Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary dimension of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The primary task of the 320 member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue, an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.[1]

The Parliamentary Assembly was originally established by the 1990 Paris Summit to promote greater involvement in the OSCE by national parliaments of the participating States. By passing resolutions and issuing formal recommendations to participating States, it aims to assess the implementation of OSCE objectives by participating States; discuss subjects addressed during meetings of the Ministerial Council and summit meetings of OSCE 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 OSCE participating States; and contribute to the development of OSCE institutional structures and of relations and co-operation between existing OSCE institutions.

In addition to holding periodic meetings of parliamentarians including an Annual Session held each summer, the OSCE PA also advances its goals through committee work that addresses important contemporary international issues; an extensive election observation programme, and by holding seminars on topics of interest. In addition, parliamentary delegations are sent on special missions to areas of latent or active crisis.

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE

At each Annual Session the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly elects a President who acts as the highest representative of the Assembly and presides over the meetings of the Assembly. The President is elected for one year and can be re-elected for an additional one-year term.

Petros Efthymiou, a member of the Greek Parliament, was elected President of the Assembly at the 2010 Annual Session in Oslo. He had previously served as Vice-President of the Assembly, and as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Second General Committee.[2] A former Minister of Education and Religious affairs, Mr. Efthymiou has had a long and distinguished career in both print and broadcast journalism. He is a founding member of the Greek socialist party (PASOK), and has been a member of the Greek Parliament since 2004. Mr. Efthymiou has also served as a Member of the European Parliament.