Accession of Georgia to the European Union is a strategic goal of the country's foreign policy and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is maximally involved in the implementation of this goal through the fulfillment of commitments under various mechanisms.
MoD of Georgia enjoys fruitful and comprehensive cooperation with the EU particularly in the field of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) within the bilateral as well as Eastern Partnership formats which is well reflected in the Association Agreement (AA)/Association Agenda and supported by the EU various tools.
Bilateral cooperation includes: Association Council meetings at the national level regarding the implementation of the Association Agreement and the Association Agenda.
Moreover, EU-Georgia high level strategic dialogue format with the European Union on Security and Defence, where topical issues of defence and security cooperation are discussed at the political level;
In addition, EU-Georgia consultations (annual) on security and defense and common security policy (EU Georgia consultations on security and CSDP), where, along with current issues of cooperation, experience gained from participating in EU missions, cyber security, Strategic Communications, supporting education institutions in defence and security sector, developing capabilities of personnel in defence and security sector in accordance with contemporary challenges are discussed. These activities are included in the EU-Georgia Work Plan on CSDP cooperation.
Particular significance is attached to the implementation of commitments undertaken in the frames of annual National Action Plan based on the Association Agreement and Association Agenda, which among others include Georgia’s participation in EU crisis management operations (the Framework Agreement between the EU and Georgia on participation of Georgia in the EU Crisis Management Operations signed in November 2013 is the legal framework for participation in the CSDP missions), cyber security and Strategic Communications, gender issues, supporting wounded warriors and the issues of cooperation with relevant EU structures.
In addition, cooperation with EU is underway in the frames of EU4 Security, Accountability and Fight Against Crime in Georgia (SAFE), Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX) and the twinning mechanism of public services (TWINNING); also, the relevant activities are carried out for the purpose of participation in the EU-HYBNET project, with membership of 25 EU partner institutions from academic circles.
Particular importance is attached to transparent cooperation with the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) with the aim to support effective implementation of Mission mandate.
In addition to the bilateral formats, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia is actively involved in “Eastern Partnership” multilateral cooperation meetings and events on security issues, including the work of the Security, CSDP and Civil Protection Panel.
These formats include dialogue on innovations in the field of EU security and defense partnership, as well as specific initiatives towards the partner countries, such as improving strategic communications, combating hybrid threats, developing security sector capabilities in partner countries, etc.
Priority issues for future cooperation with the EU:
In parallel with the current formats of cooperation with the EU, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia plans to use new mechanisms and formats of cooperation with the EU and its structures, therefore, the future priorities of the Ministry of Defense in terms of cooperation with the EU are:
- Signing a technical agreement and cooperation with the European Defense Agency (EDA);
- Cooperation with the European Union within the framework of the European Peace Facility (EPF);
- Participation in the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) format;
- Cooperation with the European Union Cyber Security Agency (ENISA);
- Cooperation within the framework of the EU Strategic Compass.
United Nations (UN)
Ministry of Defence of Georgia attaches particular significance to the implementation of commitments undertaken to the UN and works actively with relevant institutions in order to submit information and reports requested by the Security Council, General Assembly and United Nations Secretariat in the frames of such mechanisms, which support strengthening of security and peace.
Particular emphasis in the defense sector is placed on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and its subsequent resolutions. Relevant expert group and its gender advisors’ system has been established that ensures integration of women’s issues in the GDF.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Ministry of Defense is actively working on ensuring OSCE goals and, despite the security challenges in the region, implements commitments undertaken to the Organization. This promotes transparency and strengthening of trust and security. Georgia actively cooperates in the frames of the Open Skies Treaty.
Since 2002, with OSCE support several important demilitarization projects have been implemented in Georgia, which included destruction of obsolete and dangerous ammunition.
South-East Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM)
Georgia became member of the South-East Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) on 10 September 2015. The SEDM objective is to consolidate cooperation among the countries in the region aimed at ensuring security and peace in the region as well as supporting Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries in the region.
Military as well as civilian representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia are actively engaged in the meetings conducted under the auspices of the SEDM.
In May 2015 Ministry of Defence of Georgia hosted the meeting of Deputy Chiefs of Defence of Member States of SEDM, and in October 2017 it hosted SEDM Ministerial Meeting.
Throughout 2018 Georgia was a lead nation of the project “Female Leaders in Security and Defence” within the SEDM. In 2018 with support of UN Women Georgia the workshop “Female Leaders in Security and Defence-National Implementation of UN Resolution 1325” was held in the frames of the aforementioned project. The workshop was part of the 16-days international campaign against gender-based violence.
International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC)
Since 2002 Ministry of Defence of Georgia has been cooperating with the ICRC.
The introduction, adoption and development of the principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) are being promoted in the Georgian Defense Forces, within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on “Cooperation in the Field of Adoption and Integration of Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law", signed on May 21, 2014. The aforementioned Memorandum contributes to deepening of cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and ICRC, and intensification of introducing humanitarian law principles in the Georgian Defence Forces (GDF). Cooperation on specific issues with ICRC Office in Tbilisi is implemented in the frames of “Integration of Law of Armed Conflict” annual work plans.
Moreover, Ministry is actively cooperating with the ICRC on issues related to the identification of missing and deceased persons from conflicts in the 1990s and the 2008 August War.