Georgia: new Head of EU monitoring mission appointed

Marek Szczygieł has today been appointed the new Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia, EUMM Georgia.

Marek Szczygieł, a long serving Polish diplomat, succeeds Erik Høeg from Denmark, who has been in charge of the mission for the last two years. Mr Szczygieł is currently ambassador for emerging security challenges and co-ordinator for international cyber policy in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His mandate as head of EUMM Georgia will run from 15 March until 14 December 2020.

EUMM Georgia was deployed in October 2008 following the EU-mediated agreement of 12 August 2008 and its subsequent implementing measures of 8 September 2008, which ended the military conflict between Russia and Georgia. The unarmed civilian monitoring mission contributes to stabilisation, normalisation and confidence building between the conflict parties, and provides civilian monitoring of parties’ actions, including compliance with the agreement of 12 August 2008 and its subsequent implementing measures.
It also informs European policy in support of conflict resolution in Georgia.

EUMM Georgia was established by Joint Action 2008/736/CFSP. The main tasks of the civilian mission EUMM Georgia are the following:

  • Stabilisation: monitoring the situation of the stabilisation process . The mission operates a ‘hotline’ to deal with incidents;
  • Normalisation: monitoring the normalisation process between the conflict parties and how people are affected;
  • Confidence building: contributing to the reduction of tensions through liaison, facilitation of contacts between parties and running joint projects;
  • Contributing to communicating European Union policy regarding the conflict.

The mission is headquartered in Tbilisi and has three field offices in Gori, in Mtskheta and in Zugdidi. The mission started on 1 October 2008 and deploys around 200 monitors from various EU member states working on the ground.

The European Union remains strongly committed to and involved in stabilisation and conflict resolution efforts in Georgia, including by continuing its engagements as co-chair in the Geneva International Discussions, the efforts of the EU Special Representative, and the continued presence on the ground of the EU Monitoring Mission.

The decision to appoint Mr Szczygieł was taken by the Political and Security Committee.