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Cooperation, Trust, Security?

The Potential and Limits of the OSCE’s Economic and Environmental Dimension

SWP Research Paper 2019/RP 16, 23.12.2019, 29 Pages


Research Areas

Dr Franziska Smolnik is Deputy Head of the Eastern Europe and Eurasia Research Division.

 In the context of a European security order under pressure, the OSCE – and its long neglected economic and environmental dimension – has developed a new dynamism.

 The potential for generating trust in this area is attributed to the idea that economics and the environment are supposedly less sensitive issues to cooperate on. The assumption is that this trust can subsequently have a positive effect on cooperation in other fields, and contribute to greater security in Europe as a whole.

 In this regard, the results of this study suggest that we should manage expectations pragmatically: the chances of cooperation on OSCE “second-dimension” issues should be kept in perspective.

 A greater degree of intergovernmental cooperation does not automatically mean an increase in trust, nor does spillover between “low politics” and “high politics” necessarily occur.

 Alongside its EU partners, Germany should therefore pay particular attention as to how to upgrade the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension.

 Connections between the OSCE dimensions should be actively promoted; debates in the “second dimension” could be even more closely tied to the discussion on the crumbling basic consensus over rule-based order and common principles.

Issues and Recommendations

Following the Cold War, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) led rather a niche existence in the shadow of NATO and the European Union (EU). However, starting in 2014 the OSCE has attracted growing attention linked to the crisis in and around Ukraine. Against the backdrop of tensions between Russia on the one hand and the EU and USA on the other, the Organisation with its inclusive and consensus-based model has now returned to the fore. The OSCE, which has 57 participating states and sees itself as a platform for dialogue in the space between Vancouver and Vladivostok, is regarded by many as one of the few remaining multilateral communication forums between “East” and “West”, and thus as a forum that should be further utilised.

In particular, the Organisation’s long-neglected “second dimension”, which deals with economic and environmental issues, has been revitalised in recent years. Various governments consider the forum that the Organisation (with its headquarters in Vienna) offers for these policy fields as a platform for mutu­ally beneficial cooperation with a de-escalating effect. A common agenda on economic and environmental issues, they argue, could help to restore lost trust be­tween states. To this end, participants in the economic and environmental dimension explore such novel issues as “economic connectivity” or, more recently, “digitisation”. According to the calculations of some Western states, cooperation on such (supposedly) less intrusive matters could serve as an entry point and subsequently also have a positive impact on dialogue in the other dimensions: the first dimension dealing with political-military security and the third, human dimension of security. In these two areas there has recently been little consensus and therefore little prog­ress. The agenda of the German OSCE chairmanship in 2016 was based on such an interpretation: Under the guiding principle “Renewing dialogue, re­building trust, restoring security”, Germany attempted to enhance the second dimension by focusing on “con­nectivity”. The second dimension also attracted attention under the subsequent Austrian (2017) and Italian (2018) chairmanships, and Slovakia, which holds the chair in 2019, has been continuing this course by focusing on “digitisation”, “connectivity” and “energy”.

Given the increased engagement in the previously rather neglected second dimension, and against the background of the accompanying expectations, a number of questions arise. What place should the economic and environmental dimension actually have in the overall OSCE structure? What potential does cooperation in this dimension have for sustain­ably generating trust? What conditions, if any, may need to be met for this trust to grow and for positive spillover to occur for dialogue within the OSCE as a whole? These questions, which also concern the (charged) relationship between the two titular corner­stones of the OSCE, “security” and “cooperation”, will be examined in this study.

The study focuses on a specific area of activity of a specific international organisation: the economic and environmental dimension of the OSCE. However, the insights it provides have wider applications. Given the crumbling European security order, commentators have repeatedly stressed the possibility of gener­ating trust through cooperation on less controversial issues, thus ultimately contributing to a higher de­gree of security and stability in Europe. In this regard, the results of the present study suggest a pragmatic managing of expectations. The academic debate reveals that a higher degree of intergovernmental cooperation does not automatically mean more trust between the actors involved. Moreover, positive spill­over from negotiations on (supposedly) less entrenched or contentious issues to more conflict-laden ones – or from “low” to “high politics” – is by no means guaranteed.

Adopting this sober view does not mean that re­viving the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension is redundant. Yet it should be part of reasonable expectations to focus particularly on how to upgrade the second dimension. The study offers some suggestions for this. Since positive spillover hardly occurs by itself, Germany and other EU mem­bers could actively promote the linking of the eco­nomic and environmental dimension with the two other dimensions – for example, by continuing and intensifying their current efforts to enshrine human rights references in the documents of the second dimension as well, and to assemble package solutions, i.e. to work towards a joint vote on decisions from different dimensions. As well as the rounds of negotiations on decisions to be put to the vote at the Ministerial Council at the end of each OSCE year, the meetings of the economic and environmental dimen­sion, which take place throughout the year, could also be increasingly used for exchanges on the nexus of the economy, the environment and security.

Sustainable trust grows slowly and can be achieved through specific measures only to a limited extent, if at all. Nevertheless, trust is ultimately based on com­municative practice. Germany and the EU states could therefore make intensive use of the meetings to pro­mote their own positions and communicate their own values, even though they are not necessarily shared or adopted by all other participating states. A (renewed) focus on a clear security reference in the second dimen­sion may imply that, here too, the debates will be more controversial than before. As long as the conflicting interests that certainly exist on economic and environmental issues as well can be discussed dispassionately and, at best, productively, this should not be seen as a disadvantage.

The OSCE Newly in Demand

Following the end of the Cold War, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe long played a subordinate, if not marginalised, role in the institutional structure of European security.1 After the col­lapse of the Soviet Union, the CSCE/OSCE2 certainly had a place in the concept of a European security architecture consisting of several interlocking institu­tions. However, compared to the EU and NATO, both of which enlarged eastwards (in 2004 and 2007, and in 1999 and 2004, respectively), its role became in-creasingly diminished. As a result, the organisation was often associated more with niche functions or – at least from a traditional security perspective – with “soft” aspects of security such as election observation, preventative diplomacy, or the protection of minorities.3 Since at least the late 1990s, OSCE observers have attested to an institutional crisis; in the mid-2000s it culminated in some considering possibly winding down the organisation completely.4

The OSCE in the Shadow of NATO and the EU

In fact, NATO and the EU expanded not only their membership, but also their fields of activity and tasks. After the end of the Cold War, NATO no longer saw itself merely as a defence alliance limited to the pro­tection of its own territory. Instead, it added out-of-area missions to its portfolio and, although military strength and deterrence remained core elements, it assumed additional tasks in the field of (civilian) crisis intervention. The EU as well developed instruments for crisis management – as a supplement to its eco­nomic weight and financial resources, which it used in its foreign and security policy in the form of ap­propriate incentives and the prospect of sharing in economic prosperity. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its capacity in conflict prevention and post-con­flict rehabilitation.5

The OSCE, with its inclusivity from the outset and its large geographical range from “Vancouver to Vladi­vostok”, would have been an obvious candidate for a central security organisation in Europe. Moscow, in particular, had such a status in mind for the OSCE in the 1990s and pushed ahead with corresponding re­form proposals.6 However, the OSCE was unable to keep pace with developments in NATO and the EU post-Cold War. From the point of view of many West­ern actors, the portfolio extension carried out by these two organisations increasingly pushed the OSCE into the background. Even though both NATO (e.g. via the NATO-Russia Council) and the EU (e.g. within the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement) made offers of cooperation and engage­ment to the Kremlin, Russia considered itself ex­cluded from the two most important organisations of Euro­pean security, and thus marginalised in important decisions in this policy field. Unlike in the OSCE, it had no voting or veto rights in either the EU or NATO.7 The OSCE – which unlike NATO has no military capacities of its own, and unlike the EU no significant financial resources either – essentially had to modestly position itself within this institutional trio as a forum for dialogue that concentrates on “low-intensity” security aspects, and whose com­parative strength in the political-military sphere lies in confidence-building measures.8

The Russian proposals in the 1990s that aimed at reforming and upgrading the OSCE had met with a limited response on the part of the EU and the USA. By the mid-2000s the organisation was viewed in­creasingly critically in Moscow.9 In particular, Russia and several other post-Soviet states criticised what they saw as the Organisation’s one-sided focus on human dimension issues, to the detriment of coop­eration in political-military affairs and economic and environmental issues. In fact, the balance between dimensions had increasingly become a bone of con­tention between participating states.10 Russia and other countries have accused the Organisation of bias and “double standards” towards the states “east of Vienna”. Not least due to the numerical dominance of EU and NATO states, the OSCE was accused of criti­cis­ing developments on the territory of the former Soviet Union in particular, and of interfering in the internal affairs of these countries.11 The different perspectives on European security issues increasingly influenced and paralysed decision-making within the Organisation.12

The crisis that began in 2014 in and around Ukraine marked a turning point in the perception of the OSCE.

Back from the Sidelines?

The crisis that began in 2014 in and around Ukraine marked a turning point in the perception of the OSCE. The Organisation accrued importance; accord­ing to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, acting German presi­dent and former foreign minister, it is once again “indis­pensable” today.13 Various actors had previously criti­cised the forum for dialogue and negotiation as an inefficient “talking shop”.14 Since then, the Organisa­tion has been recognised as one of the few remaining platforms for communication between East and West. Suddenly, those OSCE characteristics that were pre­viously held against it for limiting the Organisation’s room for manoeuvre, such as its strong consensus orientation, were seen as advantages. In the OSCE, the consensus rule is deviated from only in the case of extremely flagrant violations of the institution’s principles (“consensus minus one”), which de facto grants the states represented in the OSCE a veto op­tion. Instead of sanctions to enforce norms, the OSCE relies on norm socialisation. The decisions it takes are not legally binding.

According to its supporters, the OSCE could contribute to restoring lost trust in Europe.

