OSCE and other European security organizations

The OSCE has several potential points of “comparative advantage” relative to other organizations, largely because it is the only pan-European institution dealing with comprehensive security. This provides it with certain advantages as part of a European security “architecture.”

OSCE is unique

In addition to sharing with NATO the benefits of Transatlantic membership, OSCE has unique strengths.

No other institution has:

  • Universal participation of all of the states in the region
  • Linkages between human dimension and political-military foundations of security
  • Such a broad and extensive mandate to work in conflict management at the regional level
  • Capacity to engage in these activities on a scope comparable to that of the OSCE
Multiple organizations for security

The thick web of security organizations that has evolved since 1990 has not resulted in reliance on a single, dominant institution in Europe. What has emerged is a network of overlapping institutions and a political process in which states rely on different organizations for different purposes, as each seeks to build its vision of a more solid structure for security within the broad European/Transatlantic area.

Important functions

The interconnected areas of preventive diplomacy, conflict mediation, and post-conflict reconstruction, resolution, and reconciliation constitute the important functions that the OSCE can handle effectively. All require efforts to redress grievances that have given rise to violence, as well as to alleviate the structural conditions that make it more likely that conflicts of interest will assume violent forms.

Vital role

Peace and security conditions cannot be fulfilled by the OSCE acting alone, in isolation from other international institutions and non-governmental organizations working on the scene. But the OSCE has a key role to play in these areas, and has the capability to do so.