EP: Russian Aggression against Georgia, Ukraine Highlights Need for Stronger EU Action

The European Parliament (EP) recommends that the Council of the European Union, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopt a more robust approach to tackling frozen conflicts around the world, including in Georgia.

In the recommendation issued on January 17 titled “The role of preventive diplomacy in tackling frozen conflicts around the world – missed opportunity or change for the future?” the European Parliament emphasizes that Russian aggression against Ukraine and Georgia highlight the need for “stronger and more ambitious, credible, strategic, tangible and unified EU action on the world stage.”

The Parliament stresses that security in the Eastern neighborhood is “greatly threatened” by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that the EU needs to increase the effectiveness of its security and defense policy, especially in the Eastern Partnership countries. The Parliament says the EU should set its objectives in an autonomous ways, and pursue them to avoid repeating mistakes.

The text identifies “the lack of will on the part of the Member States to step away from their
individual, political or economic interests in external relations in order to build joint capacity together and fully develop strategic autonomy” as “one of the main obstacles” to the EU’s global leadership in preventive diplomacy.

The European Parliament calls on the European Union to respond to the instability in the wider South Caucasus region, including drawing lessons from previous EU-brokered ceasefire agreements, citing, among others, the lack of progress in the implementation of the 2008 Russia-Georgia ceasefire agreement. The Parliament believes that EU should actively pursue preventive diplomacy in regions of frozen conflict to prevent escalation and promote stabilization.

The Parliament also urges the Union to strengthen its diplomatic efforts in the context of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) and otherwise, with the aim of ensuring that Russia fulfils its obligations under the mentioned 2008 ceasefire agreement, “in particular to withdraw its occupying forces from the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.”

Overall, the document provides recommendations in a number of directions for the European Union institutions, such as improving the EU’s understanding of the local and cultural context, strengthening partnerships and international coordination, ensuring that the EU’s conflict early warning system is sufficiently proactive, etc.

The recommendations also cover the role of special representatives and special envoys in preventive diplomacy, their accountability and the overview of the results of their engagement in conflict resolution processes. The European Parliament also addresses the EU’s preventive diplomacy toolbox.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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