Objectives and Tasks

Participants at a meeting of the OSCE PA in Hamburg in December 2016

Participants at a meeting of the OSCE PA in Hamburg in December 2016 (OSCE Parliamentary Assembly)

In addition to the Assembly’s primary task of facilitating inter-parliamentary dialogue, its responsibilities and objectives as set out in Article 2 of the Rules of Procedure, are to:

  • assess the implementation of the objectives of the OSCE by the participating States,discuss subjects addressed during meetings of the Ministerial Council and the summits of Heads of State or Government,
  • develop and promote mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflicts,
  • support the strengthening and consolidation of democratic institutions in the OSCE participating States, and
  • contribute to the development of the institutional structures of the OSCE and of relations and cooperation between the existing OSCE institutions.

Meetings of the Assembly

At its Annual Session the Assembly debates issues relevant to the OSCE and adopts recommendations addressed to the Governments and Parliaments of the OSCE participating States and the OSCE Executive. The Chairperson-in-Office and Secretary General of the OSCE regularly appear before the parliamentarians to answer questions. At the Winter and Autumn Meetings the OSCE PA examines the implementation of its recommendations and focuses in particular on dialogue with government-level representatives.

Election Observation

Observation of presidential and parliamentary elections has been a particular key element of the work of the OSCE PA since 1993. The presence of parliamentary election observers particularly at elections held during a country’s transition phase underlines and demonstrates how important the legislature is as an institutional counterweight to the executive. Since 1997 a cooperation agreement has been in place with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) relating to election observation missions. The OSCE PA also works closely with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Observation missions generally involve up to 100 parliamentarians.