France blocks OSCE 2019 budget –


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At an OSCE meeting in Bishkek in October 2018.
At an OSCE meeting in Bishkek in October 2018. VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO / AFP

The controversy was not to be public. Questioned by The worldOn Monday 7 January, the French representation at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), based in Vienna, Austria, recognized that Paris opposed the adoption of the 2019 budget of this international institution.

"For three years, we have asked for a rebalancing of national contributions in relation to the payment capacity of each state, without being heard, explains Alexandre Vulic, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the OSCE, to justify the Paris position. 95% of the organization's budget is financed by the member states of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Norway, while about 40 states finance less than 1% operation. "

The United States remains the main contributor (12%) of the organization, founded in 1975 to act as a platform for dialogue between East and West during the Cold War. Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy are following them closely. Russia (4%), Turkey, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan offer much smaller contributions not related to their economic strength or their demographic weight. But Russia refuses to make a move as long as the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States have not been lifted.

For its part, Paris affirms that for the time being the opposition to the adoption of the budget, the moment in which the rates of the contribution are reviewed, does not endanger the OSCE in its missions, including the 39. Election observation, because there would be a provisional financing system based on a renewal of the previous financial year.

"Lack of solidarity"

For the time being, the reaction of some Member States has been to make public the existence of this blockade. On 31 December 2018, an Austrian journalist of the newspaper Wiener Zeitung he had mysteriously deplored on Twitter "At a time when most people are preparing to celebrate the new year, several sources indicate that the OSCE delegations are bogged down in budget negotiations with only one country preventing consensus". His message was liked by Thomas Greminger, general secretary of the organization, but also to Austrian and Italian representations.


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