Procedure : 2008/2574(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0289/2008

Texts tabled :

B6-0289/2008

Debates :

PV 04/06/2008 - 14

Votes :

PV 05/06/2008 - 6.13
CRE 05/06/2008 - 6.13

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0253

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0278/2008
28 May 2008
PE407.490v01-00
 
B6‑0289/2008
to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Charles Tannock, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Elmar Brok, Árpád Duka-Zólyomi, Urszula Gacek, Michael Gahler, Ria Oomen-Ruijten and Corien Wortmann-Kool
on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
on the situation in Georgia

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Georgia 
B6‑0289/2008

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Georgia, particularly its resolution of 26 October 2006 on the situation in South Ossetia and its resolution of 29 November 2007 on the situation in Georgia,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2007 on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP),

–  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Georgia, of the other part, which entered into force on 1 July 1999,

–  having regard to the ENP Action Plan endorsed by the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council on 14 November 2006,

–  having regard to the recommendations adopted by the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee on 29-30 April 2008,

having regard to the declaration of 5 May 2008 by the Slovenian Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the escalation of tension between Georgia and Russia,

–  having regard to the preliminary report of the OSCE-led election observation mission in Georgia of 22 May 2008,

–  having regard to the report by the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) of 26 May 2008 on the incident involving the downing of a Georgian unmanned aerial vehicle over Abkhazia,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Georgia of 26 May 2008,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas new tensions have arisen in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where the situation is deteriorating due to steps taken by the Russian Federation,

B.  whereas the Russian Federation withdrew from the 19 January 1996 decision of the CIS Council of Heads of State which prohibits the signatory States to have any military cooperation with the separatist government of Abkhazia,

C.  whereas on 16 April 2008 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the establishment of official ties with institutions of the de facto authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia,

D.  whereas on 29 April 2008 the Russian Ministry of Defence announced an increase in the number of Russian CIS peacekeepers in Abkhazia,

E.  whereas on 21 April 2008 Georgia accused Russia of shooting down over Abkhazia an unmanned reconnaissance plane belonging to Georgia’s Interior Ministry; whereas a report published on 26 May by the UN mission in Georgia endorsed Tbilisi’s allegations, stating that the aircraft which shot down the Georgian spy drone ‘belonged to the Russian air force’,

F.  whereas on 21 May 2008 Georgian security forces exchanged fire with unidentified fighters along the border of Abkhazia; whereas according to Georgia’s Interior Ministry the incident was an attempt by Abkhazian troops to prevent residents of Abkhazia’s Gali region from crossing the border to vote in Georgia’s Zugdidi area; whereas several civilians were reportedly injured in the brief skirmish and a bus was blown up,

G.  whereas the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has put forward new proposals concerning the resolution of the conflict in Abkhazia, which include broad political representation at the highest levels of the Georgian government, granting veto rights on all major legislation related to Abkhazia, and establishing international guarantees to ensure broad federalism, unlimited autonomy and security,

H.  whereas at NATO’s 2-4 April summit in Bucharest no membership action plan was offered to Georgia but a political commitment for eventual membership was made,

I.  whereas on 15 April the UNSC extended the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) for six months,

J.  whereas on 15 May the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recognising the right of ‘refugees and internally displaced persons and their descendants, regardless of ethnicity’ to return to Abkhazia and emphasising the importance of preserving the property rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, including victims of reported ‘ethnic cleansing’,

K.  whereas on 21 May 2008 Georgia held parliamentary elections, which were an important test of democracy,

1.  Expresses its deep disapproval with Russia’s announcement that it would establish official ties with institutions of the separatist authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, reaffirms its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders and calls on Russia to revoke this decision which undermines the international peace efforts in which the Russian Federation is also participating;

2.  Strongly condemns Russia’s military build-up in Abkhazia and urges the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its additional troops; believes that while the Russian military build-up may be within the overall numerical strength of the CIS ‘peacekeeping’ contingent set by the CIS Council of Heads of State, in the political reality of today it does not ease the tension but increases it;

3.  Urges all parties involved to refrain from any actions that could lead towards the escalation of the situation in the region, reconfirms its support for international efforts aimed at a peaceful settlement of the Abkhazian and South Ossetia conflict and welcomes the recent specific proposals put forward by the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, regarding the resolution of the conflict in Abkhazia;

4.  Calls on the Council and Commission to be more actively involved in the search for a peaceful solution to the conflict, to act as a mediator and to offer concrete support to the proposals put forward by President Saakashvili; stresses that the EU has an important role to play in contributing to the culture of dialogue and understanding in the region, in particular through the use of cross-border programmes and dialogue among civil societies as tools for conflict transformation and confidence-building across the division lines;

5.  Calls on the Council to consider bolstering the international presence in the conflict zone by sending an ESDP border mission, drawing on the positive experience of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in the Transnistrian section of the border between Moldova and Ukraine, while suggesting that the Member States could take a more active role in UNOMIG; calls on the UN to boost the mandate and the resources of UNOMIG;

6.  Calls for an investigation and inspections by the UN on whether all relevant UN Security Council resolutions are closely followed by all actors in the conflict zone, including the possible presence of heavy weaponry;

7.  Congratulates the people of Georgia on the peaceful conduct of the parliamentary elections, welcomes the efforts made by the Georgian authorities since the presidential elections in January to improve the electoral process and urges them to take all necessary steps to address the remaining shortcomings and problems identified by the OSCE-led election observation mission; calls upon the Georgian authorities to deal with all complaints to the electoral process in a transparent manner and to work on further improvement so that trust and confidence in the electoral process can increase further;

8.  Calls on all political forces in Georgia to respect the rule of law, to commit themselves to constructive dialogue and compromise and to refrain from further polarising Georgian society; recognises that the lack of trust between the Government and the opposition parties is an obstacle to further democratic development and expects all political forces to strive for a democratic political culture where political debates take place in parliament and political opponents are respected and constructive dialogue is aimed at supporting and consolidating Georgia’s fragile democratic institutions;

9.  Supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations and takes note of the results of the nationwide plebiscite on NATO which took place on 5 January 2008;

10.  Urges the Member States and the Commission to start negotiations on the EU-Georgia readmission and visa facilitation agreements as soon as possible, in order to ensure that citizens of Georgia are not disadvantaged relative to those holding Russian passports in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; in this regard, welcomes the establishment of an EU-Georgia Sub-committee on JHA in the framework of the ENP;

11.  Believes that a free-trade agreement between the EU and Georgia would benefit both parties; welcomes the Council Conclusions of 18 February 2008 on the European Neighbourhood Policy stressing the need to consider starting negotiations on broad and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with ENP partners where possible and urges the Commission to start consultations with Georgia on its ambitions for a future FTA and in parallel seek a negotiating mandate from the Member States;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, the President and Parliament of Georgia, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, NATO and the President and Parliament of the Russian Federation.

Last updated: 29 May 2008Legal notice