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Observations on an OSCE Chairmanship: Intentions, challenges and outcomes

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The OSCE rotating Chairmanship in 2008 was held by Finland. The golden years of the OSCE in the 1990s were in early 2000s replaced by strain and difficulties when the Organization could barely agree on each year's budget let alone on major substantive political declarations. The aim of the Finnish Chairmanship was to get back to basics by drawing from the joint value base that brought about ambitious commitments on all three dimensions in 1990s. The three objectives of the Finnish Chairmanship — continuity, coherence and co-operation — besides focusing on dialogue and keeping the Organization operational, also included a hint to those that possibly sought to undermine the commitments. This article will look at the challenges known to the 2008 Chairmanship at the start of the year, and how the Organization responded to them and to the events of the year as they evolved. It also glances on what are the possible issues raising from the concrete cooperation and coordination within the Organization and between its Institutions.


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