The European Union continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace and security in the South Caucasus.
On Monday (19 December), the EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP), launched in October, completed its mandate.
Based on the agreement between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, European Council and France, the EUMCAP was deployed on 20 October along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan with the objective of monitoring, analysing and reporting on the situation on the ground.
EU leaders, meeting in Brussels last week, assessed the wotk of the mission and the way forward. A statement by the European External Action Service on Monday stated that, "the Council – in agreement with Armenia’s authorities - decided that the existing EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) will deploy a transitional planning assistance team in Armenia to enhance the EU’s awareness of the security situation, and contribute to the planning and preparation of a possible civilian CSDP mission in the country. The transitional planning assistance team is also expected to support the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the EU-facilitated normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
Speaking last week, after the meeting of the European Council, Jospe Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy positively assessed the work of EUMCAP over the last weeks:
The deployment of 40 European monitoring experts has proved to be effective and contributed to building confidence in an unstable situation. Today we start a new phase in the EU’s engagement in the South Caucasus, with a transitional team that will prepare the ground for a possible longer term EU mission in Armenia, with the ultimate goal of contributing to sustainable peace in the region.
It is to be recalled that on the occasion of the meeting of the European Political Community held in Prague on 6 October 2022, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and to the CIS Declaration agreed in Alma-Ata on 21 December 1991, in which both states recognise each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. They confirmed it would be a basis for the work of their respective border delimitation commissions, whose last meeting took place in Brussels on 3 November 2022.
On 17 October 2022, the Council adopted a decision for the deployment in Armenia of EU observers from EUMM Georgia until 19 December 2022.
Since December 2021 the European Union, through the good offices of European Council president, Charles Michel, has facilitated a normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has included a number of trilateral meetings held in Brussels with the participation of the leaders of the two countries. The EU's efforts are also supported by the work of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, and his team. In anticipation of this week's announcement, the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service responsible for Common Security and Defense Policy and Crisis Response, Charles Fries, was in the region to consult with local stakeholders.
source: commonspace.eu with the press service of the European External Action Service (Brussels)
photo: Members of EUMCAP arrive in Armenia in October 2022.