In view of current challenges to European security, policy-oriented observers see a particular advantage in the OSCE’s niche position and function in the shadow of NATO and the EU, and in its specific in­clusive formats and decision-making processes. For them, the OSCE is predestined to be a place of dia­logue between all relevant actors since it is a non-partisan, neutral forum, in which all represented states have equal voting rights and thus act on an equal footing, officially at least.15 According to its supporters, the Organisation could thus contribute to restoring lost trust in Europe.16

However, the attitudes of the OSCE’s participating states continue to diverge with regard to which tasks it should actually tackle.17 The divergence of opinion is particularly marked concerning what degree of importance human dimension issues should have in the OSCE’s work, in particular deploying election observation missions, monitoring the freedom of the press and media, and ensuring respect for human rights. Consensus has therefore been the exception rather than the rule in the third dimension for sev­eral years. The relevance of the first dimension, which covers political-military aspects of security, was underscored by the crisis in and around Ukraine. The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission which is deployed there is now regarded as a flagship of the entire Orga­nisation. But here, too, we can see how deep the divisions currently are. In the context of conflicting Russian, European and American views on the threats to European security and their causes, existing agree­ments such as the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures are still waiting for updates. The current setbacks in international arms control give little cause for confidence that there will be progress in this area within the OSCE in the fore­seeable future.18 The Structured Dialogue, a relatively new format for exchanges in the political-military field, was decided at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg in 2016. While its establishment was linked to hopes for rapprochement between Russia and the Western states, it has also recently lost momentum, at least according to some close observers.19

In view of this, the OSCE’s long neglected second dimension has garnered attention. The OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons even reports that “in a radical re­verse of the past 30 years, the economic and environ­mental dimension is no longer the ‘empty basket’ and, at the moment, is one of the few entry points for dialogue between Europe and Russia”.20 Those in favour of intensifying cooperation in this dimension believe that the exchange on (supposedly) less contro­versial economic and environmental issues is an opportunity to resume a more constructive dialogue between Vancouver and Vladivostok. The trust re­gained within this framework could ultimately, according to these calculations, provide a foundation for positive dynamics in other areas with which the Organisation is concerned.21

The OSCE’s Philosophy and Guiding Principles

Those forces wanting to revive the second dimension, expecting positive impulses for the Organisation as a whole and for European security, start with two close­ly connected guiding principles of the OSCE: the crea­tion of cooperative security and of comprehensive security. Both concepts have shaped the CSCE since its inception in the 1970s.

Comprehensive Security

In its founding phase, the CSCE was ahead of other international actors, who had a narrower security understanding; even then it did not limit “security” to political-military issues. Instead, the state conference also subsumed cooperation in the fields of economics, the environment and science under the term security, as well as social, humanitarian, cultural and partici­patory aspects. Organisationally, this concept of com­prehensive security was expressed in the structure of conference work in the so-called “three baskets”, later renamed “three dimensions”: the first, political-mili­tary dimension; the second, dealing with economic and environmental issues; and the third, the human dimension. On the one hand, the concept of comprehensive security took account of the fact that security is multi-layered and complex and therefore cannot be reduced to political-military aspects. On the other, it was also an expression of the different interests of the participating states from the very beginning of the CSCE process, allowing these different priorities to be balanced by serving all three baskets.22

Cooperative Security

Along with a comprehensive understanding of secu­rity, the CSCE/OSCE also represented the concept of “cooperative security”: “Security is indivisible and the security of every participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others”; it cannot be achieved at the cost of other participating states.23 From this per­spective, the lack of security of one state has a nega­tive impact on all others.24 Cooperative security thus ideally excludes the use of physical force or its threat among the participating states of the CSCE/OSCE. The “Decalogue” of the Helsinki Final Act, on which the participating states agreed in 1975, already underlined this: among its fundamental principles were peaceful settlement of disputes, non-use and non-threat of force, and cooperation among states.25 With the concept of cooperative security, the CSCE/OSCE thus also transcended the prevailing understanding of security by replacing confrontational strategies based on coercion or military deterrence with cooperative approaches. The latter can essentially develop from negotiations and consultations and are based on transparency, persuasion and consensus – leitmotifs that are reflected in the (decision-making) structures and composition of the OSCE as an institution.26

Although comprehensive security and cooperative security are constitutive guiding principles of the CSCE/OSCE, both concepts do raise questions.

Unanswered Questions

Although comprehensive security and cooperative security are constitutive guiding principles of the CSCE/OSCE, both concepts do raise questions. They have also prompted criticism of the OSCE and discus­sion about reforming it. In principle, participating states continue to support the OSCE’s broad portfolio, which goes hand in hand with a comprehensive ap­proach. However, assessments of what areas of re­spon­sibility the OSCE should prioritise, and how these should be fleshed out, as well as opinions about the right balance between the three dimensions, have always diverged considerably. These divergences reflect the states’ different interests and specific secu­rity challenges. However, their emergence was also facilitated by the fact that there has thus far been little definition of the concept of comprehensive security. In most cases, reference is only made to the rough thematic division of the three dimensions. Especially in the early days of the CSCE, the comprehensive approach manifested itself in the form of “package solutions”: a combination of elements from different baskets.27 There is consensus that the three dimensions are interrelated in principle; however, how this can be implemented both operationally and conceptually has yet to be clarified. The OSCE’s Maastricht Strategy of 2003, which identifies security challenges in the new century, acknowledges that they can often no longer be assigned to a single dimension. The document lists numerous new threats transcending the three dimensions and emphasises that they can only be addressed by strengthening the OSCE’s multidimensional approach. However, how this envisaged “coordinated” implementation of the comprehensive approach should actually take shape is not explained here either.28 Monika Wohlfeld’s as­sessment that “the debate on the relative strength and relationship between the various dimensions of secu­rity continues in the OSCE and will probably never leave its agenda” will likely continue to be valid.29

It is not only the concept of comprehensive secu­rity that is insufficiently defined. There are also un­answered questions regarding the approach to coop­erative security.30 At its core or as an ideal, the con­cept of cooperative security is based on the premise that all countries involved have a genuine interest in cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange, and treat each other with goodwill.31 However, this read­ing of cooperative security already presupposes the existence of a certain degree of trust as a basic condi­tion for cooperation to occur in the first place – trust which is actually only generated by cooperation; at least, that is the hope associated with a revival of the second dimension. Some critics therefore tend to be sceptical about the cooperative-security approach, and consider the expectations associated with it as exaggerated. In Antonio Ortiz’s assessment, “the OSCE’s cooperative security is […] insufficient as it presumes from states an automatic goodwill and permanent good faith.”32 In fact, the debate on co-op­erative security goes beyond the OSCE. It reflects dif­ferent perspectives on international relations, which in turn are expressed in different assessments of states’ willingness to cooperate or tendency to com­pete, and the associated issue of the role that inter­national organisations play.33

The basic principles of the CSCE/OSCE associated with cooperative security may have enjoyed general recognition in principle, but their implementa­tion has remained sketchy.

Concrete developments in the OSCE area, from the bloody conflicts in the Balkans to the secession con­flicts in the South Caucasus to, more recently, the Donbas conflict, have demonstrated the limits of the cooperative approach. The basic principles of the CSCE/OSCE associated with the concept may have enjoyed general recognition in principle, as do the de­cisions based on them, but their practical implementation in the OSCE area has always remained sketchy.34 Moreover, long-standing OSCE observers point out that the norms and principles of the Orga­nisation are increasingly interpreted differently by participating states and that a “normative gap” has arisen with negative consequences for cooperative security.35

In addition to these reservations about the concept of cooperative security, which have been deepened with recent developments, there are also differing assessments of the CSCE’s historic role, for example in overcoming the Cold War. A “return to Helsinki” is currently gathering support, yet various contemporary witnesses and historical analyses, while certainly highlighting and acknowledging the merits of the CSCE, have come to more circumscribed conclusions regarding its influence on the upheaval in world history during the late 1980s. For these critics, the CSCE was more an expression of the general world political climate than an effective agent of change. According to US historian Cathal J. Nolan, the CSCE was “more a barometer of than a cause of the level of detente” and “more […] a stenographer than an ex­ecu­tive of change”.36

Institutionalisation and Development of the Economic and Environmental Dimension

In line with the concept of comprehensive security, economic and environmental issues have been part of the CSCE/OSCE’s field of activity from the outset. Already in 1975, cooperation on economic, scientific, technological and environmental issues was among the ten principles laid down in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Final Act). This cooperation formed the second of the “three baskets”. Documents from the early days of the CSCE list a wealth of topics subsumed under the “second basket”, from scientific contacts to industrial cooperation and trade to the protection of the marine environment. This diversity mirrored the challenges of enabling an exchange between two com­pletely different economic and social systems.37

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the latter issue faded away. A new task became key: to support the transition of the former socialist coun­tries to functioning and sustainable market economies. Thus, in the 1990 Document of the Bonn Conference on Economic Co-operation in Europe, the participating states recognised the “relationship between political pluralism and market economies” and further ac­knowledged that democratic institutions and eco­nom­ic freedom advance economic and social progress.38

The Economic Forum (later Economic and Environ­mental Forum, EEF),39 founded in 1992, was also in­tended to promote the political and economic trans­formation of former socialist states. The annual con­cluding meeting of the EEF has been the most impor­tant and high-ranking event in the annual calendar of the second dimension.40 The annual meeting is de­signed as a platform for dialogue, and aims to provide political impetus and strategic orientation for coop­era­tion between states in the economic and environmental fields in support of other, more operational international organisations.41

