The Council Of Europe's Relations with the OSCE

The OSCE's headquarters in Vienna.

The relationship between the Council of Europe and the OSCE (previously the CSCE) is based on the common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and the commitment of these organisations to mutual reinforcement of action, taking into consideration the differences in membership and working methods.

The  various forms of consultation, liaison and co-operation which developed in the 90s were fixed in the Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities compiled by the two Secretariats in 2000. The Catalogue aimed “at guaranteeing the institutional memory and ensuring that existing good practice was not forgotten or lost.”   

The Joint Statement signed by the Chairman of the CoE Committee of Ministers and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in the margins of the Warsaw Summit in May 2005 and the  Declaration on Co-operation between the CoE and the OSCE attached to it are still today important political guidelines for relations between the two organisations.

These modalities are regularly reviewed and adapted to the state and needs of co-operation between the two organisations.

On the basis of the political decisions and considerations described above, the following CoE-OSCE (CSCE) meeting modalities have been developed and implemented since the early 90s: 

  • Joint meetings of the CoE Ministers’ Deputies-OSCE Permanent Council;
  • Participation in meetings of the OSCE Ministerial Council and the CoE Committee of Ministers, the OSCE Permanent Council, the CoE  Ministers’ Deputies and their subsidiary structures;
  • 2+2 High-Level meetings;
  • Senior Officials meetings;
  • Co-ordination Group;
  • Tripartite High-Level meetings CoE-OSCE-UN/UN Office at Geneva (undergoing substantive reform);
  • Exchanges of views with the OSCE Permanent Council and the CoE Ministers’ Deputies and their  subsidiary structures.
  • Thematic co-operation ( examples – election observation, joint expert assessment)
  • Co-operation between the field missions

Guided by a desire to further strengthen the interaction between the two organisations, the CoE opened Liaison Offices with the OSCE in Vienna and with the OSCE/ODIHR in Warsaw in 2011.