The City Senate - A body of the City of Vienna

The Vienna City Senate consists of the Mayor and the City Councillors.

According to a unique regulation found only in the Vienna City Statutes, not all members of the City Senate, i.e. the Vienna City Government, necessarily have a portfolio of their own. This means that, apart from Executive City Councillors, there may be City Councillors without portfolio, who have a seat and vote in the City Senate but do not head a specific administrative group.

The City Councillors are elected by the City Council in accordance with the principle of proportional representation. This means that, depending on the total number of City Councillors (which may range from 9 to 15), every political party has the right to be represented in the Vienna City Senate in proportion to the number of its seats in the City Council. The political parties nominate the candidates by majority vote. In the subsequent voting procedure, only votes cast for a lawfully nominated candidate are counted as valid.

After the 2020 elections to the Vienna City Council and District Councils, the City Council fixed the number of City Councillors for this election period at twelve. This has resulted in the following distribution of seats in the City Senate: 6 for the Social Democrats (SPÖ), 2 for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), 2 for the Green Party, 1 for the NEOS and 1 for the Freedom Party (FPÖ).

Function and tasks

In general, the City Senate takes counsel on all issues the City Council has to pass a decision on. In particular, the City Senate has been assigned the task of assessing and debating the municipality’s budget estimate and final balance in cooperation with the financial committee.

Further tasks of the City Senate (pursuant to sec 97 of the Vienna City Statutes) include

  • drawing up and submitting to the City Council the nomination list of Executive City Councillors
  • appointing the Chief Executive Director of the Vienna City Administration
  • approving the filing of complaints with the Austrian Constitutional Court

Just like the Mayor, the City Senate has "emergency competence" (pursuant to sec 98 of the Vienna City Statutes), i.e. it can take decisions on behalf of the City Council or one of its committees in certain cases of special urgency.


The Mayor presides over the City Senate and convenes its meetings.

Motions and requests to be dealt with by the City Senate are, as a rule, submitted by the competent Executive City Councillors.

City Senate meetings are held in camera but members of the City Council, district chairpersons and other (competent) individuals may be asked to attend.

The Chief Executive Director of the City Administration has the right to attend the meetings of the City Senate and submit motions.

Contact for this page:
City of Vienna | Executive Office for General Matters
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