In particular with the adoption of the OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension in 2003, the second dimension received greater atten­tion, including within the Organisation itself. The paper identified new challenges and threats to Euro­pean economic and environmental security in the light of developments over the previous decade, in­clud­ing a deepening of socio-economic inequalities, growing poverty and unemployment, increasing environmental degradation, and shortcomings in governance. Participating states also outlined how they intend to respond jointly to these problems and threats in individual fields, and what possibilities they saw for strengthening the OSCE accordingly.42 For example, they wanted to increase the impact of the Economic Forum as a key event of the second dimension. According to an OSCE decision of the following year, the EEF should be used even more strongly and purposefully for political dialogue be­tween the participating states on key economic and environmental challenges and their impact on Euro­pean security.43 Two years before the Maastricht strategy document, in 2001, the Economic Forum had already been joined by another body. The Economic and Environmental Subcommittee (later renamed the Economic and Environmental Committee, EEC), which meets regularly in Vienna, was meant to strengthen the second dimension structurally, pro­viding a space in between EEF meetings for OSCE delegations to exchange views on economic and environmental issues and their security policy im­plications on an ongoing basis.44

Unlike in the other two dimensions, there are no separate institutions assigned to the economic and environmental dimension.45 Since 1997, however, the Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) has been active in the Vienna Secretariat of the Organisation. Reporting directly to the Secretary General, it maintains contact with the OSCE’s field missions and assists participating states in translating second dimension decisions into national laws and regulations. The OCEEA pro­vides training courses and seminars aimed at capacity building and the dissemination of best practices, often conducted in cooperation with field missions, and it also has a monitoring function as part of the OSCE’s early warning role.46 The thematic radius of the OCEEA (and the field missions) results from the consensual decisions of the OSCE Ministerial Council, which at times entrust the OCEEA with specific (fol­low-up) tasks, as well as from the respective priorities set by the annually changing OSCE chairmanships. The Co-ordinator reports regularly on his work to the delegations in the Permanent Council, the OSCE’s weekly decision-making body. In general, however, interaction with the delegations is somewhat limited or happens more effectively at bi- or minilateral level, for example within the framework of targeted project financing, when participating states (individually or in combination) initiate specific projects through extra-budgetary contributions.47

Despite its scope, the second dimension remained organisationally and conceptually underdeveloped compared to the first and third.

Despite the wealth of issues falling within its scope and its gradual institutional anchoring following the end of the Cold War, the second dimension remained organisationally and conceptually underdeveloped compared to the first and third. Moreover, the imple­mented projects were often too small to significantly reduce economic and environmental challenges.48 The Economic and Environmental Forum has been accused of failing over the years to fulfil its task of facilitating a comprehensive debate between political decision-makers and representatives of business, academia and civil society.49 Torbjørn Bjorvatn, who has worked within the OSCE on the economic and environmental dimension, summarised the deficits as follows: “Despite continued efforts to boost its signif­i­cance and impact, the 2nd dimension has never at­tained the political leverage or conceptual coherence of the other two dimensions”.50 Even after the institu­tional expansions, the economic and environmental dimension remained the OSCE’s “stepchild”.

The “Rediscovery” of the Second Dimension

Given the aforementioned shortcomings, it is not surprising that the debate on a possible upgrading and increased visibility of the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension is longstanding. A number of Ministerial Council decisions aimed at strengthening the economic and environmental dimension, as well as food-for-thought and discussion papers, which were often developed within or at the request of the OSCE, had this objective in mind.51 The vast majority of these initiatives, however, dates back to the period before the crisis in and around Ukraine. The “rediscovery” of the second dimension in recent years, on the other hand, is precisely a reaction to the changed security environment since 2014 and the associated change in perception of the OSCE’s importance.

The Activation of the Second Dimension and the Role of Chairmanships since 2014

The upgrading of the second dimension is particularly linked to the OSCE chairmanships of recent years (Switzerland/Serbia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovakia) and their efforts to (better) harness what they con­sider the unused bridging potential of economic and environmental issues in view of the current threats to European security.52 The countries holding the OSCE chairmanship are of particular importance because of the political leadership they provide during the one-year term, and the influence they thus have on the agenda.

The revitalisation of the second dimension aims to harness the bridging potential of economic and environmental issues.

The 2014 Swiss chairmanship marked the beginning of the revival. The extent of the tensions that would arise in the context of the crisis in and around Ukraine could hardly have been foreseen when Switzer­land set the priorities for its term of office. Yet, at the concluding meeting of the Economic and Environmental Forum in autumn 2014, and thus after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Didier Burk­halter, then Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, justified the envisaged upgrad­ing of the second dimension by pointing to these polit­ical – and thus to the related economic – dis­tor­tions. Burkhalter suggested extending the classic instruments and tasks of the OSCE, such as confidence-building measures and monitoring, to economic issues; the OSCE would also serve as a platform for an inclusive debate on the nexus between the economy and security.53 With the latter idea, Burkhalter took up earlier demands for upgrading the EEF, as out­lined.

With regard to the second dimension, the Swiss “crisis chairmanship”54 is also associated with the concept of “connectivity”, even though this term had not yet found its way into the official OSCE vocabulary in 2014. This happened two years later: Germany’s OSCE chairmanship in 2016 continued from that of the Swiss in the economic and environmental fields to the extent that the German government adopted the concept of “connectivity”55 and, in com­bination with a focus on “good governance”, placed it at the centre of its work on the second dimension. It wanted the concept of connectivity not only to give new relevance specifically to the economic and environmental dimension, but also have it serve the chairmanship’s overall objective of “renewing dia­logue” and “rebuilding trust”.56 The Special Representative of the German government for the OSCE Chairmanship, Gernot Erler, emphasised in his speech at the concluding meeting of the EEF 2016 that eco­nomic issues were to be given more weight within the OSCE framework and that, in particular, an increase in connectivity should be seen as “a scenario that has winners on both sides, a scenario that can help to reduce political tensions”.57 A few months earlier, the then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already expressed similar views at the opening of the business conference “Connectivity for Commerce and Investment”, a forum which the German government subsequently lauded as a flagship event of the second dimension under its chairmanship. Especially in times of crisis, Steinmeier said, “political visions” had to be discussed, and economic cooperation in the service of building trust had a special role to play in these situations.58 The German chairmanship’s con­cern to intensify the dialogue between participating states under the banner of the guiding principle “con­nectivity”, increase their willingness to cooperate, and thus make better use of the bridging function of the economic and environmental dimension, was ful­filled at least to the extent that a resolution in favour of this approach was agreed at the 2016 Ministerial Council in Hamburg.59 The term “connectivity” thus entered the official terminology of the OSCE.

The subsequent Austrian chairmanship in 2017 as well pursued the topic of “economic connectivity” alongside its own priorities of “green economy” and “economic participation”. Austria also explicitly justi­fied its choice of topics with the aim of better exploit­ing the trust-building and tension-reducing potential of the second dimension: “The economic and environ­mental dimension provides an excellent basis for mutually beneficial cooperation among the partici­pating States”, the chairmanship’s programme states. With reference to the previous chairs, its optimistic interim assessment was that the “concept of econom­ic connectivity has set us on the path to address these increasing divisions”.60 The 2017 OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna, however, only agreed on a resolu­tion to promote economic participation; another resolution, on cooperation on environmental matters, did not find consensus.

The Italian chairmanship also gave its own im­petus to the economic and environmental dimension with a focus on the topics of digitisation and human capital development in the digital age. Like the pre­vious chairmanships, the Italian government adhered to the OSCE troika concept, i.e. to the rule of co-ordi­nating the current chairmanship’s work programme with the predecessor’s and successor’s agendas. Con­sequently, Italy also highlighted interfaces with the priorities of connectivity and economic participation. The Italian chairmanship similarly justified the choice of topics by explaining that discussion of these issues and the search for common solutions to com­mon challenges offered an opportunity to renew trust between participating states. It is precisely the eco­nomic and environmental dimension, the programme states, which offers a framework for agreement on “common and less conflicting interests”.61 At the Ministerial Council in Milan in December 2018, a decision on “Human Capital Development in the Digital Era” and a declaration on the “Digital Econo­my” were adopted.62 Italy, like Germany in 2016, could thus claim to have developed a new term for the OSCE and anchored it in corresponding resolutions. But the OSCE is far from a platform for setting international standards in these areas, as the Italian representative promised in his closing speech at the first preparatory meeting of the EEF in 2018.63

In 2019, Slovakia has chaired the OSCE. It, too, promised to maintain programmatic continuity with its predecessors. In the second dimension, the focus initiated by Italy on digitisation has been maintained, linked to energy cooperation, good (environmental) governance and connectivity.64 Nevertheless, in the context of the continuing crisis of European security, a certain disillusionment with the bridge-building potential of the second dimension already seems to be settling in. In his inaugural address, the Slovak For­eign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Miroslav Lajčák, emphasised that he was deliberately avoiding another general call for cooperation, as these had too often remained unanswered. Instead, he advocated more realism.65

Cooperation, Trust, Security: The Academic Debate

Slovakia’s realism regarding the conflict-solving poten­tial of cooperation in the second dimension ad­dresses a fundamental point: the connection be­tween cooperation, trust and security – as assumed by the bridge-builder metaphor that is often used with respect to the second dimension – is as blurred as the OSCE’s core concepts of cooperative and com­prehensive security. The academic debate on the subject reflects this.66

Cost-Benefit Calculation vs. Social Bonds

Proponents of a revival of the second dimension argue that cooperation in seemingly less contentious areas, such as the economy and the environment, can be a means of building trust, which is in turn a con­dition for creating more security and stability in Europe. However, this causal chain is by no means borne out by the academic literature, especially in its general applicability. From a rationalist perspective, cooperation can also be entered into for purely (or primarily) strategic reasons. Whether or not cooperation occurs is therefore a question of interests and incentives, and dependent on the assessment whether it will pay off against the background of an individual cost-benefit calculation. Referring to the second dimension as a potential framework for win-win situations is based more on such an understanding. Under these circumstances, however, cooperation is not proof that the relationship between the actors involved is characterised by trust, or that it generates trust. At best, it is an indication of the confidence of those involved that their respective calculations will be successful.67 In fact, in a globalised interdependent world, cooperation is more the rule than the excep­tion68 – without any obligation or need to see that cooperation as an expression of trust between the actors.

