OSCE PA Members gather in Berlin to discuss the future of European security

090523 leinsweiler PRBERLIN, 9 May 2023 – More than 30 participants – including parliamentarians, scholars, OSCE officials, and representatives of international organizations – gathered in Berlin for the sixth annual Leinsweiler Seminar hosted by the German Delegation to the OSCE PA, with support from the German Foreign Office.

This year’s seminar, which took place 5-7 May, focused on best practices and lessons learned from the work of OSCE field operations in South-East Europe, Moldova, and Ukraine, while also addressing the current challenges and future of the organization.

Robin Wagener, Head of the German Delegation to the OSCE PA, set the tone for the seminar by stating, “As we face a range of complex security challenges, it is crucial that we exchange ideas and work together to support the OSCE's important mission.”

OSCE PA President Cederfelt further emphasized the importance to use informal exchanges amongst parliamentarians and platforms such as the OSCE PA to discuss critical issues, including the impact of the war in Ukraine on the OSCE region, and chart a path forward for European security.

The seminar’s discussions highlighted the vital support OSCE field operations are providing to national authorities, civil society, and other actors in participating States concerning law enforcement, judicial reform, media freedom, and other areas. With the increased security threats across the OSCE region, strengthening domestic capacities in participating States through field operations is of utmost importance.

However, participants also recognized that the lack of consensus regarding processes such as approving a unified budget, appointing senior officials, or adopting agendas of meetings has made it challenging for the OSCE to operate and maintain its activities.

Ambassador Igor Djundev, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, highlighted that the OSCE is the only security organization of its kind and underscored the need to preserve and build upon its structures and toolbox.

Looking ahead, participants noted that the OSCE has proven to be of added value in the European security system, and its tools ranging from field operations to mediation, training, and technical assistance have been effective in Ukraine. However, to continue to play a meaningful role in the country but also to meet Ukraine’s expectations of the OSCE, the organization needs to find ways to repurpose itself, provide impactful support on the ground including through the consolidation of its political and diplomatic footprint to further strengthen co-ordination and dialogue with the Ukrainian leadership and with other international organizations. This requires necessary financial support and ultimately political will from participating states.

In closing, Secretary General Montella reminded parliamentarians of the many OSCE success stories and the tangible impact the organization's work has on more than one billion citizens across the OSCE region. He urged the parliamentarians to play a decisive role in generating political support from their governments for the organization.

The last Leinsweiler Seminar took place from 3 to 6 May 2019, under the theme “Economy – Source of Conflicts or Instrument for Conflict Prevention And Conflict Rehabilitation. Lessons learnt from European History.” Discussions at previous Leinsweiler seminars have focused on themes such as post-conflict border issues, how the renewed competition for geopolitical spheres of influence is impacting security in the OSCE area, how to prevent ethnic conflicts through law and the exchange of best practice, and increasing parliamentary contributions to OSCE conflict resolution efforts. (See here, here, here and here.)



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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