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13 January 2016

Key Issues of the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016

Assuming the OSCE Chairmanship in such stormy times is a sign of Germany's strong commitment to making an active contribution to peace and security in Europe. More than 40 years after the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, fundamental pillars of international order in Europe have been shaken by the force of arms, mutual distrust and competing narratives. Long-standing principles of the European security order have been broken and challenged; borders and the territorial integrity of states have been violated.

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13 January 2016

Ukraine, Protracted Conflicts and the OSCE

Aspects of the Ukraine crisis present enormous problems for the future of osce and other international conflict mediation. Annexation, "hybrid" warfare, the proliferation of non-recognized separatist polities, the absence of a shared baseline of facts and, therefore, the sharp divergence of narratives, and perhaps most of all, the development of fortress mentalities – all of these have challenged the "Helsinki acquis" on which the osce is based.

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Debate & Blogs

20 January 2016

Germany takes over OSCE Chairmanship in “stormy times”, says Frank-Walter Steinmeier

On 14 January, German Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, presented the priorities of the German OSCE Chairmanship to OSCE delegations in Vienna. The address by the new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) to the OSCE Permanent Council at the beginning of the year is an annual event. This year, the Permanent Council meeting room was packed with journalists, diplomats and high-ranking officials who eagerly awaited OSCE CiO Steinmeier's inaugural speech. Among them was Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlov Klimkin, who - through his attendance - underscored the important role of the OSCE in the management of the Ukraine crisis. Indeed, one could sense that a "political heavyweight" was taking over the Chairmanship, as Germany is "by far the most powerful OSCE participating State that has ever held the presidency of the organization". In this article, it will be argued that Germany should use its OSCE Chairmanship to offset the weaknesses of the EU and NATO in dealing with the Ukraine crisis. In its capacity as OSCE Chair, Germany presides over an organization with a broad membership and in which Russia is an equal partner. Germany can thus deal with Moscow in a more balanced way, not overshadowed by EU sanctions or military rhetoric. This may open new possibilities to ease tensions.

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22 December 2015

Reflections on Violent Extremism and Radicalization: Can Emotional Literacy be a Game Changer?

The issue of countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT) is widely associated with security and military contexts. But to what degree do emotions play a role as well? Milena Stosic, who is a psychologist and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office on Youth and Security, elaborates in this guest blog post on the role of emotions and emotional literacy.

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SHR Special Issue:

The German OSCE Chairmanship 2016


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