What is meant by trust influences the answer to the question of whether trust also (inevitably and sustainably) means a higher degree of security, and whether and how trust can be actively brought about through specific measures. Here, the distinction in the English-language debate on trust in international relations is very illuminating. It differentiates be­tween trust on the one hand and confidence (occasionally also reliance), on the other. Confidence describes the result of strategic calculation(s), while trust at the very least additionally emphasises a social relationship linked to positive emotions and mutual goodwill, which is ultimately based on a common identity, and shared values and ideas.69 Although the existence of this (genuine) kind of trust is accompanied by lower threat perception on the part of the actors involved – and thus ultimately with a higher level of security – it is also much more difficult to achieve.70

How the process that leads from increased cooperation to trust and finally to increased security actually works is not delineated.

In fact, there are still many questions to be answered on the interrelationships of trust, inter­governmental cooperation and international security. Notwithstanding this, trust-building is often (simplistically) equated with increased cooperation or gener­ally accepted as its result. How the process leading, or supposedly leading, from increased cooperation to trust and finally to increased security actually works is not often delineated. The expectations attached to such an undifferentiated understanding of trust- respectively confidence-building measures are there­fore often exaggerated. The fact that a wide variety of measures and policies are nevertheless increasingly labelled as such seems to express hope rather than reliable findings.71

In OSCE statements and writings as well, there are few indications as to how exactly trust and ultimately security can be generated through cooperation in economic and environmental spheres. Yet elsewhere (as in the concept of cooperative security) it is as­sumed that cooperation presupposes a minimum degree of trust, although it is not clear what this minimum trust should be based on.72 Against this background, it may not be a contradiction, but rather logical, that a 2017 OSCE decision in the economic and environmental dimension first posits peace, good international relations, security and stability as “cru­cial for the creation of a climate of confidence” and then, almost in the next paragraph, posits economic cooperation as a motor for stability and security. In one scenario, security and stability are at the begin­ning of the causal chain; in the other, at the end.73

“Spillover” between Dimensions or Increasing Separation?

Just as the success of trust-building measures is not a foregone conclusion, neither is the effect of cooperation and trust generated in a specific policy field on other fields.74 The assumption that there are such positive spillover effects testifies to a functionalist understanding of cooperation as developed very spe­cifically to explain the progress of European inte­gration in the mid-20th century. Detached from the specific case above, the hypothesis underpinning this thinking could be formulated as follows: cooperation in areas with better chances of success – i.e. less contentious issues, where there is an intersection of common interests, or supposedly less politicized or securitised (welfare) issues (“low politics”) – has a positive effect on other areas with greater conflicts of interest or with more entrenched issues (“high politics”).75 However, how this can be achieved is not clear. There is no automatic link between “low politics” and “high politics”, by which changes in one area result in changes in the other, or make them absolutely inevitable. Without sufficient interrelationships or dependencies between fields or topics, without a favourable political environment and a corresponding will on the part of actors, decoupling of the areas is just as likely to result as a positive “cascade effect”.76

Research on security communities also points to the fact that states make use of quite different, some­times conflicting, practices in their foreign policy.77 Simply because mechanisms based on the balance of power and those based on a cooperative approach operate alongside each other does not mean that there is an inevitable transition from one order to the other. Those involved in the mechanisms may well switch between the sets of practices that are characteristic of both systems of security governance, or make use of them situatively. For example, practices may differ functionally and coexist according to specific policies and issues. According to the literature on security communities, spillover between policy areas therefore cannot necessarily be assumed.78

Spillover from one dimension to another is not automatic.

For the OSCE, this means that there is no automatic positive spillover from one dimension to another and no automatic constructive influence of cooperation in economic and environmental matters on cooperation in military and human aspects of secu­rity.79 When we consider that the willingness to cooperate may just as well be based exclusively on national interests and cost-benefit calculations, rather than primarily on deep-rooted positive trusting rela­tions, it becomes clear that these considerations may vary greatly by subject and actor. It could therefore be precisely in the interest of a given participating state not to bind the dimensions of the OSCE and its specific contents closely; or it could be its foreign policy strategy to make use of both power-based and cooperative practices, depending on the issue at stake.80

The OSCE’s Philosophy Revisited

There is thus much to be said for a conservative assessment of the potential of the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension to generate trust and spillover across dimensions. Building sustainable trust in a targeted manner is not only difficult in itself: as well as the political will of the actors in­volved (which is necessary) the success of such a pro­ject also depends on a favourable political context. Otherwise, there is ultimately a risk that measures conceived as trust-building become “advantage-building measures”81 in practice. Moreover, a look at the past shows that the limits and barriers to positive spillover across the dimensions were already being discussed – and critically examined – at the time of the CSCE. Ultimately, according to commentators at the time, the difficulty of generating positive spillover was also inherent in the concept of the CSCE itself: more precisely, in the inherent tension between cooperative relations on the one hand and military security on the other. As explained above, the com­plexity of the CSCE (and also of the subsequent OSCE) lies in the fact that two different understandings of international order coexist within it: (1) a competitive understanding expressed in the military dimension, and (2) a cooperative understanding of the inter­national order ascribing common interests to states.82 The conclusion drawn at that time on the question of whether these opposing patterns of thought and action could ever be reconciled in political practice was sobering: the different logics of “cooperation” and (military) “security” were found to be difficult to bridge. We might add that, beyond the difference between cooperative and power-based practices, the concept of security itself is sometimes interpreted differently in the three dimensions. Security in the form of stability for collective actors (states) can also mean security at the level of the individual, but not necessarily. Instead of security as stability (sometimes achieved through the application of coercion, moni­toring, and the restriction of basic rights), an under­standing of security as emancipation can be applied at the individual level – for example, in the sense of reducing structural disadvantage.83

Between “Win-Win” Assump­tions and “No Business as Usual”

It is not only the statement of the Slovak Chairperson-in-Office that reveals a certain scepticism about the envisaged positive effects of calls for cooperation. Although in recent years four different EU members (Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovakia) have pursued the revitalisation of the second dimension, there are quite different views within the EU on the extent to which economic and environmental issues should be tackled in order to build trust, and what significance the second dimension should actually have within the OSCE.84 For example, the Nordic countries tend to believe that there should be no “business as usual” in view of the still unresolved conflict in and around Ukraine.85 Outside the circle of EU member states, the USA and Canada take a similar stance within the OSCE. They emphasise that dealing with (supposedly) less controversial issues such as economic connectivity or digitisation should not come at the expense of established “OSCE core issues”; neither should coop­eration on these issues obscure the fact that some participating states disregard key OSCE principles and obligations by, among other things, violating human rights and depriving their citizens of basic freedoms.86

Differences between participating states, which can be fundamental, manifest themselves at the latest when the above-mentioned main subject areas, such as connectivity or digitalisation, are put in concrete terms.87 Russia, for example, is quite open to strength­ening the second dimension,88 and particularly since 2016 has tried to give the OSCE a role in exploring possible cooperation between the EU and the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), under the heading of “connectivity”.89 Conversely, there is the minimal consensus among the EU member states that cooperation between the EU and EAEU should be limited to individual or purely technical aspects. The USA, for its part, strongly rejects the OSCE as a media­tion forum for the “integration of integrations” propagated by Russia. It refers to Moscow or Brussels – but not Vienna – as places where such a debate may be held.

Moreover, methodological differences can be seen in approaching the tasks of the economic and environmental dimension. The USA, for example, links its priorities in the second dimension (good governance, combating corruption, and combating organised crime) with the issue of democracy/democ­ratisation, and insists on the need to involve civil society actors in dealing with the issues they raise. This links the priorities to the subject matter of the human dimension. The EU also frequently calls for “multi-stakeholder” approaches within the second dimension and thus for the involvement of civil society actors, including media representatives. In recent years, however, the participation of non-governmental organisations in OSCE events, and the selection of legitimate or accepted interest groups, has developed into an area of conflict within the OSCE and between participating states – albeit not yet with explicit reference to the economic and environmental dimension.90

Insecurity/Security in the Second Dimension

Participating states differ not only in how they link second-dimension issues to human-dimension ones, but also to the first dimension and thus to security aspects in the narrower sense. To avoid duplicating the activities of other international organisations with an economic and environmental focus, the EU (as its official statements in the Permanent Council also advocate) is keen to concentrate on security-related issues in the second dimension. In doing so, it is simply striving for what has already been described in various resolutions as the core task of the OSCE in the second dimension.91 Yet participating states still dispute which topics are relevant for the OSCE from this perspective; how explicit the aspect or impact of insecurity/security should be; and what the referent of security should be (i.e. “insecurity/security for whom or for what”).

Even the main areas of work that EU states have specified when acting as OSCE chairs in recent years, such as digitisation, connectivity or the green econ­omy, do not necessarily have a security reference – or evince even a clearly identifiable threat situation. Rather, these issues can be associated with global risks, such as corruption, terrorism or climate change. The containment of these risks usually requires com­mon “prevention” or coordinated “management”, rather than addressing actual opponents, which is simply not possible due to the phenomena’s cross-border and diffuse nature. Moreover, in contrast to dealing with traditional threats, “countermeasures” here often do not target an (external) source, but are directed inwards as a precaution, at strengthening resilience.92

There is a risk that conflicting interests on issues such as smart cities and e-governance will not be clearly identified.

