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Council of the European Union: address by EU HR Javier SOLANA at the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM)Headquarters in Georgia

Tbilisi, 30 September 2008
by Emanuele G. - Tuesday 30 September 2008 - 1943 letture

Address by Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, at the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Headquarters in Georgia

Mr SOLANA visited Tbilisi today, Tuesday, 30 September, for meetings with President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI, Foreign Minister Eka TKESHELASHVILI, Interior Minister Ivane MERABISHVILI and the Secretary of the National Security Council, Alexander LOMAIA, as well as a meeting with opposition and NGO representatives and a visit to the EUMM field office in Gori and a camp for internally displaced people. The visit provided an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in Georgia and the deployment of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia.

At EUMM headquarters, Mr SOLANA met the Head of Mission, Ambassador Hansjörg HABER, and the newly deployed EU personnel. The following is an edited summary of Mr SOLANA’s address during the inauguration ceremony of EUMM:

"It gives me great pleasure to be here today, the day our mission becomes operational in Georgia. Tomorrow is the 1st of October. On the 8th of September we took the commitment and we will start the EU Monitoring Mission tomorrow. I want to start by thanking people. I thank the government of Georgia for inviting the mission and cooperating in building up this mission rapidly and efficiently. I thank the preparatory team, the people who worked hard during the last weeks. I want to thank the European Commission and EU Special Representative Peter Semneby for providing logistic and political support for the mission’s preparation.

In line with the EU’s commitment made on the 8th of September, we today have 200 EU monitors deployed on the ground. With support staff, the total deployment is more than 300 persons. For the EU, to be in Georgia is a great responsibility and it is a great honor. We will work with the people of Georgia and this will bring us closer. EU personnel will know better the people of Georgia and the people of Georgia will know better the people of the EU. Thus we will reach a deeper and more profound relationship. The EU is here in Georgia to work for the stability of the country. Our engagement is serious. Therefore, we will also organize a conference of support for Georgia.

EUMM is an unarmed civilian mission, and its role is to monitor the situation on the ground in order to ensure that there is no return to violence, that people can return in peace to their homes and that normal life can resume. By engaging with the local population, the EU monitors will bring a sense of security to the people whose lives have been affected by this tragic conflict. And they will also bring here the spirit of the EU to share it with the Georgians.

This has been the fastest deployment that the EU has ever undertaken. EU Member States made a tremendous effort for you to be here in this short period of time. The EU has shown its capacity to act with determination and speed. The EU is here today because we committed to be here on the 8th of September. We now look forward to all parties fulfilling their commitments as much as the EU did."


EUROPEAN UNIION

EUROPEAN SECURIITY AND DEFENCE POLIICY

European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia

30 September 2008 - Georgia/02

The operational phase of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia starts on 1 October 2008, in accordance with the arrangements set out in the Agreement of 8 September.

The Council decided, on Monday 15 September, to establish an autonomous civilian monitoring mission in Georgia, in accordance with the Conclusions of the Extraordinary European Council on 1 September 2008.

The mission will work in close coordination with the OSCE and the UN and in addition to the international mechanisms of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMG) and the OSCE. The mission: the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia is an autonomous mission led by the EU under the European security and defence policy.

Main objectives: to contribute to stability throughout Georgia and the surrounding region. In the short term, to contribute to the stabilisation of the situation, in accordance with the sixpoint Agreement of the 12 August and the subsequent implementing measures.

Main tasks:

- stabilisation: monitoring and analysing the situation pertaining to the stabilisation process, centred on full compliance of the six-point Agreement, including troop withdrawals, as well as violations of human rights and international humanitarian law;

- normalisation: monitoring and analysing the situation as regards governance, rule of law, and public order as well as the security of transportation links, energy infrastructures and the return of internally displaced persons and refugees;

- confidence building: contributing to the reduction of tensions through liaison, facilitation of contacts between parties and other confidence-building measures.

Structure and parameters of the mission:

- The European presence comprises of some 350 staff, including HQ personnel and over 200 monitors.

- 22 European Union Member states contribute personnel to the mission.

- The Headquarters is in Tbilisi, with regional field offices in Tbilisi/Basaleti, Gori, Poti and Zugdidi.

- Ambassador Hansjörg HABER is Head of EUMM. His deputy is General Gilles JANVIER.

- The budget for the mission is EUR 35 million.

- The initial duration of the mission is twelve months.

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