TBILISI, DFWatch–EU’s Foreign Affairs Council has agreed to sign and conclude an agreement establishing a framework for the participation of Georgia in EU’s crisis management operations.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia document called Framework Agreement on the Participation of Georgia in EU Crisis Management Operations is to be signed on November 28, in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Vilnius Summit.
The Agreement will allow Georgia to participate in EU-led civilian missions and military operations and contribute to the EU’s efforts in the crisis management worldwide.
The Agreement represents a step forward more structured cooperation between Georgia and the EU in the security field, said in the MFA.
The Council also decided to sign and conclude an agreement enabling the Republic of Chile to participate in EU’s crisis management operations.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who chaired the meeting of the council in Brussels, in November 2012 suggested that the government should start negotiations about an agreement which would lead to participation in EU crisis management operations.
In March 2013, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said that Georgia would participate in EU’s operation in Mali. His advisor then told DF Watch that this was about consulting. The minister said that Georgia agrees to accept a proposal from European partners and the details were still being discussed.
Norway and 16 EU countries currently take part in the EU-led Mali mission.
Details of the new agreement about engaging in EU crisis management operations are yet unknown.
Philip Dimitrov, EU’s Ambassador to Georgia, said on Wednesday that this is proof that EU considers Georgia a reliable partner.
Georgia’s foreign minister said her country is becoming an international player under the auspices of the EU as well and trust in Georgia will increase with participation in such operations.
Georgia has experience with participating in international missions. From 1999 to 2008 Georgian soldiers participated in the UN mission in Kosovo. Georgia has also participated in Iraq and is currently participating in the NATO-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan.