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1 July 2015

The OSCE at 40: Looking at the Abyss of a Fault-line

Ever since the dynamics of the first post-Cold War decade, peaking at the Istanbul summit in 1999, turned into stagnation, the normative, institutional and operational aspects of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (osce) as a security space has been the object of reform designs in political-diplomatic as well as the track 1,5/2 modes. The ensued reports have variably focused on ways to strengthen the political authority and the institutional capability of the organization or to enhance its adaptability to changing circumstances with an improved strategic planning and an updated agenda for co-operative action.

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1 July 2015

The Geopolitics of European Security: The Consequences of U.S.-Russia Tension

At the present moment of obvious tension between Moscow and Washington, it may be tempting to dismiss the likelihood of progress on any diplomatic front, let alone in the complex multilateral format of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Yet the 1972–75 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (csce) itself took place against a backdrop of intense rivalry between the u.s. and Soviet-led blocs, suggesting that reasoned dialogue and consensus on core issues of shared security in the osce space is possible, despite—or perhaps even because of—the looming threat of conflict between geopolitical rivals.

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Debate & Blogs

15 September 2015

The Death of the Helsinki Moment. Long Live Helsinki.

The Euro-Atlantic area is deep in the midst of crisis with war in Ukraine and massive refugee flows from Syria and Iraq as well as places such as Eritrea, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, not to mention the increased spectre of religious terrorism as seen in the UK, France, Belgium and other countries. Added to this the changing relationship between the 'West' (what that has come to mean) and the 'Rest', including the Russian Federation, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia. Are these not the crises on which the Helsinki Final Act was predicated? The prevention of foreign intervention? The inviolability of frontiers? The promotion of confidence and stability between countries? In this article, which is addressed to the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons, Professor David Galbreath calls for breathing life back into the 'Helsinki Moment'.

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9 September 2015

Europe at a crossroads: How the OSCE can help support the current refugee crisis

The current migration and refugee crisis is the biggest such crisis since the end of the Second World War. According to UNHCR, more than 300,000 people – mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Libya - have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe so far this year. An estimated 2,600 have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year. Those who survive, arrive on the shores of Italy or Greece. An increasing number of refugees and migrants also arrive via the western Balkans through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, hoping to make it eventually to Austria, Germany or Sweden. They flee war, conflict or persecution in Africa or the Middle East. In the course of this summer, it became clear that the current crisis signifies a humanitarian emergency, which requires leadership, based on humanitarian values and solidarity among EU member states. However, unfortunately the truth is that EU member states are divided over the issue and are struggling to find a common solution. Germany and France support mandatory quotas while Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia vehemently oppose this. So, if the EU is currently overwhelmed with the refugee crisis, what could the OSCE do? Here are six suggestions that the OSCE could consider.

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SHR Special Issue: Helsinki+40

Click here for more information about the Special Issue

Assitant Editor Needed

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is currently seeking a volunteer/intern for the position of Assistant Editor. Click here for more information.

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