The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE) is meeting in the Reichstag building in Berlin from 7 to 11 July. At their annual meeting, the 850 delegates from 57 states will talk about how parliaments can help states to fulfil their international commitments. They will be looking at various policy fields, such as arms control, environmental protection and compliance with democratic standards.
Strengthening democratic institutions
313 parliamentarians from all the countries of Europe and Central Asia as well as from the USA and Canada will be travelling to Berlin for the Parliamentary Assembly. This is the second time the meeting has been held in the German Bundestag, the first being in 2002. Three committees – “Political Affairs and Security”, “Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment” and “Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions” will debate draft resolutions and adopt them by majority decision. Unlike in the OSCE institutions in Vienna, the consensus principle does not apply in the Parliamentary Assembly. A Berlin Declaration is to be adopted at the close of the annual Parliamentary Assembly on 11 July.
Ukraine crisis on the agenda
In particular, the parliamentarians will be looking at the conflicts in the OSCE region, focusing especially on the situation in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. They will also debate the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia, the Transnistria conflict and the negotiations on Cyprus’s reunification. The independent OSCE is the world’s largest regional organisation. Its work covers political and military issues, economic and environmental questions, the rule of law, democracy and human rights.