1. OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg: making Europe a safe place through cooperation
  2. Arrival at Dnipro airport in eastern Ukraine From New York to Bishkek
  3. 57 delegations participated at the meeting in Potsdam Informal Meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers held in Potsdam under German Chairmanship

OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg: making Europe a safe place through cooperation

With over 40 foreign ministers, almost 80 delegations and 400 journalists – the world’s largest regional security organisation is coming to Hamburg. The OSCE Ministerial Council is meeting in the Hanseatic City from Wednesday to Friday. Foreign Minister Steinmeier thanked the citizens of Hamburg for their hospitality.

Arrival at Dnipro airport in eastern Ukraine

From New York to Bishkek

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier did a fair amount of travelling in 2016 in his capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. His trips took him to New York and Ukraine, as well as Central Asia and Moldova.

57 delegations participated at the meeting in Potsdam

Informal Meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers held in Potsdam under German Chairmanship

In his capacity as Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed a large number of his counterparts from the OSCE participating States to Potsdam on Thursday (1 September). The focus of the informal meeting was on the common challenges as regards security in the OSCE area and on enhancing cooperation between the OSCE participating States.

OSCE Deutschland 2016

Germany has assumed the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for 2016. This means that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) in 2016. The German Government has appointed Gernot Erler as Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship. The German Chairmanship has defined “Renewing dialogue, rebuilding trust, restoring security” as its key priorities. The Foreign Ministers of the participating States will meet in Hamburg on 8–9 December at this year’s Ministerial Council, which marks the high point of a term of Chairmanship.

Relaunching conventional arms control in Europe

Rebuilding destroyed confidence and preventing an arms race: these tasks have become even more pressing since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis. For the annexation of Crimea in violation of international law has brought the question of war and peace back to Europe. In August 2016, therefore, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a relaunch of conventional arms control. On Friday (25 November), 14 like‑minded states met for talks at the Federal Foreign Office and issued a joint declaration.

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Ministerial declaration by the foreign ministers

SR Erler

Article by Special Representative Gernot Erler

On occasion of his trip to Ukraine the Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli published an article by the Special Representative for the German OSCE Chairmanship, Dr. h.c. Gernot Erler. Here you can download the article as a pdf-file.

FM Steinmeier with Michael Link (ODIHR), Christine Muttonen (OSCE PA) and Witold Waszczykowski.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier opens OSCE human rights conference

On 19 September Federal Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier travelled to Warsaw, where he opened the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in his capacity as Chairperson‑in‑Office of the organisation. This year the conference is focusing on a number of issues that are also of high priority to the German OSCE Chairmanship. These include tolerance and non-discrimination, freedom of assembly and association as well a freedom of the Media and countering propaganda. Upon his arrival in Warsaw, Foreign Minister Steinmeier said that the event was the largest human rights conference in Europe.

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OSCE Conference at the Federal Foreign Office: Steinmeier calls for tolerance and diversity

An international Conference on Tolerance and Diversity took place at the Federal Foreign Office on 20 October under the auspices of the German Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The conference was opened by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and General Music Director Daniel Barenboim. In his opening speech, Steinmeier urged people to see diversity and cooperation primarily as an “opportunity”.

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Evaluation Report: Human Rights in Germany

During the OSCE Chairmanship Germany made an independent evaluation of the implementation of OSCE-committments in the Human Dimension. With that it followed the examples by the Swiss (2014) and Serbian (2015) Chairmanships.

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Arrival at Dnipro airport in eastern Ukraine

Foreign Minister Steinmeier in Ukraine

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travelled to Ukraine on 14 September for a two-day visit together with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault. The Foreign Ministers’ itinerary included a visit to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The trip focused on the situation in the east of the country. During the Ministers’ meeting with President Poroshenko at the beginning of their visit, he told them that he agreed to a new ceasefire.


Special Representative Gernot Erler

Applying “offline rights” in the online world

On 9 September 2016, the Conference “Internet Freedom: a constant factor of democratic security in Europe” was held in Strasburg, co-organized by the Estonian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, the German OSCE Chairmanship and by the Council of Europe.

Special Representative Gernot Erler at the CTHB Conference

OSCE-Conference on human trafficking held at the Federal Foreign Ministry

Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship, today opened a conference entitled Preventing Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains, which is being held under the auspices of the German OSCE Chairmanship. The event aims to enhance coordination between governments, economic stakeholders and civil society in the fight against global trafficking in human beings.

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Experts from all over Europe discussed measures to fight anti-gypsyism

United against anti-Gypsyism

On 6 September, the Federal Foreign Office held a conference at the Federal Foreign Office in conjunction with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Council of Europe and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. Under the title “Confronting Anti-Gypsyism. The Role of Political Leaders in Countering Discrimination, Racism, Hate Crimes and Violence Against Roma and Sinti Communities”, parliamentarians, experts, as well as representatives of government and civil society from around Europe discussed the challenge of the continuing discrimination against Sinti and Roma and ways of tackling it together.

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Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Article by Minister Steinmeier

On 26 August 2016 the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an article by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on arms control. Here you can download the article.

“A challenge we must all tackle together”: international counter‑terrorism conference at the Federal Foreign Office

The international counter‑terrorism conference, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that Lead to Terrorism, took place at the Federal Foreign Office on 31 May and 1 June. The conference has been organised under Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship. The focus of the two‑day event is on measures to prevent radicalisation and extremism, but also on how to deal with returning extremists and their reintegration into society.

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Connectivity for Commerce and Investment: OSCE Business Conference to strengthen economic ties across OSCE area

Foreign Minister Steinmeier opened the two‑day OSCE conference Connectivity for Commerce and Investment at the Federal Foreign Office on Wednesday (18 May). The objective of the event was to explore opportunities for improved trade and investment opportunities in order to strengthen business relations in the OSCE area. The conference brought together representatives from the worlds of politics, business and civil society from different regions and economic systems in some 70 countries and was held as part of Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship.

Außenminister Steinmeier mit den Ko-Vorsitzenden der Minsker Gruppe

Steinmeier meets with the Minsk Group to discuss how to resolve the Nagorno‑Karabakh conflict

On 20 April Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier met the co‑chairs of the Minsk Group of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe) and the Personal Representative of the Chairperson‑in‑Office for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk. The talks focused on investigating ways to resolve the conflict following the recent escalation of fighting in the region at the beginning of April.

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Minister Steinmeier and Dr. Rachinger

Building a bridge between Vienna and Hamburg

To mark Germany’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2016, the Permanent Mission of Germany to the OSCE has sponsored a “book” at the Austrian National Library (ÖNB), the location of the Welcoming Reception for the German OSCE Chairmanship on 14 January.The sponsorship certificate was presented to OSCE Chairperson in Office, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on 14 January during his visit to Vienna by Dr Johanna Rachinger, the General Director of the ÖNB

The Permanent Representative

Ambassador Eberhard Pohl

Ambassador Eberhard Pohl heads the Permanent Mission of Germany to the OSCE.

OSCE Chairmanship 2017

On 1 January 2017 Austria assumed the OSCE Chairmanship.

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EU Council Presidency

Logo of the Maltese EU Council Presidency

In the first half of 2017, Malta will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Germany’s candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2019/20

German Security Council candidature logo

Germany is seeking to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Foreign Minister Steinmeier announced the candidacy for 2019/20 in Hamburg on Monday (27 June). The elections are expected to take place at the General Assembly in June 2018.