Culture heritage is important for social cohesion of local communities. It also has lasting effects on stabilisation and normalisation of conflict-affected environments.
Because of that, the European Union has recently strengthened its engagement in the field of the protection of cultural heritage in its external actions – for example by the 2021 adoption of “Council conclusions on EU approach to cultural heritage in conflict and crises.”
In line with the EU’s strategic approach to peace, security and development, as well as in the context of mandate implementation, EUMM recognizes the importance of conducting regular monitoring of the preservation of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage that has significant value for the conflict-affected population.
During the first week of October 2022, on the occasion of European Heritage Days, all three EUMM Field Offices organised patrols to cultural heritage sites along Administrative Boundary Lines (ABLs) with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. EUMM monitors visited, among other, the Enguri Dam and several religious sites, such as the Sameba Church in Bershueti and the Sameba Monastery at the ABL.