In addition to the risks or “challenges”, debates in the second dimension often highlight the general opportunities offered by new technologies. These include e-governance as an opportunity to strengthen transparency and fair competition; industrialisation 4.0 as an opportunity for economic growth; and smart cities as an opportunity for sustainable urban devel­opment.93 Those experts within and representatives of delegations to the OSCE who wish to use cooperation in the economic and environmental fields as a starting point for further cooperation, in the context of the current challenges for European security, wel­come these topics. At the same time, there is a danger that the conflicting interests and sometimes conflicting objectives (e.g. the possibility of using smart city technology as a monitoring instrument) also existing between participating states in these areas will not be clearly identified, thus reducing the prospect of a productive discussion on these issues.94

Vague Intentions to Cooperate

The second-dimension resolutions adopted in recent years by the Ministerial Council show that even with supposedly less conflict-ridden topics in this OSCE field of activity, the willingness to engage in (institutionalised) cooperation is limited. Concrete declarations of intent to enter into intergovernmental coop­eration, in particular one that would require a certain openness on the part of participating states as a basis for generating further trust,95 are practically absent from the texts. On the contrary, decisions are per­vaded by a carefully chosen “soft” language that avoids, as far as possible, any formulation that could be interpreted as an actual obligation. In the opera­tional part of the texts, participating states are “en­couraged to promote” the transfer of technology and knowledge, the importance of international coop­eration is “recognised”, the importance of promoting regional and sub-regional economic cooperation “acknowledged”, and the participating states “invited” to implement measures with the aid of intergovernmental cooperation, or exchange best practices. Fur­ther weakening is provided by fillers such as “upon the request of participating states” or “where appro­priate”.96 To bridge the sometimes profound divergences between the positions of the OSCE states – but without really compensating for these differences – the drafting of resolution texts is sometimes based on fragments of already adopted documents from other forums or other international organisations. In the second dimension, these are above all agreements signed within the United Nations, G20, International Labour Organisation or World Bank, in addition to OSCE decisions from previous years. This sometimes restrictive approach is remarkable in so far as all decisions taken within the OSCE framework are not, in any case, legally but merely politically binding, and their implementation is at the sole discretion of the individual states themselves. The practice of attaching interpretative statements by individual or multiple states to the resolutions of the Ministerial Councils illustrates how narrow the scope for under­standing and compromise is.97 The resolution texts of other multilateral forums, such as the UN, are fre­quently also formulaic. Nevertheless, the decisions adopted within the OSCE tend to indicate rather a lack of trust among the signatories, and to cast doubt on their ability to generate this trust.

Making Progress in the Second Dimension: Some Suggestions

Given the general difficulty of building sustainable trust through cooperation, and the OSCE’s specific starting position, to what extent can it be hoped that a reactivation of the second dimension will fulfil expectations? Or are sceptics right to worry that a stronger commitment to cooperation in “low politics” could even be counterproductive to progress on poli­tical-military and, in particular, human aspects of security?

It is important to note that, from the perspective of the chairmanships which have pursued or are pur­suing a revitalisation of the second dimension, this has not been accompanied by a desire to pay less attention to the first and third dimensions. The crisis in and around Ukraine and related developments are among the most important issues for and within the OSCE – especially for the countries whose turn it is to chair it. The OSCE’s aim is to help stabilise the situation, prevent further escalation of violence, and defuse the explosive potential of security incidents such as the clash between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov in autumn 2018. This is evidenced not only by the weekly discussions in the Permanent Council, but also by the speeches of foreign ministers and heads of delegations at the annual Ministerial Council, such as in Milan in December 2018 and Bratislava in December 2019. The countries that have chaired the OSCE since 2014 and sought to revitalise the second dimension did so with the aim of contrib­uting to overcoming the crisis in European security. Here, however, expectation management is the order of the day.

Increased Commitment: The “How” Is What Counts

The general expectation that any kind of cooperation within the second dimension has the potential to create (sustainable) trust and spillover should be abandoned. Does this mean that increased involvement in economic and environmental issues within the OSCE is ultimately misguided? Not necessarily – but the limited room for manoeuvre can and should be better utilised.98

Sustainable trust, i.e. trust as a social bond, requires shared values and a common identity. It is questionable whether such trust can consciously be brought about by certain measures. Ultimately, however, such bonds are based on communicative practice.99 Without raising expectations, the regular second-dimension meetings do offer Germany and other EU members opportunities to promote their values and perspectives, to put forward appropriate arguments, and to share their own best practices with other participating states. This should be widely undertaken. Since meetings in the second dimension have so far taken place in a comparatively relaxed atmosphere, they should have room for this kind of factual argumentation.100

The decisions of the Ministerial Councils may well be the most “tangible” product of the OSCE’s annual cycle. However, the text negotiations that precede them only take up part of the second half of each year. In the second dimension, the three meetings of the Economic and Environmental Forum, the imple­mentation meeting of the economic and environmental dimension, and numerous other thematic meet­ings offer a wealth of opportunities for exchange, which also but not exclusively feed into the negotiation process. On the one hand, there are those who claim that the mere fact of regularly meeting in Vienna fulfils the postulate of “cooperation” in the Organisation’s name. On the other hand, the highly ritualised procedures of these meetings, constantly reproduced in ready-made national statements which are read out during the sessions, supplant open (fac­tual) discussion; these have already been criticised on various occasions, not only with regard to the second dimension. Thus far, procedures have only been slightly adjusted structurally in response to such criticism. Yet this should not prevent Germany from making effective use of the meetings during the entire annual cycle of the second dimension, together with other EU states – both via contributions from delegations and by identifying spokespersons who contribute their technical expertise.

In terms of content, these forums should be used for political dialogue among the participating states on core economic and environmental challenges and their impact on European security.101 The aim of this exchange would be to provide political impetus – as already agreed upon by participating states with respect to strengthening the Economic and Environmental Forum in 2004. By focusing on the nexus of economy, environment and security (not a new demand), second-dimension debates would also tie into the discussion on the (crumbling) basic consensus with regard to a rule-based European order and common principles. This would also strengthen the character of the OSCE as a security organisation in the second dimension. Simultaneously, setting topics under this premise could counteract the securitisation of “low politics” topics from the economic and environmental sectors. It is thus possible that contro­versies will be more strongly expressed in the debate on economic and environmental issues as well, in addition to common ground vis-à-vis the perception of challenges and opportunities. However, this should not be seen as an obstacle; it is the only way to ex­change these various views.

It is fitting and important, both externally and internally, for the countries of the European Union to speak with one voice within the OSCE and to back joint EU statements. This not only has a signalling effect: EU coordination also contributes to greater efficiency. This increase in efficiency, however, also leaves less room for EU positions in the plenary and thus less visibility – time limits for speeches apply equally to the EU representative. Close and advance coordination between EU colleagues to complement joint EU statements with individual speeches in a national capacity could therefore help to make EU positions more prominent. Furthermore, both the joint EU statement and the supplementary national comments could be formulated in such a way that the thematic meetings lead more emphatically than before to concrete discussions – and ideally to a productive contest for superior arguments and policy approaches. Necessary expertise can be garnered through close collaboration between respective specialist departments in Brussels, or (in the case of Germany) at national level in Berlin, and the delega­tions in Vienna.

Although their implementation is often sketchy, the texts adopted by the Ministerial Council are the most visible result of a chairmanship’s activities. As in other multilateral settings, however, in the econo­mic and environmental dimension the struggle for formulations is often more concerned with reassuring all those who expressed concerns or reservations. The fact that the finished negotiated texts are therefore often the expression of the lowest common denominator and not the product of persuasion based on factual arguments does not exclusively apply to the OSCE.102 Despite this, Germany, together with other EU members, should proactively use the drafting process, including to generate spillover. When negotiating, they should promote the anchoring of references from the first and third dimensions in the final documents. Thus far, second-dimension deci­sions by the Ministerial Council have indeed included references to the involvement of other actors, such as representatives of non-governmental organisations or independent media, and explanations on the impor­tance of respecting human rights. However, this is not a matter of course. On the contrary, various participating states try to avoid precisely such linkages, and thus ultimately decouple the economic and environmental dimension from the other two. Yet decoupling could produce counterproductive results with regard to possible spillover: the OSCE’s principles and obliga­tions could acquire a diffuse character “on paper” as well, enabling participating states to choose between alternative reference points. Second-dimension deci­sions, for example, could fall behind those in the human dimension in their wording and thus under­mine the impact of the latter. Overall, this would promote a “cherry-picking” strategy in which actors commit themselves to formulations of varying reach, probably affecting the negotiation of future resolutions as well. In other words, spillover can be both positive and negative.103 To avoid negative spillover, close and continuous exchange with relevant national and EU colleagues from the other dimensions is vital, including if possible during the intensive phase of negotiations. An EU position agreed beforehand, in­cluding “red lines”, should make it easier for the EU to take an active role in the text negotiations, for instance as concerns its demand for references to human rights and civil liberties, as well as provide the supporting arguments. Such an approach could also reduce scepticism about a revival of the second dimen­sion on the part of those EU member states that fear a dilution of OSCE principles as a result. On the one hand, that risk of dilution exists. On the other hand, it is certainly also the case that skilful negotiation can augment texts with statements of liberal principles, as happened with the 2018 Declaration on the Digital Economy, the final version of which con­tains, inter alia, a commitment to free and open access to the Internet.

Furthermore, representatives from Germany and EU states could also advocate cross-dimensional decisions from the outset. These would then have to be prepared in meetings attended by experts in the respective dimensions. As already stated in the 2003 Maastricht Strategy, most challenges are de facto cross-dimensional. This should be reflected in the way the OSCE works. In the OSCE’s annual cycle two meetings of the committees are meant to be cross-dimensional in any case. Where applicable, these meetings could be used more strategically, including with a view to adopting decisions or declarations; and their significance in the second dimension could be increased.104

Another way of dovetailing the dimensions to facilitate positive spillover, or at least prevent second-dimension progress being made at the expense of the other two dimensions, would be to provide package solutions. These could bind decisions on the economic and environmental dimension, which are in the interest of states with little regard for progress in the third dimension, to progress in the human dimension. Such an approach, as practised in the early years of the CSCE, might not be able to align participating states’ differing interests, but could possibly reconcile them.



