Threat perceptions in the OSCE area

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Series Details 29 April 2014
Publication Date April 2014
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This timely study analyzes and compares the threat perceptions of 18 governments of the OSCE participating States, including the Netherlands. It is based on country reports from institutions and think tanks from all over the OSCE area. Clingendael Associate Fellow Barend ter Haar and Eva Maas jointly prepared the Dutch contribution to this report. Barend ter Haar is also a co-editor of the full OSCE report.

Domestic threats and legitimacy of governance

One of the main conclusions of this study is the prominence of perceived domestic threats combined with questions about the efficiency and legitimacy of governance. The common denominator is concern about weak, insufficient and/or worsening governance capacities and this concern is shared by all types of countries.


While the interviews and country reports started to be drafted before the events in the Ukraine, this study also includes some initial considerations about the impact of these events on the threat perception of several OSCE participating States. The study shows that a new level of divergent perceptions of military and other external threats has emerged in the OSCE area.

Helsinki +40

The finding of this report bear significant relevance for the Helsinki + 40 process. The so-called “Helsinki + 40” was launched in 2012 at the Ministerial Council in Dublin. Eight co-ordinators were nominated and have started their work on the eight thematic clusters chosen for the process. Some of the proposals made in the recommendations are thought-provoking. They provide interesting inputs for the followup of the process, especially in light of the current events in the OSCE area.


This study was presentated during a Helsinki + 40 meeting in the Vienna Hofburg on April 29, 2014, conducted at the invitation of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship.

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ESO Background Information: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

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