Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson Martin Schäfer issued the following statement today (9 May) at the Federal Press Conference:
Foreign Minister Steinmeier congratulates Michael Georg Link, former Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, on his appointment as the new Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which is based in Warsaw.
Michael Link assumes a position which is of great significance especially in view of the current crisis in Ukraine.
The fact that this important OSCE institution is now headed by the former Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, who is an experienced German foreign policy specialist, emphasises Germany’s special commitment to building up democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
With its election observation missions, the ODIHR renders invaluable services to democracy. We can see this especially at the moment in Ukraine, where long-term election observers are already active with a skilled eye and an independent mind.
On 1 July former Minister of State Michael Georg Link will assume the position of ODIHR Director for an initial term of three years.
With 135 staff members and an annual budget of approximately 15 million euros, the ODIHR is one of the most important OSCE institutions in the human rights domain. Its activities focus on election observation missions in all OSCE countries and on promoting democratic and rule-of-law standards in the OSCE area. The ODIHR is also committed to fighting intolerance and discrimination.