Centre for OSCE Research (at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg)


Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe


Centre for Security Studies at ETH Zurich


Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (formerly Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Force)


Eurasian Economic Union


Economic and Environmental Committee


Economic and Environmental Forum


Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg


North Atlantic Treaty Organisation


Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities


OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights


Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe



 Karl-Heinz Kamp, “The Power of Institutions: NATO, the EU, and the OSCE”, in International Security in the 21st Century. Germany’s International Responsibility, ed. James Bindenagel, Matthias Herdegen and Karl Kaiser (Bonn, 2017), 77–82 (81).


 In 1995 the OSCE evolved from the “Conference on Secu­rity and Cooperation in Europe” (CSCE).


 William H. Hill, No Place for Russia. European Security Institutions since 1989 (New York, 2018), 258 (203f.); Eric Jay Mlyn, “OSCE: Now More Than Ever”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 11, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 227–37 (228). In addition to the EU, NATO and the OSCE, the Council of Europe is also occasionally counted among these interlocking institutions in the literature.


 Wolfgang Zellner, Identifying the Cutting Edge: The Future Impact of the OSCE, CORE Working Paper 17/2007 (Hamburg: Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the Uni­versity of Hamburg [IFSH], Centre for OSCE Research [CORE], 2007).


 Niels van Willigen and Joachim A. Koops, “The EU’s Relationship with NATO and OSCE”, in The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, ed. Knud Erik Jürgensen et al., vol. 2 (London, 2015), 734–46 (740).


 Derek Averre, “The Ukraine Conflict: Russia’s Challenge to European Security Governance”, Europe-Asia Studies 68, no. 4 (June 2016): 699–725 (703–4).


 Maria Raquel Freire, “Ukraine and the Restructuring of East-West Relations”, in The Russian Challenge to the European Security Environment, ed. Roger E. Kanet (Cham, 2017), 189–209; Averre, “The Ukraine Conflict” (see note 6).


 Michael W. Mosser, “The EU and the OSCE: Partners or Rivals in the European Security Architecture?”, Paper pre­sented at the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) Conference, Boston, 5–8 March 2015; Roberto Dominguez, “Introduction: The OSCE as a Security Provider”, in The OSCE: Soft Security for a Hard World. Competing Theories for Understanding the OSCE, ed. Roberto Dominguez (Berlin et al., 2014), 17–27.


 Wolfgang Zellner, “Russia and the OSCE: From High Hopes to Disillusionment, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 18, no. 3 (2005): 389–402; Viatcheslav Morozov, “Rus­sia’s Changing Attitude toward the OSCE: Contradictions and Continuity”, Sicherheit und Frieden 23, no. 2 (2005): 69–73; Victor-Yves Ghebali, “Growing Pains at the OSCE: The Rise and Fall of Russia’s Pan-European Expectations”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 18, no. 3 (2005): 375–88.


 These different prioritisations are also reflected in the difficult budget negotiations. While the EU is warning that the human dimension institutions in particular are not adequately financed, Russia sees a problematic imbalance above all in the OSCE’s supposed preference for the third dimension, see, e.g., OSCE, Permanent Council, Decision No. 1288. Approval of the 2018 Unified Budget, PC.DEC/1288, 15 February 2018, https://www.osce.org/permanent-council/373016?download=true (accessed 23 April 2019). Since the OSCE does not have the legal status of an inter­national organisation, the states represented in it are not referred to as “member states”, but as “participating states”.


 Richard Sakwa, Russia against the Rest. The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order, Cambridge 2017, 141; Frank Evers, In Retrospect: Points for Dialogue with Russia in the OSCE Context. Conclusions from Russian Scientific Periodicals 2010–2015, CORE Working Paper 31/2018 (Hamburg: CORE, May 2018), 6.


 Hill, No Place for Russia (see note 3), 322; Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF)/ Centre for Security Studies (CSS), Empowering the OSCE in Challenging Times: Reflections and Recommendations. Conference Report (Geneva, 2017), https://www.dcaf.ch/sites/default/files/publications/documents/OSCE_Focus_2017_Report.pdf (accessed 16 April 2019).


 Frank-Walter Steinmeier, “Foreword by the Chairperson-in-Office”, in OSCE Yearbook 2016, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2018), 9–11 (9); see also Hill, No Place for Russia (see note 3); Stefan Lehne, Reviving the OSCE: European Security and the Ukraine Crisis (Brussels: Carnegie Europe, 22 September 2015), https://carnegieeurope.eu/2015/09/22/reviving-osce-european-security-and-ukraine-crisis-pub-61362; OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institution to the Panel of Emi­nent Persons, Reviving Co-operative Security in Europe through the OSCE (2015), 13, http://osce-network.net/file-OSCE-Network/ documents/Reviving_Co-operative_Security_in_Europe_ through_the_OSCE_web.pdf (both accessed 20 August 2019); Jan Asmussen, “Die Ukraine-Krise – Hybride Kriegsführung und die Wiedergeburt der OSZE”, in Globale Sicherheit und die Zukunft politischer Ordnungen, ed. Andrea Gawrich and Wilhelm Knelangen (Opladen et al., 2017), 163–82.


 P. Terrence Hopmann, “The Future Impact of the OSCE: Business as Usual or Revitalization?”, in OSCE Yearbook 2008, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2009), 75–90 (88), https://ifsh.de/file-CORE/documents/yearbook/english/08/Hopmann-en.pdf (accessed 16 April 2019).


 De facto, the OSCE’s participating states have different weight within it, see Vincent Pouliot, “Hierarchy in Practice: Multilateral Diplomacy and the Governance of International Security”, European Journal of International Security 1, no. 1 (2016): 5–26.


 See e.g. the position paper by the SPD Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag, Dialog – Vertrauen – Sicherheit. Voraussetzungen und Impulse für eine zeitgemäße sozialdemokratische Ent­spannungspolitik (Berlin, October 2018), https://www.spdfraktion.de/system/files/documents/positionspapier-spdfraktion-dialog-vertrauen-sicherheit-20181009.pdf (accessed 16 September 2019).


 Andrei Zagorski, Strengthening the OSCE. Building a Common Space for Economic and Humanitarian Cooperation, an Indivisible Security Community from the Atlantic to the Pacific (Moscow, 2014), 15.


 Wolfgang Richter, Erneuerung der konventionellen Rüstungskontrolle in Europa. Vom Gleichgewicht der Blöcke zur regionalen Stabilität in der Krise, SWP Study 17/2019 (Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, July 2019); on the Vienna Docu­ment see pp. 21–25.


 Christian Nünlist, The OSCE’s Military Pillar: The Swiss FSC Chairmanship, CSS Analyses in Security Policy 237/2018 (Zurich: Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich [CSS], December 2018), https://ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securities-studies/pdfs/CSSAnalyse237-EN.pdf; idem, “Under Pressure: The Uncertain Future of the OSCE Structured Dialogue”, Security and Human Rights Monitor (online), 29 November 2018 https://www.shrmonitor.org/under-pressure-the-uncertain-future-of-the-osce-structured-dialogue/ (both accessed 20 August 2019).


 Renewing Dialogue on European Security: A Way Forward. Report on Outreach Events of the Panel of Eminent Persons on Euro­pean Security as a Common Project in 2016 (23 November 2016), 9, https://www.osce.org/networks/291001?download=true (accessed 16 April 2019).


 This study focuses on the interaction of participating states and Vienna-based delegations in the economic and environmental dimension. Its findings are based on various OSCE documents, secondary literature and informal background discussions. Further insights were provided by the author’s stay of several months at the German representation to the OSCE in Vienna, with a focus on the economic and environmental dimension. The work of the field missions and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in the OSCE Secretariat is not dealt with here, taking into account the background of the strongly intergovernmental character of the Organisation. On OSCE intergovernmentality see, Michael W. Bauer and Jörn Ege, “Bureaucratic Autonomy of International Organizations’ Secretariats”, Journal of European Public Policy 23, no. 7 (April 2016): 1019–37; Kurt P. Tudyka, “The Margin beyond Intergovernmentalism. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe”, in Autonomous Policy Making by Inter­national Organizations, ed. Bob Reinalda and Bertjan Verbeek (London and New York, 2003), 108–19.


 Vojtech Mastny, The Helsinki Process and Reintegration of Europe 1986–1991. Analysis and Documentation (New York, 1992), 4, 15.


 Charter of Paris for a New Europe (Paris, 1990), 5, https://www.osce.org/mc/39516?download=true (accessed 16 April 2019).


 See, e.g., ibid.


 Georgeta Pourchot, “The OSCE: A Pan-European Society in the Making?”, European Integration 33, no. 2 (March 2011): 179–95 (180).


 Heinz Vetschera, “Cooperative Security – the Concept and its Application in South Eastern Europe”, in Approaching or Avoiding Cooperative Security? – The Western Balkans in the Aftermath of the Kosovo Settlement Proposal and the Riga Summit, ed. Ernst M. Felberbauer, Predrag Jureković and Frédéric Labarre (Vienna, 2007), 33–56 (34–40).


 Antonio Ortiz, “Neither Fox nor Hedgehog: NATO’s Com­prehensive Approach and the OSCE’s Concept of Security”, Security and Human Rights 19, no. 4 (2008): 284–97 (284–290); Dominguez, “Introduction” (see note 8), 19–20. The first explicit references to “comprehensive security” as a specific concept are found in texts from the 1990s.


 OSCE Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century, Vienna, December 2003, www.osce.org/mc/17504?download=true (accessed 16 April 2019).


 Monika Wohlfeld, “Reconceptualizing of Security in the CSCE and OSCE”, in Globalization and Environmental Challenges. Reconceptualizing Security in the 21st Century, ed. Hans Günter Brauch et al. (Berlin and Heidelberg, 2007), 643–50 (650).


