The Road to the Charter of Paris: Historical Narratives and Lessons for the OSCE Today. New report published in Vienna, 7 December 2017

In time for the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna, the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions on 7 December 2017 published a report on “The Road to the Charter of Paris”. The 30-page report was written by Christian Nünlist (Center for Security Studies, ETH Zürich), Juhana Aunesluoma (University of Helsinki), and Benno Zogg (CSS/ETH). It is also based on two workshops bringing together 37 eyewitnesses and academics, including former CSCE ambassadors who had negotiated the Charter of Paris in 1990. The project was sponsored by the foreign ministries of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, and Serbia.

The report reconstructs the historical root causes of today’s tensions between Russia and the West, based on archival sources and statements of eyewitnesses. It focuses on the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the CSCE summit in Paris in November 1990. The main purpose of the project was to add the view of contemporary historians to a plurality of interpretations about the end of the Cold War in Europe and the beginning of a new European security architecture.

The report calls for mutual historical empathy and a frank and open discussion of contested narratives on European security after 1990, based on archival evidence and taken into account historical context. Such a “history dialogue” is in itself a much needed confidence-building measure in the current conflict between Russia and the West.

You can download the report here.

Workshop on OSCE Economic and Environmental Confidence-Building, Vienna, 10 October 2017

The OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions conducted a second workshop on “OSCE Confidence-Building in the Economic and Environmental Dimension” at OSCE headquarters in Vienna, 10 October 2017. The event was part of a project that looks to assess the role economic and environmental matters could play to overcome distrust in the relations between the West and Russia. Various OSCE participating States qualify these relations now as worrisome geopolitical and geo-economical rivalry. The participants of the workshop had therefore put before themselves the task to conceptualize new confidence-building functions and instruments of the OSCE, which has not been done so far for the OSCE’s second basket - the field of economic and environmental affairs. The workshop was attended by representatives of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities as well as a dozen scholars of the OSCE Network.

The overall project is sponsored by the delegations of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia to the OSCE, the University of Birmingham and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Vienna. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has the lead in the collective drafting of the project’s final report that will be presented to the OSCE in December 2017.

Oral History Workshop "The Road to the 1990 Charter of Paris", Paris, 4-5 September 2017

On 4-5 September 2017, 25 members of the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions met in Paris with historians and retired diplomats to discuss the negotiations that led to the CSCE Charter of Paris (1990). 

The aim was to identify the various interests and ideas that were incorporated in the Charter and which may continue to be represented in different perspectives even today. The workshop was part of the Network project “The Road to the Charter of Paris. Historical Narratives and Lessons for the OSCE Today”, which aims to contribute to a better mutual understanding of divergent security policy narratives. 

Among the participants were the former Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Anatolii Adamishin, the former OSCE Secretary General Wilhelm Höynck, the former Polish Foreign Minister Adam Daniel Rotfeld and the ambassadors Marianne von Grünigen (Switzerland), William H. Hill und John J. Maresca (USA), Pierre Morel (France), Stefan Lehne (Austria), Markku Reimaa (Finland) and Jerzy M. Nowak (Poland). 

"Confidence-Building Measures in the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension", University of Birmingham, 10-11 July 2017

On 11/12 July 2017, the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions organized a workshop in Birmingham / UK that discussed the option of OSCE economic and environmental confidence-building measures. Project leader is Prof. Stefan Wolff from the University of Birmingham, key drafter Ambassador Philipp Remler (US).