European Security as a Common Project
Information on the "Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project"
A diplomatic process that explores the common problems of European States carefully, confidentially and systematically is needed to overcome the current divisions and uncertainties over security, concludes the Final Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project, presented today on the margins of the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade (click here for the Press Release).
For 2015, Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, has taken over the chairmanship of this OSCE-mandated panel tasked with providing advice on reconsolidating European security as a common project.
After first meetings in Munich, Vienna, Kiev and Geneva, the panel submitted a first, Interim Report to the OSCE Permanent Council in June 2015, in particular on lessons learned from the OSCE's engagement in Ukraine. A greater focus on conflict prevention, stronger leadership and a legal personality are some of the ways to make the OSCE work more effectively and more efficiently, said Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, as he presented the Interim Report in Vienna (click here for the Press Release).
In September 2015, members of the Panel of Eminent Persons met in Brussels to discuss the Ukrainian crisis and the future of European security. The event was jointly organized by the OSCE, the Egmont Institute, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Munich Security Conference. During further consultations in October 2015 in Belgrade, the Panel met with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić. The Panel's Final Report was presented at the Ministerial Council in Belgrade in December 2015, focusing on the broader issues of security in Europe and the OSCE area at large.
In line with the Panel's mandate, several outreach events will take place in 2016 in the Euro-Atlantic area. A first discussion round took place on the sidelines of the 52nd Munich Security Conference on 14 February 2016.
From the OSCE's press release on the panel’s establishment: "The Panel was launched on the initiative of the 2014 Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in close cooperation with Serbia and Germany at the OSCE Ministerial Council 2014 in Basel on 4 December. In accordance with its mandate, the Panel will provide advice on how to reconsolidate European security as a common project. It will, inter alia, prepare the basis for an inclusive and constructive security dialogue across the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions, reflect on how to re-build trust among the OSCE participating States and ensure more effective adherence to the Helsinki Principles, examine perceived threats in the OSCE area and potential common solutions, explore possibilities for reinvigorating cooperative security, and analyze the particular role of the OSCE in this regard. The Panel will seek input from participating States, the OSCE Institutions, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, multilateral actors concerned with European security issues, civil society, think tanks, and other relevant actors."
Short biographies of the panel participants are available here on the OSCE's website. The full mandate of the panel can be found here. Click here for an interview with Wolfgang Ischinger about background and work of the panel. Follow this link to read the op-ed "The end of the cold war proves diplomacy can work today" by the panel's chairperson W. Ischinger, published on 24 January 2016 in the Financial Times.