Former OSCE PA Presidents establish panel to support the work of the Assembly

COPENHAGEN, 29 April 2020 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (Georgia) and Secretary General Roberto Montella hosted on Wednesday a video conference with the Assembly’s previous Presidents of the last 15 years. The participants discussed ways the experience and knowledge of former members of the OSCE PA can benefit the work of the Assembly in such challenging times when increased efforts, political leadership and parliamentary oversight are needed.

Tsereteli’s predecessors who took part in the meeting were Christine Muttonen (Austria), Ilkka Kanerva (Finland), Ranko Krivokapic (Montenegro), Wolfgang Grossruck (Austria), Riccardo Migliori (Italy), Petros Efthymiou (Greece), Joao Soares (Portugal), and Goran Lennmarker (Sweden).

Discussions focused on ways and means to exploit the experience and networking capacity of former PA members. There was general agreement about plans to institutionalize a board or a panel of former PA Presidents who can serve as a resource for advice for the OSCE PA.

The participants of the video conference established a Panel of Former Presidents in order to serve as the founders of a future independent structure and to promote plans to create an association of all interested former PA members. The objective of this association will be to support the work of the Assembly as well as broader international efforts of policymakers engaging in parliamentary diplomacy. The former Presidents explored possibilities for adding value to the OSCE PA’s work with strategic forward-looking advice building on important networks built over the years, rather than duplicating the existing structures of the PA.

President Tsereteli underlined that it is important not to lose the value of MPs that are not in office anymore but still have much offer, and also noted an association of former members could have several targets, including supporting and coaching youth approaching the world of politics, as a sort of “centre of excellence.” Secretary General Montella welcomed any initiative that can make use of the pool of former members' experience and passion to remain active and engaged for the public good, which he defined as an extremely useful legacy.

The OSCE PA's International Secretariat will lend support to the founding phase providing a small team led by Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Andreas Nothelle, the OSCE PA’s Special Representative in Vienna.



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