Austria is a democratic federal republic. Legislative and executive powers are divided between the federal government and the nine states: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg. Vienna is the nation's capital. The Austrian Federal Constitution was passed by the Constituent National Assembly on October 1, 1920, revised 1929, and reinstated May 1, 1945.
The legislative body of the Republic is the Parliament, which consists of two houses - the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat). The National Council holds legislative authority. The people elect its 183 members for a four-year term. The state legislatures elect the 64 members of the Federal Council. The Federal Council reviews legislation, which passes the National Council and can delay but not veto its enactment.
The supreme federal executive organs are the Federal President and the Federal Government. The President is the head of state. The People elect the President for a six-year term. The President convenes and concludes parliamentary sessions and under certain conditions can dissolve Parliament. The Federal Chancellor is head of government. Together with the Vice-Chancellor and the Federal Ministers, the Chancellor conducts government affairs.
The highest courts of Austria's independent judiciary are the Constitutional Court; the Administrative Court, which handles bureaucratic disputes; and the Supreme Court, for civil and criminal cases.
On January 1, 1995, Austria became a member of the European Union (EU). As a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Austria, on January 1, 2002, introduced Euro notes and coins, which replaced the Austrian schilling.