EU relations with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE spans 'from Vancouver to Vladivostok', bringing together 57 countries in Europe, North America and Central Asia. The EU, representing half its membership and contributing over two thirds of its budget, is a key player in the organisation.

The OSCE is the only regional security organisation spanning 'from Vancouver to Vladivostok', bringing together 57 countries in Europe, North America, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. The European Union, representing half the OSCE's membership and contributing over two thirds of its budget, is a key player in the organisation.

The OSCE's comprehensive and cooperative approach to security, addressing the politico-military, economic environmental, and human dimensions of conflict, dates back to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 but is today more relevant than ever. The EU is a strong supporter of this comprehensive take on security. In times of renewed geopolitical tensions, the EU values the OSCE as a forum for continued dialogue with Russia.

The European Union works through and with the OSCE on a range of issues, such as conflict prevention and resolution, arms control, human rights, minority protection, election observation and the rule of law. Transnational threads, such as terrorism, cyber security and environmental degradation are also on the OSCE agenda and important for the EU.

While pursuing a comprehensive approach that makes better use of all OSCE instruments and policies, the EU will continue to reflect on the role of the OSCE in its broader external action. The aim is to identify how to better engage with the OSCE in a way that advances its foreign policy goals and projects the EU's strategic interests and values.

The EU Delegation in Vienna represents the Union at the OSCE, where the EU representative normally speaks on behalf of all 28 EU Member States. The EU also maintains close working relationships with the OSCE field operations and the so-called OSCE autonomous institutions, notably the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Based on the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy pdf - 183 KB [183 KB] , the EU also seeks the full implementation of all OSCE commitments with a human dimension.

 

OSCE Human Dimension

The EU is an important player in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), aiming at the full implementation of all commitments within the human dimension of the OSCE. The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, a two-week conference held annually, is the forum where OSCE participating States together with Partners for Co-operation, civil society, OSCE institutions and field operations as well as other international organizations discuss the implementation of the OSCE human dimension commitments. The EU actively participates in those meetings, including by co-sponsoring or organising side events on EU's human rights priorities.

In addition, the EU cooperates closely with the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the area of electoral observation. In line with the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy , the EU takes forward the work on implementing ODIHR's recommendations on ways to improve electoral processes.