Mr. Vincenzo Coppola, EU Civilian Operations Commander (CivOpsCdr), visited the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Georgia between 28 and 31 October 2018. This was his first visit to any civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission since taking up the position as the new CivOpsCdr in September. After a warm welcome by the Head of Mission, Mr Coppola joined an EUMM patrol to the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).
During his visit to the EUMM Headquarters in Tbilisi, Mr. Coppola addressed participants of the first EUMM organised Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course and spoke to local and international experts deployed to the Mission. He also participated as a key-note speaker in the EUMM organised seminar titled ‘10 Years of EUMM in Georgia’. At a special ceremony, the CivOpsCdr awarded medals and certificates of recognition to 22 EUMM staff members for their contribution to the Mission’s work.
Mr. Coppola conducted meetings with key Georgian representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and State Security Service of Georgia. Meetings also took place with EU member states accredited Ambassadors and with the EU family in Georgia.
He expressed his gratitude to the EUMM for its essential contribution to security and stability in the region. Mr. Coppola also expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Mission in improving the quality of monitoring and reporting, including important recent technological upgrades.
The High-Representative/Vice M President Ms. Federica Mogherini appointed Mr. Coppola as the new Civilian Operations Commander on the 17 September 2018.
Mr. Coppola served in his previous appointment as the Deputy Commanding General of the 111.000 strong Italian Carabinieri. He commanded a professional career of 40 years in Italy, EU headquarters in Brussels and several international assignments. Mr. Coppola holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies and has been commended with the Cross of the Italian Military Order, the highest Italian military commendation.
EUMM Georgia is one of 10 civilian crisis management missions presently deployed by the EU under CSDP. The Mission was launched in order to ensure that parties complied with the Six Point Agreement that ended the 2008 war.
Since 1 October 2008, the Mission has been patrolling day and night to ensure there is no return to hostilities, to facilitate the resumption of a safe and normal life for the local population living in areas adjacent to the Administrative Boundary Lines with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and to build confidence among the conflict parties. In addition, the Mission assists EU decision makers in shaping EU policy on Georgia and the wider region.
See the link of the press release, issued by the EUMM on 01 October, marking ten years of deployment in Georgia.