Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe at crossroad`s by Professor Anton Caragea PhD , MA, FINS

March 13, 2010

Born in the wind of Cold War.

When it was created OSCE brunt the mark of the Cold War institution his main role being in a world of competition between communist and a capitalist system , Western and Eastern military alliance ( NATO and Warsaw treaty )to maintain a fragile unite on a broken continent tarnished by the Iron Curtin . In this tense  climate OSCE prove his utility, in a climate never as reminding a warm war as in the beginning of the 80`s OSCE was the last fragile place where an eastern bloc entered in Afghanistan adventure and a Western alliance decided to launch the Reagan star wars seemed condemned to collide in a nuclear war.

OSCE and the West – East dialogue.

Session like in Vienna in   November 1986   remained part of the Cold War history and many historians appreciate that , without the vital line of communication, understanding and discussion , launched by the OSCE session of the time, the lack of dialogue would have had unimaginable consequences. But avoiding a nuclear war and keeping open a line of communication between adversary  on European continent was not the only service to humanity that OSCE brought in that time: we must not forget that the issue of human rights in the eastern block was raised within the framework of Helsinki treaty and under the operation of OSCE . The reformers at Prague or at Berlin used in the names of their organizations and there manifests calling for greater human rights liberty within the eastern Block exactly the text of Helsinki and the documents of OSCE . In 1989 when the communist system was collapsing OSCE find herself in a difficult situation. An institution born from the Cold War necessity, build as a structure for dialogue between irrepressible adversaries was now in the search for another role.

OSCE and the Paris Chart : the long way for a new Europe

And OSCE has found this role and new place in the brave new world that communist collapse leave it behind. OSCE became in a moment that European Economic Community was only building herself and the political European structure was only a plan , and where Warsaw Treaty has dissolved himself and NATO was only an impossible and in some cases a distant dream from becoming a large strategic structure of security OSCE remained the only European forum that took the charge of protecting human rights agenda, fostering cooperation between former  enemies, offering democracy building services, offering election monitoring and creating the climate in a Central and Eastern Europe that was engulf one more time in nationalistic movement for dialogue and detente  and also providing a window of opportunity for discussion and cooperation with the West.

If it is to summarize the OSCE agenda of the beginning of the 90`s we will see that instead of dissolving herself as someone has suggested the OSCE took an active and full of initiative role in making anew Europe. The dialogue with Russia, the dialogue with Baltic countries, the long list of peace initiatives in Bosnia and in former Yugoslavia, the OSCE democracy building team, the OSCE role in promoting peace and disengagement all are still vivid in our memory.

 OSCE: an un glorious end ?

Unfortunately after the mid90`s the relevance of the organizations started gradually to decrease. The role of promoting military and strategic security on the continent was now gradually overtaken by the NATO alliance, the gradually expansion toward East of NATO in 1999, 2004 and in 2009 expansion waves   was perceived by many of the people of the continent as enough to insure their future security while in the East some opinions where that this expansion will only increase tensions. Also after 2001 the global concept of security and strategic alliances shifted when the so called war on terror was launched, this meant an emphasize on Afghanistan, then on Iraq , a general focus on the Middle east all objectives that OSCE was neither familiar to or neither politically inclined to tackle. The expansion of European Union , much less controversial that NATO expansion was also seen  as a substitute to working within OSCE frame work for better economic cooperation and it seemed for the most optimistic of the observer that some time the European Union will become the leading actor in European cooperation. OSCE remained all this time an important actor but it seemed lass enthusiastic about, less important than it once was.  

OSCE is creating a North South dialogue.

Even in this time of perceived shrinking relevance OSCE did not subside in offering new directions for international politics and diplomacy, one example being the construction of the framework of cooperation with partner countries. This OSCE partnership in strengthening democracy, civil society role and in prevent conflicts and creating opportunities for security and cooperation became not only an efficient way of giving OSCE an opportunity to cooperate with other geographical areas but also became an example for another inclusive cooperation framework . From Japan to South Korea to Australia ( the newest member) the partnership framework prove his utility in sensitive areas like: politic and military dimension ( arms control, border management, antiterrorist activities , conflict prevention, military reform , policing and implementation of international accords ) to economic and environmental action  to human dimension ( raging from combating human trafficking , democratization ,education, elections monitoring, human rights minority rights and media freedom .  Acting in all this important fields it was bound to happen that OSCE received some criticism but looking at long historical perspective we cannot emphasize enough the positive role of OSCE. 

