George Tsereteli: 'We must face new realities but never compromise on our principles'

“Our parliamentary assemblies must continue to work together and face new realities but must never compromise on our principles,” said George Tsereteli, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, addressing PACE Standing Committee in Copenhagen today.

Over the past two decades "the unique expertise and complementary efforts of our two organizations has played an essential role in the transformation of Europe. The complexity of current affairs demands that we be creative to tackle them effectively and build bridges on many levels: between and within countries, societies, organisations,” Mr Tsereteli said.

“The challenges and the threats affecting our respective geographical scopes are regrettably increasing. This calls both of our Assemblies to unprecedented responsibility,” he added. The international context is complex and “demands full co-operation between our Assemblies and also with our respective governmental branches”. Energies need to be directed towards the challenges and not “be dispelled in institutional posturing or unnecessary competition”, he underlined.

According to Mr Tsereteli, the opportunities are ample. The OSCE PA has traditionally enjoyed fruitful co-operation with PACE during election observation missions. “But we can only benefit from a deepened relationship in other arenas as well,” he said, citing as examples protecting the human rights of migrants and refugees, and safeguarding civil rights and fundamental freedoms in the fight against terrorism. "Your monitoring efforts are also widely recognized as an important tool for democratic development in Europe. We have much in common, and much work to do,” Mr Tsereteli concluded.