German OSCE Chairmanship 2016
On 1 January 2016 Germany assumes the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). On this occasion, Foreign Minister Steinmeier declared:
(© Federal Foreign Office)
"Germany is assuming the Chairmanship of the OSCE in turbulent times. Facing what may be the most serious crisis to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War, Germany stands ready to take on this responsibility.
Germans in particular owe much to the OSCE and to the CSCE process. This process stands for a policy of détente between East and West. We vividly remember its substantial contribution to overcoming the Cold War and to the re-unification of Germany and Europe. I firmly believe that the OSCE principles, commitments and values set out jointly by East and West in the past still provide basis and guidance for finding peaceful solutions to the ever growing number of serious security threats we are facing today.
Assuming the OSCE Chairmanship is not an easy task. Having other committed OSCE members at our side, especially our Troika partners Serbia and Austria, is of great importance to us. I look forward to working and cooperating with all OSCE States and partners as we are setting sail as the new OSCE Chair with clear bearings: to renew dialogue, rebuild trust and restore security."
Steinmeier: We need a strong OSCE in order to resolve conflicts
In his speech on Thursday (14 January) to present the programme for the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016, Foreign Minister Steinmeier said Germany was taking on this role in stormy times. The German Foreign Minister and Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship, had travelled together to Vienna to mark the start of the German Chairmanship.
For its OSCE Chairmanship Germany has set itself ambitious tasks. "To Renew dialogue, rebuild trust and restore security." These are the keynotes of the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016.
What does CiO mean? Who are the heads who drive forward our mutual OSCE project? What are the tasks of a Special Representative? And who is responsible for what during the German Chairmanship?
The Permanent Council has three informal subsidiary bodies, including one committee for each of the three dimensions of the OSCE security concept (politico-military, economic and environmental, and human). The Committees meet in an informal format and report, make recommendations to, and prepare relevant decisions for the Permanent Council. The Chairmanship appoints the Chairpersons of all three Committees.
In order to counteract the risk of further alienation and a lack of communication between societies in Europe, we need to strengthen transnational exchange between societies and to actively involve civil society. This is why the German Chairmanship will maintain close contact with stakeholders from civil society, especially the youth.
Hamburg is an excellent choice to host the OSCE Ministerial Council. The north German metropolis has a lot to offer – major event or not. Due to its port, which is located right in the heart of the city, Hamburg has had trade relations with much of the world for centuries and may rightly pride itself on being a cosmopolitan and international city.