Rapid developments are taking place in the military sector. “The way we in Europe ensure arms control is scarcely keeping pace with reality,” Minister of State Niels Annen said today. However, mutual agreements must reflect reality in order to create security throughout Europe. “We don’t need big speeches on this topic. What we do need are concrete and verifiable adjustments. The OSCE’s Vienna Document is one aspect we would like to adjust,” Annen said.
To this end, Germany is submitting a proposal in Vienna today. It wants the Vienna Document to be adjusted so that misunderstandings can be cleared up and mutual confidence be built in the future. For example, crisis-response measures should be improved, more frequent and comprehensive inspections should be carried out, and alarm exercises should be included in the Document. The package of measures proposed by Germany was drawn up in cooperation with the NATO and EU partner countries Finland and Sweden. In agreement with all 57 OSCE participating States, the necessary adjustments should now be made in order to ensure that the Vienna Document continues to be a success story.
The Vienna Document is a key instrument of confidence-building between the 57 OSCE participating States. It is based on the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and was adopted in 1990 after the end of the Cold War. The Vienna Document was last updated in 2011. It includes measures for greater military transparency (e.g. in exercises and manoeuvres), military confidence-building (e.g. building up contacts) and conflict prevention (e.g. preventing and mutual reporting of military incidents). All OSCE participating States make use of this instrument to build military confidence.