The close relationship between security and minority protection is more than ever before manifest in today's (eastern) Europe. The adoption of far-reaching substantive commitments in the fields of the OSCE, and its increasing intrusion upon traditionally internal affairs of states, constitutes a positive framework for minority protection. A constructive combination of implementation mechanisms, preventive diplomacy instruments, and dispute-settlement efforts has produced positive results. Primarily concerned with the maintenance of security in Europe, the OSCE involves itself in minority issues, subject to the (dis)advantages of its political character. Despite its inherent weaknesses, the OSCE system has already contributed to the protection of minorities in Eastern Europe in various ways during the political transition in the former communist states, and it is prepared to continue, especially in the absence of other more effective systems.