Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B6-0278/2008Joint motion for a resolution



pursuant to Rule 103(4) of the Rules of Procedure, by
replacing the motions by the following groups: on the situation in Georgia

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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Georgia

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Georgia, in particular those of October 2006 and 29 November 2007,

–  having regard to its resolutions on the European Neighbourhood Policy of 15 November 2007, on ‘A More Effective EU Policy for South Caucasus’ of 17 January 2008 and on ‘A Black Sea Regional Policy Approach’ of 17 January 2008,

–  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 UN Security Council resolution of 15 April that supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and extends the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) until 15 October,

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

–  having regard to the declarations by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the escalation of tension between Georgia and Russia of 18 April and 2 May 2008,

–  having regard to the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission to the Georgian parliamentary elections of 22 May 2008,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the investigation by the UN Observer Mission in Georgia of 26 May 2008 into the shooting down of a Georgian unmanned aircraft,

–  having regard to the conclusions on Georgia of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 26 May 2008,

–  having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union remains committed to further developing and deepening its relations with Georgia and supports the necessary political and economic reforms, measures to establish solid and efficient democratic institutions and an effective and independent judiciary and further efforts to combat corruption, thereby creating a peaceful and prosperous Georgia that can contribute to stability in the region and the rest of Europe,

B.  whereas following a Presidential decree Russian ministries and other state agencies were instructed to establish official ties with counterpart agencies in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,

C.  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 authorities of Abkhazia,

D.  whereas in May Russia unilaterally deployed further troops and moved heavy artillery into Abkhazia under the auspices of a CIS-sanctioned peacekeeping mission, and announced its intention to establish 15 additional check-points along the administrative boundary-line; whereas Russian representatives announced that the number of troops of the Russian battalion stationed in South Ossetia may be increased,

E.  whereas on 20 April a Georgian reconnaissance drone was shot down over Abkhazia; whereas the recent report by UNOMIG on the incident indicates that the reconnaissance drone was shot down by a Russian aircraft; whereas the report also states that Georgia should stop sending these reconnaissance drones over Abkhazia,

F.  whereas no official high-level meetings have taken place between Georgian and Abkhaz representatives under the auspices of the United Nations since October 2007; 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,

G.  whereas Georgia has taken official steps calling for the revision of the current peacekeeping format or the replacement of the Russian peacekeeping contingent currently deployed in Abkhazia,

H.  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’,

I.  whereas the Tbilisi authorities have suspended bilateral talks with Moscow on Russia’s accession to the WTO in protest at the Russian decision to step up cooperation with the self-proclaimed republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; whereas the Russian ban on imports of Georgian wine and agricultural goods is still in place,

J.  whereas a nationwide plebiscite took place in Georgia on 5 January 2008; 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,

K.  whereas Russia’s granting of citizenship to Abkhazians and South Ossetians, enabling them to take advantage of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement, is increasingly disadvantaging Georgian citizens as a similar agreement with the EU is not yet in place,

L.  whereas, despite efforts to conduct Georgia’s elections in line with international standards, the International Election Observation Mission to the Georgian parliamentary elections of 21 May 2008 identified some problems which should be further improved in due course,

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the escalation of the situation in Abkhazia and calls on all parties to refrain from actions that could further destabilise the situation; calls for renewed international efforts to bring the parties back into dialogue and restart the peace process with a view to reaching a lasting and comprehensive settlement;

2.  Expresses its deep disapproval at Russia’s announcement that it would establish official ties with institutions within the separatist authorities of South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

3.  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 taking part;

4.  Supports the efforts that have been made to calm the situation through talks between the High Representative for the CFSP, President Saakashvili and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov; urges the special envoy for the South Caucasus to find ways to facilitate a dialogue between all parties concerned, and to try to restore a degree of mutual confidence;

5.  Urges the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its additional troops in Abkhazia; takes the view that the present peacekeeping format must be revised since the Russian troops have lost their role of neutral and impartial peacekeepers and calls for a deeper European involvement in the frozen conflicts in order to move the peace processes forward;

6.  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) at 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;

7.  Calls on the UN Security Council, the OSCE and other international organisations to support the proposals of the Georgian Government for new alternative negotiations and peacekeeping formats, which include the progressive establishment of truly independent international peacekeeping forces;

8.  Calls, in this regard, on the Council and the Commission to firmly raise the issues of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with their Russian counterparts at the forthcoming EU-Russia summit and during the negotiations on a new strengthened partnership agreement, and urges the Russian authorities not to oppose an eventual ESDP mission in the region including an EU presence in civilian and military peacekeeping operations;

9.  Calls for an investigation and inspections by the UN into whether all relevant UN Security Council resolutions are being closely followed by all actors in the conflict zone, including whether heavy weaponry is present;

10.  Takes note of the outcome of the parliamentary elections on 21 May and the findings of the Election Observation Mission, which states that overall the election day was calm and generally was assessed positively and that substantial progress has been made since the January presidential elections;

11.  Stresses, however, that further efforts have to be made in close cooperation with the international community in order to address and solve all the problems identified in the electoral process caused by the inconsistent and incomplete implementation of the OSCE and Council of Europe standards, and to improve and consolidate Georgia’s democratic achievements; calls on the Georgian authorities to deal with all complaints about 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;

12.  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;

13.  Supports Georgia’s aspirations to speed up the process of integration with the European Union in the framework of an enhanced ENP;

14.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to speed up the opening of negotiations on the EU-Georgia visa regime in order to conclude the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Georgia in the near future to ensure that citizens of Georgia are not disadvantaged in relation to those holding Russian passports in the separatist regions;

15.  Welcomes the Council Conclusions of 18 February 2008 on the European Neighbourhood Policy concerning the need to start negotiations on broad and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DFTA) where possible; urges the Commission to seek a rapid agreement with Georgia on its ambitions and to secure a negotiation mandate from the Member States; hopes for further progress on this matter during the French Presidency;

16.  Welcomes the setting-up of the EU-Georgia Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security with a view to stepping up the bilateral dialogue and implementing the ENP Action Plan;

17.  Hopes that Georgia will make full use of the additional financial possibilities provided by the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), in particular in projects relating to infrastructure, energy and environmental protection, but calls on the Commission to pay increased attention to education, democracy building and social areas;

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