 Keating and Wheeler consider the expression “cooperative security” in general – meaning independently of its use within the OSCE – a ‘nebulous concept’ without clear defi­nition: Vincent Keating and Nicholas J. Wheeler, “Concepts and Practices of Cooperative Security. Building Trust in the International System”, in The Legacy of the Cold War. Perspectives on Security, Cooperation, and Conflict, ed. Vojtech Mastny and Zhu Liqun (Lanham, 2013), 57–78 (59). See also Esko Antola, “The CSCE as a Collaborative Order”, in Processes of Inter­national Negotiations, ed. Frances Mautner-Markhof (Boulder et al., 1989), 43–53 (43–45).


 The Charter of Paris for a New Europe, for example, states that the relations of the participating states should be based on “respect” and “cooperation”.


 Ortiz, “Neither Fox nor Hedgehog” (see note 27), 297; Vetschera, “Cooperative Security” (see note 26), 36.


 John Baylis, “European Security between the ‘Logic of Anarchy’ and the ‘Logic of Community’”, in Redefining Euro­pean Security, ed. Carl C. Hodge (New York and London, 1999), 13–28.


 Kamp, “The Power of Institutions” (see note 1), S. 81–82; Pourchot, “The OSCE” (see note 25), 185.


 OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, European Security – Challenges at the Societal Level (Hamburg, 2016), 15, 30.


 Cathal J. Nolan, “The OSCE: Nonmilitary Dimensions of Cooperative Security in Europe”, in Redefining European Secu­rity, ed. Hodge (see note 33), 299–332 (310, 312); see also Baylis, “European Security” (see note 33), 24; Mastny, The Helsinki Process (see note 22), 4; Kalevi J. Holsti, “Bargaining Theory and Diplomatic Reality: the CSCE Negotiations”, Review of International Studies 8, no. 3 (1982): 159–70 (167).


 OSCE, OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension Commit­ments. Reference Manual 2018 (Vienna, 2018), 17. Kurt P. Tudyka, “The Second Basket: Evolution of the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE”, in OSCE Yearbook 2016, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2018), 295–307 (295).


 CSCE, Document of the Bonn Conference on Economic Co-opera­tion in Europe (Bonn, 11 April 1990), 2, 4; OSCE, OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension (see note 37), 74–76; see also Hakan Karaaslan, “An Analysis of the Economic and Environ­mental Dimension of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: Just a Rhetoric or Reality?”, Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University Journal of Graduate School of Social Sciences 18, no. 1 (2018): 165–91.


 In 2006 the Economic Forum was renamed the Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF) in order to better reflect its thematic scope.


 The Economic and Environmental Forum now consists of a total of three dates: the key concluding meeting is pre­ceded by two preparatory meetings.


 OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension (Maastricht, 2003), www.osce.org/eea/
(accessed 30 August 2019); OSCE, Economic and Environmental Forum: 20 Years (Vienna, 2012), www.osce.org/secretariat/98230 (accessed 16 April 2019). OSCE, OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimen­sion (see note 37), 103.


 OSCE, OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension (see note 37), 155–71.


 Ibid, 206.


 Ibid, 147–148.


 See, e.g., the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in Warsaw as an institution of the third dimension.


 To identify emerging crises and challenges at an early stage – and then to react accordingly – is one of the OSCE’s primary tasks, along with conflict prevention and resolution.


In 2009 the informal working group on ways to enhance the second dimension noted critically in its report that par­ticipating states focused their attention on the topics set by the respective chairmanship, but then showed little interest in the OCEEA’s further work on earlier priorities. Coordination between the delegations and the staff of field missions entrusted with economic and environmental issues was said to be even less developed: Findings and Recommendations of the Chairman of the Informal Working Group of Friends on the Future Orientation of the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE, Chairmanship’s Report, CIO/GAL/97/09 (28 July 2009), 5; 11/12, http://bit.ly/2kDWYGh (accessed 16 April 2019).


 Kilian Strauss points out that OSCE projects often have a signalling or catalytic effect, attracting projects with a wider reach by other, more resource-intensive, organisations. Payam Foroughi, on the other hand, arrives at a much more pessimistic assessment, accusing the OSCE of “projecteritis”, a tendency that does more harm than good on the ground, Kilian Strauss, “Economic and Environmental Security Should Remain Key Components of the OSCE’s Core Mandate”, in OSCE Yearbook 2008, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2009), 311–19 (314); Payam Foroughi, “The Helsinki Final Act Four Decades on”, Central Asian Survey 36, no. 3 (2017): 293–99 (296).


 Tudyka, “The Second Basket” (see note 37). See also: International Peace Institute, Economic Connectivity. A Basis for Rebuilding Stability and Confidence in Europe? (Vienna, 2016), 1; John de Fonblanque, “Strengthening the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE (EED)”, Helsinki Moni­tor 16, no. 3 (September 2005): 180–83 (181); Victor-Yves Ghébali, The OSCE between Crisis and Reform: Towards a New Lease on Life, DCAF Policy Paper 10/2005 (Geneva: DCAF, November 2005), 5.


 Torbjørn Bjorvatn, The OSCE’s Economic and Environmental Dimension: Enhancing Relevance and Impact, Nordem Thematic Paper Series (Oslo: University of Oslo, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, 2014), 3.


 See Findings and Recommendations (see note 47); OSCE, The 18th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum. Part II, 24–26 May 2010 Prague. Follow-up Ideas, EEF.GAL/6/10 (Vienna, 17 May 2010), www.osce.org/eea/68086?download=true; OSCE, Workshop on Economic and Environmental Activities as Confidence-build­ing Measures, CIO.INF/29/11 (27 May 2011), www.osce.org/cio/78201?download=true (both accessed 16 April 2019); International Peace Institute, Responding to Natural Disasters: What Role for the OSCE? (Vienna, June 2011); Bjorvatn, The OSCE’s Economic and Environmental Dimension (see note 50); Fonblanque, “Strengthening the Economic and Environmental Dimension” (see note 49); Piotr Switalski, “The Economic Dimension – in Search of OSCE Added Value”, in OSCE Yearbook 1999, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2000), 367–75; Frank Evers, Balancing by Cross-Linking. Renewed Dialogue on the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension, CORE Working Paper 21/2010 (Hamburg: CORE, October 2010).


 The second dimension’s specific potential for confidence-building measures has been discussed in individual policy papers, see, e.g. Stefan Wolff, Economic Diplomacy and Connectivity. What Role for the OSCE? (Birmingham, 2018), https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/government-society/iccs/news-events/2018/Osce-Report.pdf (accessed 16 April 2019); International Peace Institute, Economic Connectivity (see note 49); OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, OSCE Confidence Build­ing in the Economic and Environmental Dimension. Current Oppor­tunities and Constraints (Vienna, 2017).


“More Economic and Environmental Cooperation for More Secu­rity in Europe”. Opening Address by Didier Burkhalter, Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE, 22nd OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, Prague 10 September 2014, EEF.DEL/37/14 (10 September 2014), www.osce.org/whoweare/123396?download=true (accessed 20 August 2019).


 Heidi Grau, “The 2014 Swiss OSCE Chairmanship: Be­tween “Routine” and “Crisis”, in OSCE Yearbook 2014, ed. IFSH (Baden-Baden, 2015), 25–S40 (26ff.).


 From the German perspective, “sustainable connectivity” comprises better physical and virtual interconnectedness, for instance increased customs cooperation, cross-border transport infrastructure, or aligning investment conditions, cf. German government, Renewing dialogue, rebuilding trust, restoring security. The priorities of the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 (Berlin, 2016), 9. However, there is no binding OSCE definition of the term “connectivity”.


 OSCE, Report by the 2016 German OSCE Chairmanship, CIO.GAL/219/16 (23 December 2016), 84–86, http://www.osce.org/chairmanship/307311?download=true (accessed 16 April 2019).


 Keynote Speech by the Special Representative for the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016 Dr. Gernot Erler at the 24th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague (14 September 2016), https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/160914-erler-eef/283390 (accessed 16 April 2019).


Speech by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the open­ing of the business conference organised by the German OSCE Chair­manship “Connectivity for Commerce and Investment” (18 May 2016), https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/-/280726 (accessed 12 September 2019).


 OSCE, Ministerial Council, Decision No. 4/16. Strengthening Good Governance and Promoting Connectivity, MC.DEC/4/16 (9 December 2016), www.osce.org/cio/289316?download=true (accessed 16 April 2019).


 Programme of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship for Presentation to Participating States, 2017, 3, www.osce.org/cio/
; see also: Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Hans Jörg Schelling, Minister of Finance, Austria, 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, EEF.DEL/42/17 (Prague, 6 September 2017), www.osce.org/chairmanship/
; Opening Address by Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Linhart, First Preparatory Meeting of the 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum “Greening the Economy and Building Partnerships for Security” (23 January 2017), http://bit.ly/2lUsBLF (all accessed 20 August 2019).


 Dialogue, Ownership, Responsibility. Programme of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship 2018 (January 2018), www.esteri.it/mae/resource/doc/2018/01/prog-osce-100118-d.pdf (accessed 17 April 2019).


 OSCE, Ministerial Council, Decision No. 5/18. Human Capi­tal Development in the Digital Era, MC.DEC/5/18 (Milan, 7 Decem­ber 2018), www.osce.org/chairmanship/405899?down load=true; idem., Declaration on the Digital Econ­omy as a Driver for Promoting Cooperation, Security and Growth, MC.DOC/2/18 (Milan, 7 December 2018), www.osce.org/chairmanship/ 405920?download=true (both accessed 17 April 2019).


 “Closing Statement by Alessandro Azzoni, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, First Preparatory Meeting of the 26th Economic and Environmental Forum”, EEF.DEL/17/18 (Vienna, 24 January 2018), www.osce.org/chairmanship/367711?download=true (accessed 17 April 2019).


 Accordingly, the title of the 2019 EEF cycle is “Promoting Economic Progress and Security in the OSCE Area through Energy Cooperation, New Technologies, Good Gov­er­nance and Connectivity in the Digital Era”.