OSCE a political philosophy of : possible .

 In fact many of the accusation addressed to OSCE of not being strong or efficient enough are just a result of a philosophical fundamental decision of OSCE of creating a balanced environment, or not making the human rights as a symbol for internal affairs interfering, monitoring elections process with scrutiny but not accepting to use this a way of creating pressures to a country. This important philosophical concept of OSCE based on the Helsinki Accord and  Paris Charta of respecting the sovereignty and non interfering in internal affairs of member states . Today when concepts like early warning, conflict prevention by armed intervention, some crisis management practice  and post-conflict rehabilitation strategy  are severely debated or criticized the OSCE experience and philosophy could offer a solution for actions with reasonability, this is not weakness this is reasonable action.

In the last years OSCE was confronted with new provocations : the long war in Afghanistan and Iraq , the crisis in the issues related to Palestine , the tensions  in Caucasus region , the necessity of building a Mediterranean community , the necessity to offer Russia the legitimate assurances regarding his security the cooperation in Black sea region and even crisis like Kosovo all are requiring a diplomatic response and a conceptual one based on what some foreign policy experts , I include this also myself )called a New Helsinki Accord  . In this action OSCE must have an important role.

2010- A decisive year. Kazakhstan Presidency

I like to call 2010 a decisive year for Europe, not in the sense that Europe must change his destiny in this year or we must see enormous actions to change our continent but in the idea that in this year we must have to see the beginning of a diplomatic and international debate regarding where we want Europe to had on? This political, cultural and economic debate must start this year and this year must register the beginning of recognizing the need for a change, the need for a philosophical debate, the need for a new framework of action.

The four T

In this respect I can only salute the President Nazarbaev decision to foster such a debate and to center OSCE in the middle of this reform camp and in the melee for this conceptual renewal of one of Europe most prestigious institution. This beginning is well choosing and defined by the four T: Tradition, Tolerance, Trust, and Transparency announced by President Nazarbaev are exactly in the spirit of OSCE action. An action that is build on Trust- a trust accumulated in more the 3o years of activity, Tradition because we must build not against past as someone want, not destroying the history but rather build on it, Tolerance, because we are increasingly leaving, unfortunately in an intolerant world where the difference is spelled enemy and distrust and Transparency, because in a world that is infested by so called  plots and conspiracy the transparency is the only base for trust and for efficient actions.

A Summit of hope.

OSCE could not work without acting together and without a new philosophy based on a new summit after 11 years from the last summit  the necessity for such a gathering is imposing itself a new: “summit would not only give a powerful impetus to adapting the OSCE to modern challenges and threats, but would also increase the confidence and respect enjoyed by the Organization itself among our peoples”.

This appeal by President Nursultan Nazarbaev launched at Vienna Conference is coming with a realistically assessment: we must not let OSCE disappear or being just a forum of no importance: “the OSCE is an organization that cannot be replaced. Its stagnation or disappearance would create a volatile vacuum in the Euro-Atlantic area “appreciate correct president Nazarbaev.

It is to be commended this effort launched by Kazakhstan Chairmanship in obtaining a renewal of OSCE : the idea of expanding OSCE action toward Asia, the impact of intolerance and the necessity of offering to Islamic community a supplementary voice and respectability emphasizing in the present day tensioned climate that Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace. 

„OSCE could not be replaced”.

  This ambitious agenda: a new summit, an European debate on the  future of OSCE , the building of a security and cooperation common space from Asia to Europe and initiating a really  constructive not professorial or preaching North – South dialogue  .Also we must not forget that OSCE is having one more time a role in Europe, a concentrated activity on West Balkans , the necessity of dialogue and support for Balkan area and a focus on economic crisis het country as Macedonia or Albania that must enjoy the OSCE economic role or the Eastern area of Europe where  tensions and economic problems and security issue where democracy building and democratic state  support is still necessary .   It is a tremendous provocation that lies ahead of OSCE in 2001 and years to come.  Kazakhstan is having the courage to act, the power to try, the  decision to put in practice and the strength to require to Europe a lucid analysis to OSCE present situation and a response. Yes Kazakhstan could have just wait for 365 day to pass and Chairmanship to be awarded to another country and let  others launched this debate, but Kazakhstan did not choose the easy way out, no Kazakhstan decided to confront the reality to proposed ambitious goals and for this to make a truly decisive year: 2010 – the year when OSCE start his new page of history.   

Professor Anton Caragea PhD. MA, FINS

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Profesor Anton Caragea – Co-presedinte al Conferintei OSCE 2010 declara: OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit

March 13, 2010

Organizatia pentru Securitate si Cooperare in Europa , la rascruce  de prof. dr. Anton Caragea

Nascuta in atmosfera Razboiului Rece.

Inca de la nasterea sa OSCE a purtat marca atmosferei Razboiului Rece, ca o institutie al carui principal rol a fost mentinerea unei fragile unitati pe un continent divizat de Cortina de Fier si de competitia mondiala intre sistemul capitalist si cel comunist si intre aliantele  militare ale Vestului si Estului ( NATO si tratatul de la Varsovia ).

In acest climat, tensionat, OSCE si-a demonstrat utilitatea, intr-un mediu ce deseori amintea mai mult de un razboi deschis decat de cel rece , precum cel de la inceputul anilor `80 ,OSCE  a fost ultima insula fragila de dialog intre blocul estic, lansat in aventura din Afganistan si alianta vestica, implicata in  razboiul stelelor al lui Reagan si ce pareau a se indrepta catre un razboi nuclear.

OSCE si dialogul Vest – Est.                                       

Sesiuni ,precum cea de la Viena din noiembrie 1986, ce au ramas ca o parte integranta a istoriei razboiului rece si multi istorici apreciaza ca fara aceasta vitala linie de comunicare, dialog si intelegere lansata de OSCE,   lipsa de dialog ar  fi avut consecinte inimaginabile. Evitarea unui razboi nuclear si mentinerea deschisa a liniilor de comunicare, intre adversarii de pe continentul european, nu a fost singurul serviciu adus umanitatii de catre OSCE in aceea perioada . Nu trebuie sa uitam ca problema drepturilor omului, in blocul rasaritean, a fost ridicata in cadrul dezbaterilor de la Helsinki si in cadrul actiunilor  OSCE. Reformistii de la Praga sau Berlin au folosit pentru organizatiile si manifestele lor, ce solicitau respectarea drepturilor omului in cadrul blocului estic, exact documentele de la Helsinki si cele ale OSCE . In 1989 cand sistemul comunist s-a prabusit OSCE s-a trezit confruntat cu o noua situatie. O institutie a Razboiului Rece , construita pe o structura a dialogului intre adversari ireconciliabili era acum in cautarea unui nou rol.

OSCE si Charta de la Paris: lungul drum catre o noua Europa .

OSCE si a faurit acest nou rol si nou loc, in noua lume nascuta din colapsul comunismului . OSCE a devenit singurul spatiu comun de dialog , in momentul in care Comunitatea Economica Europeana se reconstruia , iar nasterea unei structuri politice europene era doar in faza de planseta.  Tratatul de la Varsovia se autodizolvase iar NATO era doar un vis distant sau chiar imposibil de atins si in orice caz departe de a deveni o structura de securitate la nivel european. Ei bine in acest context OSCE a ramas singul for general european care a preluat in agenda sa protectia drepturilor omului, imbunatatirea cooperarii intre fosti inamici, constructia democratica , monitorizarea alegerilor , crearea unui dialog si a unei detensionari intr-o Europa centrala si de est ce cunoasteau pasiunile nationalismului post comunist si in final fiind si o cale de dialog si cooperare cu Vestul continentului. Daca este sa oferim un sumar al agendei OSCE, la inceputul anilor `90, vom vedea ca in loc sa se dizolve, asa cum unii cerusera la inceputul anilor `90 , OSCE a preluat un rol de initiativa si activ in constructia unei noi Europe.

Dialogul cu Rusia, dialogul cu Tarile Baltice, lunga lista de initiative ale pacii in fosta Yugoslavie si Bosnia, echipele de constructie democratica ale OSCE, rolul organizatiei in pastrarea pacii si in dezangajarea din conflicte sunt inca vii in memoria noastra.

OSCE: un sfarsit lipsit de glorie ?

