Toggle navigation menu.
Helsinki Default Banner

U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chairmen Hastings and Cardin to Lead Congressional Delegation to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria

WASHINGTON – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), will lead a Congressional delegation to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria from February 18-22, 2008. The Members of Congress that will be travelling with the delegation are Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Hilda Solis (D-CA), and Michael McNulty (D-NY). 

While in Prague, the delegation plans to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, President of the Senate Premysl Sobotka, Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Džamila Stehlíková, and representatives of civil society and the Romani and the Jewish communities. The delegation will also hold meetings at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Broadcast Center. 

Immediately following their visit and meeting with RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin on Tuesday, February 19, the delegation will hold a press roundtable at 3:30 p.m. at the RFE/RL Broadcast Center (Vinohradska 1, 110 00 Prague 1, across from the National Museum). During the press roundtable, they plan to discuss U.S.-Czech bilateral relations, the situation of the Romani minority, and questions of tolerance and non-discrimination. (NOTE: If you are a member of the media that would like to attend the press roundtable at the RFE/RL Broadcast Center on Tuesday, February 19 at 3:30p.m., please contact: Julian Knapp, Deputy Director of Communications at RFE/RL. You can RSVP by email – knappj[at]rferl[dpt]org or +420.221.122.074 (office), +420.602.611.008 (mobile).

On Wednesday, February 20, the delegation will travel to Bratislava, where they plan to meet with Prime Minister Robert Fico, Foreign Minister Jan Kubis, U.S. Ambassador Vincent Obsitnik, independent analysts, and Romani activists. They will hold a press conference at 5:15 p.m. the residence of the U.S. Ambassador (14/A Stara Vinarska, Bratislava). During the press conference, the delegation is expected to discuss U.S.-Slovak relations, the situation of the Romani minority, and regional issues of concern to the OSCE community.

The delegation will then travel to Vienna, where they will attend the 7th Annual Winter Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. The purpose of the meeting is to examine unfolding trends and events within the OSCE region and beyond with a particular focus on Kosovo, missile defense, and conventional forces in Europe. The parliamentarians will also receive briefings by high-level OSCE officials on the diplomatic response to these events. The work conducted during this meeting is in preparation for the upcoming Annual Session, which will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan this summer. 

On Thursday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m. the delegation will hold a press roundtable in room 525 of the Hofburg Congress Center. At the press roundtable they plan to discuss the issues being debated in the meeting as well as the economic, security, and political ramifications of migration, and efforts to combat prejudice and discrimination in the OSCE region, as well the upcoming Presidential elections in Russia and European cooperation to address the Iraqi refugee crisis. 

Media contact

Category
Country
Issue
Date
Filter Topics Open Close
Articles

United States Demonstrates Global Leadership on Ukra...

Jul 14, 2023

The Helsinki Commission’s four senior leaders helmed the United States’ bicameral, bipartisan delegation to the 30th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly last week in Vancouver, Canada. Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), serving as Head of Delegation, was joined by Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) as Deputy Head of Delegation as well as Ranking Members […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Chair and Co-Chair Lead Delegati...

Jul 10, 2023

WASHINGTON—Helsinki Commission Co-Chair Senator Ben Cardin (MD) and Helsinki Commission Chair Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02) led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the 30th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) in Vancouver, Canada from June 30-July 4. As Head of Delegation and Deputy Head of Delegation respectively, Senator Cardin and Representative Wilson welcomed the […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

North Macedonia’s Leadership of the OSCE in a ...

Feb 28, 2023

North Macedonia has taken up leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—a year into Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Much of the OSCE’s focus over the past year has revolved around responses to the war, including using the organization to condemn Russian aggression and hold the […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

HEARING: NORTH MACEDONIA’S LEADERSHIP OF THE OSCE IN...

Feb 24, 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Streaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNgAOyC9f5g North Macedonia has taken up leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—a year into Putin’s brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Much of the OSCE’s focus over the past year has revolved around responses to the war, […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

U.S. Delegation to the OSCE PA presents Joint Statem...

Feb 24, 2023

WASHINGTON— Today, the U.S. Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) endorsed the “Joint Statement of Action on the One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s War Against Ukraine and the International Legal Order,” which was endorsed by the OSCE PA Bureau and published today at the conclusion of the […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Steadfast Support for Ukraine: United States Delegat...

Feb 23, 2023

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA), led by Senator Ben Cardin (MD), met with Mykyta Poturaiev, Ukraine’s Head of Delegation and additional representatives of the Ukrainian Rada in Vienna, Austria, along with the Heads of Delegation of Canada, Estonia, […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commissioners Urge Austria to Deny Visas to...

Feb 15, 2023

WASHINGTON – Helsinki Commission leadership, Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson, Co-Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin, and Rep. Steve Cohen, on February 10, sent a letter to Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg to reconsider granting visas to the Russian delegation to the Winter Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, […]

screen-reader-text
Articles

OSCE’s 2022 Ministerial Council in Lodz: Russia Isol...

Dec 09, 2022

By Janice Helwig, Senior Policy Advisor, Demitra Pappas, Senior Advisor Department of State, Shannon Simrell, Representative of the Helsinki Commission to the U.S. Mission to OSCE Foreign Ministers and senior officials from the 57 participating States and 11 Asian and Mediterranean partners of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) convened the OSCE […]

screen-reader-text
Articles

NATO Refocused, Europe Reinforced

Aug 10, 2022

By Jessika Nebrat, Max Kampelman Fellow​ Following the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is playing a role it has not filled in years. Forced to reconcentrate its attention to Europe’s defense, NATO allies are demonstrating persistent resolve in countering Moscow’s expansionist tendencies. In doing so, NATO returns to a core […]

screen-reader-text
Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest July 2022

Jul 29, 2022

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Co-Chairman Cohen Deplores Arrest of Ilya Yashin in ...

Jul 28, 2022

WASHINGTON—In response to the arrest of Ilya Yashin, a Russian politician critical of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman and OSCE PA Special Representative on Political Prisoners Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement: “Putin’s government has been engaged in a systematic assault on Russian citizens who dare speak the truth about […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Co-Chairman Cohen Condemns Execution of Democracy Ac...

Jul 28, 2022

WASHINGTON—Following the execution of four democracy activists by Myanmar’s military junta, Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on Political Prisoners Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement: “I strongly condemn the execution of these courageous activists by Myanmar’s unelected and illegitimate regime. These men—Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo […]

screen-reader-text