OSCE Special Permanent Council No. 599
EU Statement in response to the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings
- The EU welcomes the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Alcee Hastings, to the Permanent Council and remembers with pleasure his two previous appearances.
- We note with satisfaction the further enhancement of cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE. One good example is the input provided by the Washington Declaration as well as its attached resolutions to the Ljubljana Ministerial Council. Similarly, the EU also appreciates the contribution of the Parliamentarians to the discussion on freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs during a special debate at their Winter Meeting. We are sure that many of these ideas will be taken into account during the ongoing work in the OSCE.
- Another significant contribution of the Parliamentary Assembly is its participation in election observation missions in support of long-term and short-term observers of ODIHR.
- Mr. Hastings, we have listened with great interest to your evaluation of the Presidential elections in Belarus. The EU has closely followed the election process in Belarus and, it has consistently expressed its deep concern about the undemocratic conduct of the election campaign. We very much regret that, as stated in the preliminary report of the ODIHR’s election observation mission the Presidential elections in Belarus ”failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections”. The EU will come back to this issue in detail at a later stage.
- The EU also welcomes other initiatives by the Parliamentary Assembly that aim to improve the democracy and human rights situation in the entire OSCE area, such as the decision to appoint a Special Representative on Guantánamo.
- The EU is happy to reaffirm its full support for the work of the Parliamentary Assembly and looks forward to strengthening interaction.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process