Projects & Activities


The main context for the discussions under this project was the current state of relations between Russia and the West. The project included brainstorming meetings in Birmingham and Vienna, 13 thematic papers, and a final report that was launched at the Economic and Environmental Committee of the Permanent Council on 13 December 2017.


  • “Confidence Building Measures in the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension, Workshop II,” Vienna, 10 October 
  • Workshop “Confidence Building Measures in the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension,” University of Birmingham, 10-11 June

Download PDF


In parallel with the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in December 2016, CORE arranged a series of three OSCE Network meetings to discuss further network activities in 2017. They were attended by about 15 of the 67 member institutions of the OSCE Network at the time. 

The objective was to provide a menu of innovative ways in which the international community can engage with all sides in the four so-called “frozen conflicts.” The project was a collective effort of more than a dozen member institutions of the OSCE Network and about forty participants of a workshop conducted in Vienna in July 2016. The final report was elaborated by a group of sixteen experts, with Philip Remler as the principal drafter. The paper was launched in Hamburg in parallel with the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in December 2016. 


  • Workshop “Protracted Conflicts in the OSCE Region: Innovative Approaches for Cooperation in the Conflict Zones,” Vienna, 4 July

Download PDF

Joint research and discussions were bundled in two workshops held in Geneva and Moscow in May and October 2016 with representatives of 16 OSCE Network institutes, other research institutes, and government officials. The outcome of the project was a paper that built on 16 studies on national security policy narratives, written by a group of authors with Wolfgang Zellner as the principal drafter. An important finding from these narratives is that they do not exactly match the standard Russian and Western standpoints, which are largely mutually exclusive and lay blame solely on the other side. The debate over Russia revealed very different approaches. The paper ends with a small set of recommendations and was launched at a side event of the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Hamburg in December 2016. 


  • Workshop “European Security – Challenges at the Societal Level,” Moscow, 31 October 

Download PDF

On the occasion of the Second Plenary Meeting of the OSCE Network, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the OSCE Network jointly arranged a panel discussion with Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the German Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship 2016, on “Expectations of OSCE Efforts and the 2016 German Chairmanship.”

The panelists were Hüseyin Bagci (Turkey), Damba Ganbat (Mongolia), Sonja Stojanović Gajić (Serbia), Barbara Kunz (France), Philip Remler (USA) and Andrei Zagorski (Russia). The event was concluded with a reception given by Hamburg’s First Deputy Mayor Katharina Fegebank.

The event was attended by representatives of 40 of the 54 member institutions of the OSCE Network at the time, the German OSCE Chairmanship, the OSCE Documentation Centre and the OSCE Secretariat. The Plenary Meeting was used to elect new members to the Steering Committee and the new Network Coordinator. The members of the Steering Committee were Ambassador Jim Collins (USA), Sonja Stojanović Gajić (Serbia), Christian Nünlist (Switzerland), Andrei Zagorski (Russia) and Wolfgang Zellner (Germany). Wolfgang Zellner was re-elected as Network Coordinator.


The project was implemented by a group of 21 contributors, including CORE representatives. It was coordinated by Teija Tiilikainen, Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), who also wrote a summary report. As suggested by the Panel of Eminent Persons, the project aimed to analyze pre-formulated questions dealing with the functions and future of the OSCE. The summary report was presented and handed over to the Panel of Eminent Persons at the Belgrade Security Forum in October 2015.

Download PDF


The second project of the OSCE Network, this study was the joint production of a group of 21 researchers of OSCE Network member institutions and dealt with proposals that do not enjoy consensus within the OSCE. It aimed to stimulate necessary debate in the OSCE at a time when field operations were confronted with a new dimension of challenges, such as in Ukraine. The 2014 Swiss Chairmanship did in fact make use of the project for discussions within the Helsinki +40 process.

The study built on two workshops arranged at OSCE headquarters in Vienna on 27 June and 4 November 2014 at the invitation of Ambassador Philip McDonagh, the special coordinator under the Helsinki +40 process for reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the OSCE. OSCE Network representatives launched the study at the “OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference 2014” – an NGO event that complemented the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Basel, which was also attended by OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier. 


  • Second Brainstorming Meeting on “The Future of OSCE Field Operations (Options),” Vienna, 4 November 
  • First Brainstorming Meeting on “The Future of OSCE Field Operations (Options),” Vienna, 27 June 

Download PDF

Launched in 2013, this was the very first of the OSCE Network’s activities. It analyzed threat perceptions of 18 governments and related experts in the OSCE area. At the invitation of the 2014 Swiss OSCE Chairmanship, several Network representatives gave a presentation of the study at a Helsinki +40 meeting at the Vienna Hofburg on 29 April 2014.


  • Workshop “Threat Perceptions in the OSCE Area,” Vienna, 31 March/1 April 
  • Panel Discussion on “Ukraine/Crimea: Crisis as Usual or New European Divide?” Vienna, 31 March 

Download PDF

The OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna held a panel discussion titled “Ukraine/Crimea: Crisis as Usual or New European Divide?”

The crisis in Crimea has evolved into a more general conflict between Russia and the West. The future of Europe is uncertain to a degree not seen since the early 1990s. This raises a number of difficult questions:

  • What options exist for the further development of Ukrainian-Russian relations, including the status of Crimea?
  • How did we get from a cooperative security policy approach to the current situation, which is characterized by deep tensions?
  • Have we established bad precedents?
  • Did we apply the OSCE principles and norms in the wrong ways?
  • What opportunities were missed?
  • Were any wrong turns taken?
  • Is it still possible to return to cooperative policies via the vision of a Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community?
  • How might this be achieved?
  • What can the OSCE contribute to the re-establishment of cooperative security relations?

These and many other questions were discussed by a panel of members of the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions.

Please view the full-length discussion as a videostream on the official OSCE website: