What is the important characteristic of democracy

Term "democracy"

"Austria is a democratic republic. Its right comes from the people" - so it says in Article 1 of the Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG). The Austrian form of government is a republic, the form of government is a democracy.

The word republic comes from the Latin ("res publica") and means "public matter". A republic is geared towards the community and the well-being of all citizens. At the head of the state is the President (in Austria the Federal President).

The word democracy comes from the Greek and means "rule of the people". That means in a democracy the people are the state sovereign (the highest state power) and the political decisions are made by the majority will of the population. The majority will is determined and legitimized by democratic elections and then implemented by representatives of the people (politicians). This corresponds to a representative democracy. The most important characteristics of a democracy are freedom of expression, existence of an opposition and separation of powers.

To make use of the right to vote and to participate politically means to have a decisive influence on the future of Austria.

Legal bases

Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG)

Last updated: February 4, 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior