The American President Gerald Ford addresses delegates to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Finlandia House in Helsinki on the morning of 1 August 1975.
© dpa - Bildarchiv
The OSCE as successor to the CSCE
The present-day OSCE was created by the Final Act of Helsinki in 1975 as the CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe). In the Charter of Paris in 1990 the Heads of State or Government of 34 states called for the creation of a Parliamentary Assembly.
Creation of the Parliamentary Assembly
"Recognizing the important role parliamentarians can play in the CSCE process, we call for greater parliamentary involvement in the CSCE, in particular through the creation of a CSCE parliamentary assembly, involving members of parliament from all participating states. To this end, we urge that contacts be pursued at parliamentary level to discuss the field of activities, working methods and rules of procedure of such a CSCE parliamentary structure, drawing on existing experience and work already undertaken in this field."
One year later parliamentarians from all CSCE signatory states implemented this project, defining the key cornerstones of the project - rules of procedure, working methods, size of the assembly, mandate and distribution of votes - in the Madrid Declaration (1991).
Since that time the Assembly has steadily expanded its range of activity. In addition to the Annual Session, the Assembly has for a number of years also regularly held a meeting in February at the seat of the OSCE in Vienna and a meeting in autumn in a Mediterranean country.