Latest Journals

27 January 2015

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has become the Eyes and Ears of the International Community on the Ground in Ukraine

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine is currently the only international presence that operates throughout Ukraine – including in the east and south-east of the country where fighting is taking place between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels. Since its inception in March 2014, the SMM has established an impressive network of contacts with all sides in Ukraine and it has become the 'eyes and ears of the international community on the ground in Ukraine'. Alexander Hug, the Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM explains in this interview how the SMM operates in Ukraine.

Read more
27 January 2015

Returning Jihadist Foreign Fighters

Since the first reports detailing the presence of foreigner participating in the Syrian civil war in September 2011, the number of foreign fighters has increased exponentially. Especially European policymakers are worried about the potential threat posed by the presence of hundreds of European foreign fighters in Syria and the possibility that some of them could return to stage an attack. This article examines the challenges European policymakers face when addressing the foreign fighter phenomenon in general, and that of returnees in particular.

Read more

Go to archive

Debate & Blogs

26 January 2015

Guest Blog Entry: Norms in mediation processes: Too much of a good thing?

In 2014, the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship listed mediation as one of their key priorities in order to strengthen the OSCE's mediation capacities for the processes they support. The expectations towards mediation processes are growing: not only are mediators supposed to bring a conflict to an end, but they are also increasingly asked to integrate gender, human rights, justice and other norms into their overall strategy. The development and adoption of guidance documents for mediators (such as the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2012, or the launch of the OSCE Reference Guide for Mediation and Dialogue in 2014) signals the growing imperative for normative frameworks in practice. The institutional policies of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU), and other regional bodies are increasingly value-based, inevitably impacting the way they expect the mediators to do their work.

Read more
22 January 2015

Between the EU and Russia: opportunity or dilemma for Serbia’s OSCE Chairmanship?

On 15 January, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić outlined the priorities of the 2015 Serbian OSCE Chairmanship at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. Foreign Minister Dačić stressed that the main priority of the Serbian Chair would be to continue supporting a peaceful resolution of the crisis in and around Ukraine. In this context, he expressed support for the work of the Trilateral Contact Group, the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and their respective roles in helping to implement the Minsk protocols as well as the peace plan for the east of Ukraine. Yet, the success of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship will very much depend on how it will reconcile its relations with the EU and Russia.

Read more

Go to archive