2007-WM-BorrellThe sixth annual Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly took place in Vienna on 22-23 February 2007. The Meeting was attended by over 250 parliamentarians from 53 OSCE participating States, as well as partner countries. Main speakers at the Winter Meeting included Goran Lennmarker, PA President; Josep Borrell, Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office; Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian Parliament; and OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. Borrell talked of the growing importance of the Parliamentary Assembly and stressed that it provided "inspiration and ideas as well as parliamentary support to the work of the OSCE."

The important task of election observation was discussed at length during the meetings. Members stressed that this is a key area of work for the OSCE, and the leading role played by the Parliamentary Assembly remains absolutely necessary. The parliamentarians also heard presentations of the Rapporteurs of the three General Committees on political affairs and security; economic affairs, science, technology and environment; and democracy, human rights and humanitarian questions, and discussed their draft reports being prepared for the Annual Session to be held in July 2007.

Special Debate on Energy Security

A special debate on energy security took place at the 2007 Winter Meeting, with interventions by parliamentarians from the US and Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia. Many underlined the importance of finding global solutions that create stability and reliability while others stressed the environmental aspects of energy security, such as energy savings, conservation, and finding alternative sources to fossil fuels."We have less than ten years to avoid catastrophic climate change," said the head of the UK delegation, while the head of delegation of Norway, the third largest oil and gas exporter in the world, stressed that energy "must never be used as a political instrument." A number of speakers expressed deep concern over the absence of transparency and reliable prices and urged the OSCE and the EU to get increasingly involved and to create a common energy policy.