Din nefericire, dupa jumatatea anilor `90, relevanta organizatiei a inceput in mod gradual sa se diminueze. Rolul sau in promovarea securitatii militare si strategice pe continent a devenit treptat un obiectiv al Aliantei Nord-Atlantice , expansiunea graduala a NATO spre Est in 1999 , 2004 si 2009 a fost perceputa de multi ca suficienta pentru a asigura viitoarea securitate a continentului. In timp ce alte voci estice au vorbit de o crestere a tensiunii. Dupa 2001 conceptul global de securitate si alianta strategica s-a deplasat ,odata cu lansarea noului concept despre un asa zis razboi impotriva terorii. Aceasta a insemnat o concentrare a zonei de interes in Afganistan , Iraq si o concentrare pe Orientul Mijlociu , toate obiective cu care OSCE in acel moment nu era familiarizat si nici nu avea vointa politica de a se axa pe ele. Expansiunea Uniunii Europene , niciodata controversata precum cea a NATO, a fost un substitut pentru lucrul in cadrul OSCE pe problemele cooperarii economice . Toate acestea ii faceau pe cei mai optimisti comentatori sa considere un viitor in care Uniunea Europeana deenea actorul central pe contient , ceea ce facea ca OSCE sa ramana un factor important, dar privit cu mai putin entuziasm ca odinioara .

OSCE si crearea unui dialog Nord-Sud.

Chiar si in acest timp, de aparenta relevanta in reducere, OSCE nu a incetat sa ofere noi directii in politica internationala , diplomatie, si un exemplu de construire a unui cadru de cooperare cu tarile partenere.

Parteneriatele OSCE de promovare a democratiei , a rolului societatii civile si a prevenirii conflictelor si crearea de noi oportunitati pentru securitate si cooperare a devenit nu doar o metoda eficienta de a crea oprtunitati de cooperare OSCE si alte zone geografice dar si un exemplu de construire a unui cadru de colaborare. Din Japonia in Coreea de Sud si Australia ( cel mai nou membru) al formulei de colaborare si parteneriat, aceasta  si a demonstrat utilitatea in arii sensibile precum : politica , cooperare militara ,controlul armamentelor , securizarea frontierelor , activitati de preventie antiterorista , prevenirea conflictelor, reforma militara , politie si implementarea acordurilor internationale. Acesta zon de colaborare se extind pana la cooperare economica si de mediu si pana la dimensiunea umana ( de la combaterea traficului de fiinte umane , democratizare , educatie, monitorizarea alegerilor , drepturile omului si ale minoritatilor si libertatea presei. Actionand  in toate aceste zone importante  era normal ca OSCE sa devina tinta criticilor, dar privind din perspectiva lunga a istoriei nu putem sublinia indeajuns rolul pozitiv al OSCE. 

OSCE: o filosofie politica a posibilului

In fapt multe din acuzatiile aduse OSCE, cum ca nu ar fi suficient de hotarata sau de eficienta, sunt doar rezultatul unei decizii filosofice fundamentale a OSCE de a crea un mod de actiune echilibrat , si de a nu trasnforma problema drepturilor omului in drept de ingerinta sau procesele electorale monitorizate ca un mod de a face presiuni asupra unor state independente. Acest concept filosofic important este bazat de Acordurile de la Helsinki si pe Charta de la Paris ce statueaza decizia de a respecta suveranitatea si neamestecul in treburile interne ale statelor membre.  Astazi cand concepte precum: interventia preventiva , prevenirea conflictelor prin interventie armata si anumite practici ale managementului de criza si a reabilitarii post-conflict, sunt aspru criticate si luate in discutie, experienta OSCE si filosofia ei pot oferi solutii pentru o actiune responsabila , aceasta nu e slabiciune ci actiune cu responsabilitate.

In ultimi ani OSCE a fost confruntata cu noi provocari : lungul razboi din Afganistan si Irak , criza legata de procesul de pace palestinian , tensiunile din regiunea Caucazului , necesitatea constructiei unei comunitati mediteraniene , necesitatea de a oferii Rusiei asigurarile legitime de securitate si cooperarea in regiunea Marii Negre si solutionarea crizelor, precum Kosovo.Toate acestea necesita un raspuns diplomatic si conceptual bazat pe ceea ce anumiti experti internationali, uniti intr-o retea , printre care si subsemnatul, numesc un Nou Acord Helsinki. In aceasta actiune OSCE este chemat la un rol important. 

2010- Un an decisiv. Presedentia Kazahstanului.

