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Another Brick in the Wall

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Building up the OSCE as an International Organization One Agreement at a Time

image of International Organizations Law Review

The origins of the OSCE began as a political conference established by the 1975 Helsinki Accords, rather than a treaty-based international organization. Through political decisions it has evolved in a fragmented way, structurally and legally, which has resulted in a decades-long debate over its international legal personality and its status as an ‘fully-fledged’ international organization. In that light, the June 2017 Arrangement between the OSCE and the Republic of Poland on the Status of the OSCE in the Republic of Poland, as well as the 2017 Agreement between the Republic of Austria and the OSCE regarding the Headquarters of the OSCE , which were concluded as treaties, demonstrate recognition, by those two states, of the OSCE as a subject of international law with treaty-making capacity. This suggests that the OSCE may be acquiring international legal personality much in the same way as states achieve statehood—element by element and recognition state by state.

Affiliations: 1: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


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