EU independent civilian observer mission to Georgia

The General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting, held in Brussels on September 15th and chaired by the French Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, led to the decision to send an independent civilian observer mission to Georgia, under the European Security and Defence Policy.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers reaffirmed in their meeting the European Union’s commitment to solve the crisis in Georgia, following the agreement on the implementation of the plan of August 12th, reached in Moscow and Tbilisi on September 8th, thanks to the mediation of the European Union. The Council called on all the parties to fully implement this agreement within the time limits that have been set, including the withdrawal of all Russian forces and the return of Georgia’s military forces to their bases.

The purpose of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia is to provide civilian monitoring of Parties' actions, including full compliance with the six-point Agreement and subsequent implementing measures throughout Georgia, working in close coordination with partners, particularly the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and consistent with other EU activity, in order to contribute to stabilisation, normalisation and confidence building whilst also contributing to informing European Foreign Policy in support of a durable political solution for Georgia.

Stabilisation in the short term requires in particular the withdrawal of troops to reduce the risk of a resumption of hostilities. Stabilization in the short term requires in particular the withdrawal of troops to reduce the risk of a resumption of hostilities. The Mission is also intended to contribute to long-term stability throughout Georgia and the surrounding region.

The Mission will be deployed by October 1st in accordance with the arrangements set out in the agreement of September 8th, and will be composed of at least 200 observers.

The Council invited the Commission to prepare the donors’ conference to help with the reconstruction and recovery of the Georgian economy and with the return of displaced persons, which will be held in October in Brussels. The Commission could contribute with 500 M€ in aid for the 2008-2010 period. In August, the European Commission already deployed 1M€ in fast track aid for urgent humanitarian needs of civilians affected by the conflict.

The ministers also appointed Pierre Morel as the Special Representative of the European Union for the crisis in Georgia.