 ”Statement by the Chairperson in Office H. E. Miroslav Lajčák. Presentation of Priorities”, CIO.GAL/4/19 (Vienna, 10 January 2019), www.osce.org/chairmanship/408602? download=true (accessed 19 April 2019).


 Laura Considine, “‘Back to the Rough Ground!’ A Gram­matical Approach to Trust and International Relations”, Millennium 44, no. 1 (2015): 109–27 (110).


 Vincent Charles Keating and Jan Ruzicka, “Trusting Relationships in International Politics: No Need to Hedge”, Review of International Studies 40, no. 4 (2014): 753–70; Jona­than Mercer, “Rationality and Psychology in International Politics”, International Organization 59, no. 1 (January 2005): 77–106; Aaron M. Hoffman, “A Conceptualization of Trust in International Relations”, European Journal of International Relations 8, no. 3 (2002): 375–401.


 The current debate on the implementation of economic sanctions as an extraordinary means of foreign policy under­lines this point.


 Clara Weinhardt, “Relational Trust in International Cooperation: The Case of North-South Trade Negotiations”, Journal of Trust Research 5, no. 1 (2015) (Special Issue: Trust in International Relations – A Useful Tool?): 27–54 (32–34); Christopher Andrejis Berzins differentiates two components of trust, “risk management” and “relationship management”: Christopher Andrejis Berzins, The Puzzle of Trust in International Relations: Risk and Relationship Management in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics (London, 2004).


 Torsten Michel, “Time to Get Emotional: Phronetic Re­flec­tions on the Concept of Trust in International Relations”, European Journal of International Relations 19, no. 4 (2013): 869–90 (873, 880); Berzins, The Puzzle of Trust (see note 69), 18.


 An example of a sceptical assessment of what trust- or confidence-building measures can achieve specifically in the CSCE/OSCE context is Marie-France Desjardins, Rethinking Confidence-Building Measures. Obstacles to Agreement and the Risks of Overselling the Process, Adelphi Paper 307/1996 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1996); Berzins, The Puzzle of Trust (see note 69), 37–48.


 Keating and Wheeler point out that even if a state sends out trust signals, these still do not have to be perceived as such by the addressee. Instead, they might well be interpreted as weakness or a ruse: Keating and Wheeler, “Concepts and Practices of Cooperative Security” (see note 30), 69.


 OSCE, Ministerial Council, Decision No. 8/17. Promoting Economic Participation in the OSCE Area, MC.DEC/8/17/Corr.1 (Vienna, 8 December 2017), www.osce.org/chairmanship/361566?download=true (accessed 26 April 2019).


 Jan Ruzicka and Vincent Charles Keating, “Going Global: Trust Research and International Relations”, Journal of Trust Research 5, no. 1 (2015): 8–26.


 Thomas Gehring, “Integrating Integration Theory: Neo-functionalism and International Regimes”, Global Society 10, no. 3 (1996): 225–53.


 Terms such as “spill-around” or “spill-back” in the aca­demic debate signal criticism of the inevitability of spillover assumed in earlier functionalist approaches, Arne Niemann, “Neofunctionalism and EU Internal Security Cooperation”, in Theorizing Internal Security Cooperation in the European Union, ed. Raphael Bossong and Mark Rhinard (Oxford, 2016), 129–52.


 Emanuel Adler and Patricia Greve, “When Security Community Meets Balance of Power: Overlapping Regional Mechanisms of Security Governance”, Review of International Studies 35 (2009): 59–84.


 Ibid., 80.


 Earlier analyses already pointed out the lack of integration of the economic and environmental dimension into the work of the other dimensions: see, e.g. Evers, Balancing by Cross-Linking (see note 51).


 For example, Elena Kropatcheva observes in her analysis of Russia’s actions in the Organisation an approach of “com­pensatory cooperation” in certain OSCE areas that leaves open as many options as possible for Moscow: Elena Kropa­tcheva, “Russia and the Role of the OSCE in European Secu­rity: A ‘Forum’ for Dialogue or a ‘Battlefield’ of Interests?”, European Security 21, no. 3 (2012): 370–94.


 Mastny, The Helsinki Process (see note 22), 19. On the potentially negative impact of confidence-building measures, see also Desjardins, Rethinking Confidence-Building Measures (see note 71).


 Antola, “The CSCE as a Collaborative Order” (see note 30), 47–48, 50. Theresa Callan formulates it somewhat dif­ferently, referring to a “credibility gap between the reality of state interests and the rhetoric of [the OSCE’s] architectural plans”: Theresa Callan, “Word Games and War-Games: The OSCE and its Quest for ‘Comprehensive Security’”, Paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions, 26-31 March 1999 (Mannheim, 31 March 1999), 13. See also Baylis, “European Security” (see note 33).


 Ali Bilgic, “Security through Trust-building in the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation: Two Perspectives for the Partnership”, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 10, no. 4 (2010): 457–73; see also João Nunes, “Reclaiming the Political: Emancipation and Critique in Security Studies”, Security Dialogue 43, no. 4 (2012): 345–61.


 Participating states’ differing assessments of the significance of the second dimension are more of a constant than an expression of recent developments, see Evers, Balancing by Cross-Linking (see note 51), 4, 12.


 The Nordic countries in particular also ensure that engagement in the second dimension does not come at the expense of the human dimension of security. See also Jannicke Fiskvik, Nordic Security: Moving towards NATO? CSS Analyses in Security Policy 189/2016 (Zurich: CSS, April 2016), https://ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securities-studies/pdfs/CSSAnalyse-189-EN.pdf (accessed 19 August 2019).


 United States Mission to the OSCE, Response to the OSCE Coordinator of Economic and Environmental Activities, PC.DEL/1618/16 (24 November 2016), www.osce.org/pc/285286?download=true (accessed 17 April 2019).


 Thematic preferences and specific approaches are reflected, among other things, in the national statements in the Permanent Council, e.g. in the meetings reserved for sec­ond dimension matters. This chapter is based on an analysis of statements accessible online from the last 10 years.


 Moscow, for example, advocates a financial shift towards the economic and environmental dimension: savings in the third dimension should benefit the first and second dimensions. This attitude, though, is above all an expression of its dissatisfaction with third-dimension activities. See, e.g., Russia’s Statement on the 2018 Budget, OSCE, Permanent Council, Decision No. 1288 (see note 10). Zagorski points out that on many economic issues Moscow’s statements, in fact, directly address the EU, Andrei Zagorski, “Russia – Controversial Perception”, in Perceptions of the OSCE in Europe and the USA, ed. Alexandra Dienes and Reinhard Krumm (Vienna, 2018), 83–88.


 See also Evers, In Retrospect (see note 11), 14–17.


 Helsinki Commission, In Brief. Non-Governmental Participation in the OSCE (Washington, D.C., 19 December 2017), http://www.csce.gov/sites/helsinkicommission.house.gov/files/Report%20-%20NGO%20Participation%20-%20Final.pdf (accessed 17 April 2019).


 See the above section on the development and institutionalisation of the economic and environmental dimension.


 This “prevention” potentially also includes control and monitoring systems, which could ultimately lead to a restric­tion of fundamental freedoms, a central issue in the third dimension, see Olaf Corry, “Securitisation and ‘Riskification’: Second-order Security and the Politics of Climate Change”, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 40, no. 2 (2012): 235–58; see also Jan Pospisil, “Resilienz: Die Neukonfiguration von Sicherheitspolitik im Zeitalter von Risiko”, Österrei­chische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 42, no. 1 (2013): 25–42.


 They were the subject of various thematic meetings under the Italian Chairmanship in 2018.


 Christina Garsten and Kerstin Jacobsson, “Post-Political Regulation: Soft Power and Post-Political Visions in Global Governance”, Critical Sociology 39, no. 3 (2011): 421–37.


 According to Aaron M. Hoffman, for example, the condi­tion for augmenting trust is that states delegate control over their own interests in certain areas, see Hoffman, “A Conceptualization of Trust” (see note 67), 377. Keating and Ruzicka link trust with the renunciation of hedging strategies, see Keating and Ruzicka, “Trusting Relationships” (see note 67).


 See the corresponding decisions in the second dimension, OSCE, OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension (see note 37).


 Ibid, 337.


 Due to the focus of the present study (see note 21), the suggestions refer to the interactions of participating states in Vienna.


 Berzins, The Puzzle of Trust (see note 69), 129ff; Naomi Head, “Transforming Conflict: Trust, Empathy, and Dialogue”, International Journal of Peace Studies 17, no. 2 (2012): 33–55 (35).


 See Thomas Gehring on the role of “bargaining” and “arguing” in international multilateral negotiations, Gehring, “Integrating Integration Theory” (see note 75), 238–41.


 Thus the objective for the then Economic Forum fol­low­ing a 2004 decision (see chapter “Institutionalisation and Development of the Economic and Environmental Dimension”).


 Pouliot, “Hierarchy in Practice” (see note 15), 6. Refer­encing Jürgen Habermas, Jennifer Mitzen also emphasises that convincing with arguments presupposes a genuine willingness on the part of the negotiating actors to work towards a compromise and adapt their own stances – a con­dition that is not necessarily given, Jennifer Mitzen, “Read­ing Habermas in Anarchy: Multilateral Diplomacy and Glo­bal Public Spheres”, American Political Science Review 99, no. 3 (August 2005): 401–17.


 Tana Johnson and Johannes Urpelainen, “A Strategic Theory of Regime Integration and Separation”, International Organization 66, no. 4 (2012): 645–77 (646); Gehring, “Integrating Integration Theory” (see note 75), 248.


 This is in line with current calls for dovetailing the dimensions more closely, calls that have also repeatedly been put forward in the debate on second-dimension reform. Thus far, however, the almost ten-year-old statement that “there is no overall OSCE approach to acting cross-dimen­sionally” still seems to be valid, see Evers, Balancing by Cross-Linking (see note 51), 14.

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