Imi place sa numesc anul 2010 ca un an decisiv pentru Europa , nu in sensul ca Europa trebuie sa isi schimbe destinul in acest an sau ca trebuie sa schimbam continentul. Dar in ideea ca in acest an trebuie sa vedem un inceput al dezbaterii diplomatice si internationale care trebuie sa decida care e viitorul Europei ? Ce Europa dorim sa construim ? Aceasta dezbatere politica, culturala si economica trebuie sa inceapa in acest an si acest an trebuie sa marcheze recunoasterea nevoii de schimbare , necesitatea unei dezbateri conceptuale , filosofice , si necesitatea unui plan de actiune.     

Cei patru  T

In aceasta privinta este de salutat decizia Presedintelui Nazarbaev de a accentua aceasta dezbatere si de a centra OSCE in mijlocul actiunii de reforma si in mijlocul actiunii conceptuale de refacere a uneia din cea mai prestigioase institutii europeana. Acest inceput este bine definit de cei patru T : Traditie, Toleranta, Transparenta si Incredere,  enuntate de presedintele Nazarbaev sunt exact in spiritul actiunii OSCE. O actiune ce este bazata de Incredere , o incredere acumulata in 30 de ani de activitate.  Traditie deoarece trebuie sa construim pe trecut, nu impotriva acestuia, asa cum vor unii , nu distrugand istoria ci construind pe baza ei .

Toleranta, deoarece traim din nefericire intr-o lume a intolerantei in care diferit se scrie inca dusman si neincredere. Trasparenta, deoarece intr-o lume in care auzim despre conflicte si conspiratii numai transparenta poate fi baza increderii si a actiunii eficiente.

Un summit al sperantei.

OSCE nu poate actiona fara un consens si fara o noua filosofie ce poate fi oferita de un nou summit. La 11 ani de la ultimul summit , necesitatea pentru o astfel de intalnire se impune de la sine. Un nou summit nu va da doar un imbold puternic la adaptarea OSCE la provocarile moderne si amenintarile noi, dar la fel va creste increderea si respectul de care se bucura Organizatia insasi in cadrul propriilor popoare. Acest apel al presedintelui Nazarbaev, lansat la conferinta de la Viena, vine cu o analiza realista : nu trebuie sa lasam OSCE sa dispara sau sa se transforme intr-o  organizatie lipsita de relevanta: OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit. Stagnarea sau disparitia sa ar crea un vaccum in zona Euro-Atlantica, aprecia corect presedintele Nazarbaev.

Este de apreciat acest efort, lansat de Presedintia Kazahstan, in obtinerea unei renasteri a OSCE : ideea expansiunii actiunii OSCE catre Asia , impactul intolerantei si necesitatea de a oferii comunitatii islamice o voce suplimentara si o respectabilitate cu un accent pe Islamul ca religie a pacii si a tolerantei in acest climat tensionat.

OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit.

Aceasta agenda ambitioasa mai cuprinde : un nou summit , o dezbatere europeana asupra viitorului OSCE , constructia unui spatiu comun de securitate si cooperare intre Asia si Europa si initierea unui unei apropieri constructive realizate nu pe ton profesoral sau pe predici intre Nord si Sud. De altfel nu trebuie sa uitam ca OSCE are inca un rol de jucat pe continentul european , o activitate ce trebuie concentrata pe Balcaniide Vest , pe necesitatea dialogului si a sprijinului in zona Balcanilor cu accent pe ajutorarea economica a zonelor afectate de actuala criza precum Macedonia si Albania, care trebuie sa se bucure de rolul economic al OSCE  sau in zona Europei de Est in care OSCE are un rol de jucat in constructia democratica sau in ajutorul economic si de securitate . Sunt provocari enorme care stau inaintea OSCE in 2010 si in anii care vor urma . Kazahstanul a avut curajul de a actiona , puterea de a incerca si decizia de a lua actiuni practice si puterea de a cere Europei o lucida analiza a situatie actuale a OSCE si un raspuns la aceasta.

Da, Kazahstanul ar fi putut doar sa astepte sa treaca  365 de zile si Presedintia sa fie acordata unei alte tari si sa ii lase pe altii sa initieze aceasta dezbatere , dar Kazahstanul nu a ales calea usoara de iesire. Nu Kazahstanul a decis sa confrunte realitatea si sa propuna obiective ambitioase si pentru asta sa faca din 2010 un an decisiv, anul in care OSCE a inceput o noua pagina a istoriei sale.