Mr. Stefano Tomat, the EU Civilian Operations Commander, visited the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia on 22-23 February 2023. Upon his arrival, he received a warm welcome by the recently appointed EUMM Head of Mission, Mr. Dimitrios Karabalis.
“Together with the renewal of our mandate last December, the visit of the Civilian Operations Commander further demonstrates the strong and long-term commitment of the EU to stability and security in Georgia and the wider region”, Head of Mission Karabalis said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Tomat visited the EUMM Headquarters in Tbilisi, where he received briefings and a tour of the new building, officially inaugurated last December.
Afterwards the Civilian Operations Commander traveled to EUMM Field Office Gori, where he received briefings from all three EUMM Field Offices. Mr. Tomat then participated in a patrol to the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) in the Khurvaleti area, where the Mission staff briefed him on recent security and humanitarian developments on the ground. They particularly highlighted the detrimental effect ‘borderisation’ activities have on the freedom of movement of the local population, and their access to education, healthcare, property or religious sites.
Upon his arrival to Tbilisi, the Civilian Operations Commander awarded medals and certificates of recognition to Mission members for their contribution to EUMM as well as to the EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP).
On Thursday, Mr. Tomat conducted meetings with Ambassadors of EU member states, representatives of the EU family in Georgia, and the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Janjalia.
Throughout his visit, the Civilian Operations Commander stated:
“I want to express my deepest appreciation to the EUMM experts for their commitment to bring stability to the EU neighbourhood, here in Georgia, despite the often-challenging circumstances. Thanks to their resilience and professionalism the Mission was able to remain fully operational during the challenges 2022 brought, including the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary deployment of EUMM monitors to the EU Monitoring Capacity (EUMCAP) and EU Planning and Assistance Team (EUPAT) in Armenia”, Civilian Operations Commander Tomat said.
Mr. Stefano Tomat was appointed as the Civilian Operations Commander for the EU civilian missions within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in September 2022.
Mr. Tomat has overall responsibility for the conduct of operations of all 12 civilian CSDP missions, under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the authority of the Council and the High Representative. The Civilian Operations Commander is also responsible for the safety and well-being of more than 2,000 personnel currently serving in the CSDP missions, which are deployed throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.