An organization with thirty‐four members that emerged on 1 August 1975 from the Helsinki Conference in an attempt to carry on the dialogue between Eastern and Western Europe. The CSCE marked the high point of a thaw in the Cold War during the 1970s. It was signed by the Soviet Union and its satellite states because it represented a de facto recognition of its sphere of influence. However, as an unintended consequence, human rights citizens' movements such as Charter '77 began to form in order to demand the realization of the commitments undertaken by their governments. The long‐term effect of the CSCE, therefore, was the undermining of the legitimacy of the Communist states of Eastern Europe. After the Helsinki conference, until 1990 the CSCE was the only forum at which all the (Communist and capitalist) states of Europe (as well as the USA and Canada) met at regular intervals, notably in Belgrade (1977–8), Madrid (1980–3), Vienna (1986–9), and Helsinki (1992). It underwent a major reorganization in 1992, when it became an agency of the UN. Reformed as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from 1995, it had 55 member states in 2007. Its members were committed to human rights through election monitoring, peace-keeping, and the promotion of international trade. A relatively loose forum, it served principally as a forum for exchange between members.http://www.osce.org.The official website of the CSCE.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Contemporary History (Post 1945).