Press Releases

Burgess Selected to Serve on U.S. Helsinki Commission

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, was appointed to the Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, for the 115th Congress. This is the third Congress that Dr. Burgess has served as a Commissioner. 

Dr. Burgess will serve as one of nine Commissioners in the U.S. House of Representatives, selected by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In addition, nine Commissioners from the U.S. Senate are selected by the President of the Senate. The remaining three Commissioners are appointed by the President of the United States from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce, usually at the Assistant Secretary level.

The Helsinki Commission is an independent federal agency created in 1976, by order of Public Law 94-304, to monitor and encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act, or Helsinki Accords. The Commission convenes public hearings and briefings on Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)‐related topics, issues public reports and organizes official delegations to participating states. The Commission includes 57 participating states and 11 partners for cooperation.

“As the world continues to change, it is now more important than ever to work with leaders of our ally nations to defend basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially those of persecuted individuals,” said Burgess.

“As we welcome a new Administration, the Commission has the unique opportunity to ensure comprehensive security through the promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental, and military cooperation. I am honored to have the privilege of serving on the Helsinki Commission for another Congress.”

“On the Helsinki Commission, Dr. Burgess has been a champion for human rights and the rule of law, and a strong supporter of Ukraine under attack by Russia,”
said Helsinki Commission Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04). “I am pleased to welcome him back to the Commission, and look forward to continuing to work with him to support U.S. foreign policy goals throughout the OSCE region.”  

For more information on the U.S. Helsinki Commission, click here