vienna Private University where her areas of focus include post-conflict development and gender dimensions of migration. She was born in Texas, grew up in California, lived in Bangkok, and now calls Vienna home. She is an avid traveler, inspirational-reads enthusiast, and health-food junkie. She also likes to step out on foot and marvel at the common, and not-so-common, wonders of Vienna.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

The Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | Austrian Airlines to Fly Again Starti...

Austria has successfully flattened the curve, for now. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including available resources, trusted sources and tips – regularly updated.

Pleased to Meet You | Carefully

Why we (still) need to practice social distancing, now that we can finally get together with friends and family again.

US Quietly Funds the IAEA in Fight Against COVID-19

As Donald Trump Slams the World Health Organization, the State Department is giving millions to another uN agency to battle the pandemic.

New Leadership for Austria’s Cultural Reopening

Having faced growing criticism from all sides, State Secretary for Cultural Affairs Ulrike Lunacek resigned May 15.

7 Restaurants to Have Iftar This Ramadan

Today marks the beginning of Eid al-Fitr or Festival of Breaking the Fast, concluding a month of fasting for Muslims keeping the Ramadan. We’ve compiled a list of sweet spots in the city for you to celebrate the Sugar Feast.

After Ibiza | Older, But None the Wiser

A year ago the infamous video was released: it showed the then Vice-Chancellor H-C Strache promising lucrative state contracts for other favors. What was at first a political embarrassment has now sparked a broader corruption investigation.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.