Between Aspirations and Realities: Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCE

International Conference

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is rare of its kind: while it possesses most of the attributes traditionally ascribed to an International Organization, it lacks a constitutive act under international law and an established international legal personality. Despite long-lasting attempts to formalise its institutional structure, the legal status of the OSCE remains an open issue until today.

This leads to a patchwork of legal regimes under which the organization operates in the participating States. The organization’s sui generis legal status is the result of a unique legal and political process, which has started as an effort to build an East-West forum for political dialogue in the framework of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and which was formalised by the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and later renamed into the OSCE (1995). Today, the OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization with 57 participating States, covering a security, economic and environmental as well as human dimension and constituting a key institution in the field of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation. Given the role of the OSCE, it is remarkable that questions surrounding its legal framework remain unresolved.

Against this backdrop, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law convenes a one-day international conference, which will take place on 13 July 2016 at the Harnack-Haus in Berlin. Under the heading “Between Aspirations and Realities: Strengthening the Legal Framework of the OSCE”, the conference aims to provide a new impetus to the debate on strengthening the legal frame-work of the OSCE. As a follow-up to the conference, the conveners also envisage the publication of selected contributions in an edited volume.


Further information

To register, please send an email to osce2016(at)mpil(dot)de. The registration is free of charge and is possible until 25 June 2016.