25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum

Secretary General Michael Linhart opened the 25th Economic and Environmental Forum of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – Focus on good governance, connectivity and economic participation

25. OSZE Wirtschaftsforum "Greeening the Economy"

In the presence of Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, Tatiana Valovaya, Minister of Integration and Macro-economics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and Halil Yurdakul Yigitgüden, OSCE Co-ordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities, Secretary General Michael Linhart opened a two-day high-level meeting of the Economic and Environmental Forum under the Austrian OSCE chairmanship on 23 January 2017. Under the title “Greening the Economy and Building Partnerships” about 300 representatives of states, business and civil society from the 57 OSCE participating States discussed topics including good governance, fighting corruption, sustainable business partnerships from “Vancouver to Vladivostok“ and combatting unemployment to prevent conflicts and radicalisation. All these factors are considered indispensable requirements for stability, peace and prosperity in the OSCE area.

25th OSCE Economic Forum

In his opening speech, Secretary General Michael Linhart said: "Divisions between East and West are increasing – not only in the political sphere, but also in the economic sphere. The promotion of sustainable economic and trade relations between participating States can contribute to rebuilding trust and confidence, thereby strengthening stability an security in the OSCE area.

25th OSCE Economic Forum

There would not only be considerable risk in reverting to the bloc-based thinking of but also in growing tendencies towards radicalisation and violent extremism. “Through the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE we can contribute to tackling the main root causes of radicalisation: unemployment and the lack of economic prospects. We want to discuss how OSCE participating States can strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship and foster job creation and economic growth, also in regions affected by conflicts.

25th OSCE Economic Forum

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier pointed out that the fight against corruption was a decisive element in fostering sustainable economic development and thus for peace and prosperity in all 57 participating States. For this reason, good governance was a central topic of the meeting. Enhancing good governance, fighting corruption and strengthening business integrity and corporate responsibility would be essential for a sound investment climate and sustainable growth. The private and the public sector would have to join forces to prevent misconduct, tackle the various forms of corruption and labour exploitation, including in supply chains, and establish and preserve a culture of integrity and trust in doing business.

25th OSCE Economic Forum

Minister of Finance Hans Jörg Schelling highlighted the special importance of connectivity: "By fostering connectivity within and among the OSCE participating States trust and confidence can be rebuilt within the entire OSCE region. Closer cooperation in the field of trade, transport, customs and energy can be mutually beneficial for all participating states. We need a new vision of a common economic space from Vancouver to Vladivostok which encompasses the USA, Canada, the EU and all countries east of the EU, including Russia and Central Asia." The meeting is closely related with the “OSCE Chairmanship Business Conference“, taking place at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber on Wednesday. The conference provides opportunities for dialogue between companies, business associations and representatives from government institutions from all 57 OSCE participating States.


Helene Spitzer

Press Officer of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship

Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria

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