EU establishes a civilian mission to contribute to stability in border areas

The Council today agreed to establish a civilian European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The objective of the Mission is to contribute to stability in the border areas of Armenia, build confidence on the ground, and ensure an environment conducive to normalisation efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan supported by the EU.

The establishment of an EU Mission in Armenia launches a new phase in the EU’s engagement in the South Caucasus. The EU will continue to support de-escalation efforts and is committed to work closely with both sides towards the ultimate goal of sustainable peace in the region.
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

In response to Armenia’s request, EUMA will conduct routine patrolling and report on the situation, which will strengthen the EU’s understanding of the situation on the ground. The Mission will also contribute to the mediation efforts in the framework of the process led by President of the European Council Charles Michel.

EUMA will have an initial mandate of two years and its Operational Headquarters will be in Armenia. The Civilian Operation Commander will be Stefano Tomat, EEAS Managing Director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC). A Head of Mission leading operations on the ground will be appointed in the near future.

Background and next steps

During the meeting of the European Political Community in Prague on 6 October 2022, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and the CIS Alma-Ata Declaration of 21 December 1991, through which both States recognised each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Armenia also agreed to facilitate a civilian EU mission alongside the border with Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan agreed to cooperate with this mission as far as it is concerned, for a maximum period of two months.

The Foreign Affairs Council on 17 October decided to set up the EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP) by deploying in Armenia EU observers from the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia.

The EUMCAP became fully operational on 20 October 2022. It conducted a total of 176 patrols and completed its activities, as agreed in Prague, on 19 December 2022.

In a letter to the High Representative received on 27 December 2022, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia invited the EU to deploy a civilian CSDP mission in Armenia.