DASI Conference 2017 "Europe Under Pressure" covered a burning recent topic - the future of the OSCE in a complex security environment. Right at the beginning of the Austrian OSCE chairmanship () promised interesting insights and exciting views from the outside, both from academia and practioners.
The keynote speach to was delivered by the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
Zannier claimed that inspite of the geopolitical, dividing circumstances, OSCE will find new ways to continue working.
Most importantly as OSCE provides the common ground for dialogue. The prinicipal of consensus gives OSCE's actions legitimacy with all parties involved. Preseve existing communication channels and open new ones is the basis for a peaceful and stable (wider) Europe.
In the end the GenSec brought up a rather apocalyptic assessment of the current situation in IR. The Munich Security Conference was an eye-opener to him. The international system is changing, but more than ever, it is necessary to invest in organisations like OSCE.
The first panel was aimed at providing orientation and an assessment of OSCE current capablities in the European security architecture. Amb Paul Huynen stressed, that a comprehensive and cooperative approach to security is in the OSCE's DNA.
Security however, is not just hard security and its opposite is rather "deep" then "soft" like the EU representatitve to OSCE Thierry Béchet added. Deep security is the core principle of the EU, meaning an allencompassing approach to security in between as well as within states. However, funding often doesn't meet the expectations.
Jamie Shea from NATO enforced that NATO is more than just hard security. For NATO European security is not perfect, but the best we can get - with democracy as the best governance model available. Fatalism is no option for NATO.
Regarding NATO's role in the Baltics, Shea underline and repeated well known positions. NATO has no interest in an open confrontation with Russia, but als has principles they have to honor. Collective defence does not start when Article V is triggered. Deterrence, support for the smaller member states and an open-door-policy ensure the security of the alliance.