The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was this week delighted to welcome members of the EU’s Committee on Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM) to meet staff at the Mission’s Odessa headquarters and to observe field operations at Kuchurgan Field Office and adjacent border-crossing points.
The visit, carried out over two days from 18-20 September, was the second such visit of CIVCOM to EUBAM following the group’s visit in June 2007. On this occasion 21 of the Committee’s 28 members made the trip, including the Committee chairman, Mika-Markus Leinonen from Finland.
CIVCOM – an essential part of the European External Action Service – was created in 2000 in order to improve the crisis-response capabilities of the European Union. It is comprised of 28 delegates, one from each member state, and holds sessions in Brussels on a weekly basis. CIVCOM also pays periodic visits to the EU’s civilian missions around the world, on the basis of which it evaluates information and options, monitors progress, and drafts recommendations for the EU’s Political and Security Committee (PSC, the political and strategic arm of the EU’s crisis-management operations).
EUBAM reports to both permanent committees of the EU (PSC and CIVCOM) twice a year, with the PSC having also visited EUBAM once before – in December 2011. A field visit to Field Office Kuchurgan and to border-crossing points at Kuchurgan and Palanca last Thursday will have helped inform the CIVCOM members as to EUBAM’s impact on the ground. Their opinion, and report on EUBAM’s progress, will also prove crucial when it comes to considering the future direction of the Mission.