Parliamentary Assembly of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE (PA OSCE) is the parliamentary dimension of the OSCE, which was established as a forum for East-West dialogue during the Cold War. The Parliamentary Assembly was established by the 1990 Paris Summit primarily to promote greater involvement of the OSCE national parliaments in its work and has evolved over time into very active and valued member of the OSCE family. Its primary task is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue, an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.
Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE has 320 members from 56 countries. Members have received their mandates from their national parliaments and they meet three times a year in order to discuss issues that are important for OSCE activities and efforts. Members of the Assembly prepare declarations, announcements and recommendations which are addressed to governments, assemblies and civil society regarding important issues related to promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, economic and ecologic cooperation and military and security issues.
Each of the national parliaments today has members with OSCE expertise who are in a position to support and influence the Organization’s policies. Appropriately, their work increases political responsibility and legitimacy of the OSCE, and on the other hand it improves the transparency of the OSCE’s work in all sectors. Special importance of the PA OSCE is perceived during the monitoring of elections, particularly parliamentary ones, in regions with OSCE presence. Programme engages members of the member states parliaments to run OSCE election projects as expert observers.
Members of the Assembly also follow the manner in which the OSCE performs undertaken duties by participation at thematic seminars and conferences which the Assembly regularly organizes. These events between the Assembly sessions are dedicated to specific topic that the OSCE deals with, such as: security, minorities, migrations, organized crime and corruption, etc. It also deals with regional issues including democracy building in Caucasian and Balkan region, OSCE Trans-Asian Dimension, as well as with Mediterranean and Arctic region. Furthermore, OSCE also organizes an economic conference every other year.
All these OSCE events provide the parliamentarians with possibilities to exchange views with colleagues and international experts and to deepen their understanding of OSCE issues within the wider context of OSCE principles and the OSCE's comprehensive concept of security. The Assembly has regular formal and informal interaction with the other OSCE Institutions and it also maintains close co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Assembly of the Western European Union and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the European Parliament and the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), all of which have observer status in the OSCE PA.
Bosnia and Herzegovina as an OSCE Member State is entitled to appointment of three members of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina as representatives in the Parliamentary assembly of OSCE.
Delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH in the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE consists of three members who are concurrently assigned to PA OSCE Committees:
- General Committee on Political Affairs and Security
- General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment
- General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions
Permanent delegation of the PA BiH also greatly contributes to the OSCE work through active involvement in Election Observation Missions, both in the region and in other European countries.
Member countries of the OSCE are: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Georgia, Holland, Croatia, Ireland, Island, Italy, Canada, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Kirgizstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, United States of America, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Holy See, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.