OSCE parliamentarians discuss European security at the seventh Leinsweiler Seminar


BERLIN, 22 April 2024 – Some 50 participants, including 24 parliamentarians, gathered in Berlin on Friday and Saturday to analyze the current state of politics and security in the OSCE region. The Leinsweiler Seminar focused in particular on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the role of the OSCE. Participants also discussed security challenges in the South Caucasus and Baltic regions, and reflected upon the past experiences and work of the OSCE, in order to help define a way forward for the organization leading up to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session in Bucharest in July. 

220424 leinsweilerLeinsweiler seminar, Berlin, 20 April 2024OSCE PA President Pia Kauma (Finland) and Robin Wagener, Head of the German OSCE PA Delegation, opened the discussion on Saturday noting the complex security challenges facing the OSCE area, and the importance of utilizing all available forums to discuss critical issues. OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid, Ambassador Michael Reiffenstuelfrom the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and Michael Cluett, representing the Maltese Chairpersonship of the OSCE, also addressed the opening session, highlighting the need to utilize the OSCE’s unique toolbox to promote stability and predictability in the region.

Moderated by Canan Bayram (Germany), session one focused on “Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and its effects on the OSCE region,” and featured remarks by Ambassador Mikko Kinnunen, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group from 2021 to 2022, and Dr. Hanna Shelest, Director for Security Programmes, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism.” Participants noted during the follow up discussions, that continued support for Ukraine, and for regaining control of occupied territories, is vital not only for that country but for broader stability and adherence to international principles in the future. 

The second session, held under the theme “Exploring Security Dynamics and Collaborative Initiatives: Perspectives on Security Challenges and Regional Co-operation in the Baltic Region,” was moderated by OSCE PA Vice-President Daniela De Ridder (Germany). The session was introduced by Dr. Cornelius Friesendorf, Head of the Centre for OSCE Research, and Robert Pszczel, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Eastern Studies, and featured a lively debate led by members of OSCE PA Delegations from the Baltic States.Developments in regional defence mechanisms were noted, while Members also highlighted the challenges associated with hybrid warfare and weaponized disinformation, which was noted as a threat for all countries in the region. 

OSCE PA Special Representative on the South Caucasus Kari Henriksen (Norway) moderated the third session, held under the theme “The role of the OSCE in supporting peace and stability in the South Caucasus.” Speakers included Dr. Franziska Smolnik, Senior Associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs; and Dennis Sammut, Director of LINKS Europe and Managing Editor of commonspace.eu. Participants noted during the discussions the  recent positive developments on border delimitation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but stressed that continued efforts are needed to agree a lasting and sustainable peace treaty and to develop inter-connections in the region.

Participants closed the seminar discussing the OSCE’s role, both past and future, in regards to all regions under discussion. The Organization’s toolsremain relevant, it was noted, but political will is needed to enable genuine contributions to sustainable peace and development.

The 2024 Leinsweiler Seminar – named after the location of the original event in 2015 – was organized by the OSCE PA and the German Delegation to the OSCE PA, with funding by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Providing an informal setting for discussions, the event brings together parliamentarians, scholars, OSCE officials, and representatives of international organizations to discuss specific questions of conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation that are relevant for current conflicts in the OSCE region.

Photos of the seminar are available for public use on Flickr.



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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