Privileges and Immunities of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE)

16 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2018

See all articles by Isabelle Pingel

Isabelle Pingel

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Date Written: December 13, 2018


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) finds its roots in the Helsinki Final Act of 1 August 1975. Despite the fact that it is not, legally speaking, an international organization, The OSCE carries out functions that are similar and sometimes even identical to those of such organizations. This ordinarily would warrant having in place a clear and predictable regime of privileges and immunities that allows it to operate efficiently. However, the OSCE has no such regime. The privileges and immunities of the OSCE and its staff vary from one participating state to another and from one legislative act to another. There have been calls to implement an international convention to address this anomaly. The purpose of this article, which is part of the volume on the legal framework of the OSCE (forthcoming in Steinbrück Platise/Moser/Peters (eds), The Legal Framework of the OSCE, Cambridge University Press), is to relay these calls and expand on them. It does so first by summarising the nature of the problem and the current patchwork of applicable regulatory statutes on privileges and immunities. It subsequently highlights the difficulties that this patchwork creates and how the creation of uniform regime through an international treaty would improve the day-to-day work of the OSCE.

Keywords: equal treatment, field operation, local staff, tax exemption, wrongful acts, Rome Decision, uniform regime

Suggested Citation

Pingel, Isabelle, Privileges and Immunities of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) (December 13, 2018). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2018-37, Available at SSRN: or

Isabelle Pingel (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne ( email )

17, rue de la Sorbonne
Paris, IL 75005

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