History of the OSCE

The OSCE can trace its origins to the security challenges seen by the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and the U.S. and its allies, on the other, in the period after World War II, eventually leading to the Helsinki Process, and the creation of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). Of special importance is the way in which the OSCE has evolved from a series of conferences and multilateral agreements into a regional, multilateral organization.

It’s important to know how the OSCE started in order to understand the way it operates and how it is seen today by participating states. It’s also important to understand the persistent issues among participating states.

This chapter introduces you to the history of the OSCE. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to describe how the OSCE was formed.