From 1 January 2015 Gernot Erler will assume the new position of Special Representative of the Federal Government for Germany’s OSCE chairmanship in 2016.
Speaking today (15 December) in Brussels on the fringes of an EU Foreign Ministers meeting, Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier commented:
I thank Gernot Erler for taking on this important task during times that could certainly not be described as easy.
With his reputation as an expert on Eastern Europe and the many years he has spent working as Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, Gernot Erler is an experienced bridgebuilder between East and West – and that is exactly what we need in the OSCE at the moment.
In the Ukraine crisis, after years of lying dormant, the OSCE showed what a pivotal role it could still play in maintaining Europe’s peaceful order.
From 1 January 2015 Gernot Erler, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, will assume the new position of Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 in addition to his other responsibilities. The corresponding arrangement was signed today following a cabinet decision to this effect last Thursday.
The Special Representative, whose post is temporary and will run until 31 December 2016, will be involved in planning and organising Germany’s OSCE chairmanship and will represent Foreign Minister Steinmeier in OSCE‑related activities, such as the OSCE Troika.
Germany was appointed as OSCE Chair at the OSCE Ministerial Council on 5 December in Basel. From 1 January it will be part of the OSCE Troika, which always consists of the Chairman‑in‑Office together with the previous and the succeeding Chairs. Within this context Germany will assume important advisory responsibilities in just a few weeks and, together with Switzerland, will support Serbia, which holds the Chair in 2015.