Borrell visits EU Monitoring Mission to Georgia to highlight its 15-year presence in the country
On 8 September, during his visit to Georgia, EU High Representative Josep Borrell met with observers of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia to mark the 15th anniversary of the mission’s presence in the country.
“EUMM’s presence over the past 15 years stands as a testament to the EUs long-term commitment to fostering peace and security in Georgia and the wider region. For a decade and a half, the EUMM has played a pivotal role in ensuring stability and reducing tensions in this region,” said Borrell. “The EU’s dedication to fostering regional peace and stability in the South Caucasus region remains resolute.”
Borrell joined an EUMM patrol to the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) near Khurvaleti. In Khurvaleti, Borrell witnessed first-hand the negative impact of border structures, including fences, barbed wire and watchtowers, on the freedom of movement of the local population. EUMM observers described the complex problems arising from the closure of the crossing points on the South Ossetian section of the ABL during the first twenty days of each month.
“Had the opportunity to see the Administrative Boundary Line and to talk to affected people on the ground. They are the ones who pay the highest price of this conflict,” Borrell wrote on X (former Twitter) after the visit.
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‘Crucial time for Georgian future’: Borrell comes to Tbilisi to discuss country’s European path
EU High Representative Josep Borrell, visiting Georgia today, held a series of meetings on EU-Georgia co-operation and Georgia’s European perspective.
Speaking at his first press conference yesterday after arriving in Tbilisi, Borrel said this was “a crucial time” for Georgia’s future because in a few weeks, the European Union would consider the next steps in Georgia’s path to the European Union and, for the first time, the report on Georgia’s progress as an enlargement country.
“I want to be very clear in that important moment: the European Union’s door is open to Georgia and the European Union is committed to supporting Georgia on its path towards European Union membership,” said Borrell.
Today, Borrell met Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, to discuss Georgia’s path to the EU, as well as the regional security situation.
He also met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to “pass three messages”: “time must be used wisely now to advance reforms”, the EU welcomes Georgia’s support for Ukraine, and it remains steadfast in its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.
The EU High Representative visited the Georgian Parliament to meet the representatives of all the political parties present in the Parliament. At the meeting, Borrell said that “polarisation is part of political life, but needs to be measured. All political parties must cooperate to advance the reform agenda”.
Finally, Borrell had an “important meeting” and “useful dialogue” with civil society representatives in Georgia. “Impressed by their work. Ensuring involvement of CSOs in the decision-making processes at all levels is key,” wrote Borrell on X (formerly Twitter) after the meeting.
Tomorrow, the High Representative will visit the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia and participate in mission activities along the Administrative Boundary Line, organised by the EUMM.
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VIDEO/Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosts dinner in honor of Josep Borrell
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosted a dinner in honor of Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission.The dinner honoring Josep Borrell was served on Mtatsminda. The Head of Government and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy discussed Georgia’s European integration in an informal setting.Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, arrived in Tbilisi on September 7.Within the scope of the visit, both face-to-face and extended-format meetings between Irakli Garibashvili and Josep Borrell are scheduled, to be followed by a joint press conference.Press Service of the Government Administration
High Representative Josep Borrell travels to Georgia
The EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will travel to Georgia on 7-8 September. His first official visit to the country in the current capacity will provide the opportunity to discuss progress on Georgia’s European integration path, and exchange views on wider foreign policy and regional matters.
During the visit, the High Representative will be received by Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia. The HR/VP will also meet Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili. Following the meeting with the Prime Minister, a joint press conference will be held.
He will also hold a meeting with Ilia Darchiashvili, Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The HR/VP will also take the opportunity to meet with representatives of all political parties present in the Parliament and hold discussions with civil society representatives.
The HR/VP will during his visit mark 15 years of EUMM presence in Georgia, reflecting the EU’s commitment to Georgia’s security and peaceful conflict resolution. He will participate in mission activities along the Administrative Boundary Line, organised by the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM).
World Press Freedom Day: defending press freedom is a universal mission that knows no borders, says EU
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the European Union condemns all forms of threats and violence against journalists, continues to support media workers in danger through local missions and via dedicated programmes, and joins UNESCO in its message: today more than ever, freedom of expression is crucial for all other human rights.
The EU reminds that the protection of freedom of expression remains a key priority for its human rights action, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 75 years ago:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
In a statement, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said: “While the preservation of free, independent and pluralistic media is vital for resilient and healthy democracies, press freedom is at stake in most parts of the world today. Journalists, media workers and all those who bring independent quality information to the public, shed light on the gross human rights violations and atrocities and hold those in power to account increasingly face discredit, threats and attacks, including through disinformation.”
Borrell also mentioned reporters in Ukraine and journalists from Belarus among media workers around the world who continue to pay a high price for exercising their profession.
The statement focuses particularly on women journalists who are mostly vulnerable to threats and increasing attacks, both offline and online, and are exposed to stigmatisation, sexist hate speech, trolling, sexual and gender-based violence and even murder. According to the EU, 73% of women journalists have experienced online threats, abuse, and harassment in the course of their work.
“Defending and promoting press freedom is a universal mission that knows no borders. The EU will remain committed to engage with governments, the media and civil society, both in international fora as well as at the local level, to take initiative and strengthen press freedom around the world,” the statement concludes.
For World Press Freedom Day, the European External Action Service has produced a video bringing together two journalists from countries impacted by war – Ukraine and Lebanon. Illia Ponomarenko from the Kyiv Independent, and Maya Gebeily from the Reuters Bureau in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan discuss what it means to be a war journalist.
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EU Foreign Affairs Council: Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in focus
The EU Foreign Affairs Council took place on 24 April, with the situation in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as priority topics.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the EU ministers via video conference, and briefed them about the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s military priorities and needs, especially in terms of ammunition and missiles.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell highlighted that in total the EU and its member states have already facilitated the delivery to Ukraine of over €13 billion in military support.
He also updated ministers on EU military support to Ukraine in the context of the three-track plan. On track one, the EU adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility worth €1 billion to address Ukraine’s most immediate needs. EU member states are also finalising work on track two, to facilitate joint procurement. Lastly, the European Commission will soon present concrete proposals on how to ramp up the European defence production capacity under track three.
Ministers were also informed about the activities of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), which has already exceeded its initial target by training over 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The EU aims to train a total of 30,000 soldiers by the end of 2023.
EU Foreign Ministers also held an informal exchange with the Georgian Foreign Minister, Ilia Darchiashvili, and confirmed that Georgia has made significant progress in many key reforms. They also highlighted that rule of law, human rights, media, civil society and independent state institutions are important elements for each country aspiring to join the EU.
Concerning Moldova, the Foreign Affairs Council established a new civilian EU CSDP partnership mission (EUPM Moldova), reached a broad agreement on a new framework for sanctions against those who destabilise the country, and on allocating further €40 million coming from the European Peace Facility to support Moldova’s defence capabilities.
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