Saturday 9 August 2008

South Ossetia: Poland asks for urgent EU summit [supplemented]

Several sources (here and here) inform that Poland requests an urgent EU summit on the situation in Georgia.

Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski is quoted:
"[I]t seems to me that a meeting will be convened."
I think that this is in fact necessary. The European Union, the EU Council Presidency, and the member states have to prove that they can react to such a crisis, and that the Union can take a tough but pacifying stand on this war at its borders.

I also think that the OSCE, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, should do more than just issuing a statement of the Chairman (currently Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb). Usually, a statement by the Chairman means that there is no agreement between all member states - if this would be the case, it would be the Ministerial or the Permanent Council presenting a joint statement.

I know that with Russia and Georgia being members of the OSCE, an joint statement is very unlikely to come.

But what is the OSCE for if it cannot even serve its basic goal?

The Chairman's statement does not even give a clear message that the OSCE will do everything possible to help with a peaceful solution of the conflict. And the only time that the important diplomatic term "condemn" is used is in connection with the OSCE premises in South Ossetia:
"I condemn the shelling of the OSCE Mission premises in Tskhinvali. The OSCE Mission to Georgia is intensively working with all parties to defuse tensions. The Mission's work and mandate must be respected by all parties in the conflict. I am ready to increase the number of OSCE observers as soon as the situation allows."
That is not much, to be honest.

If that is the strongest we are going to see from the OSCE, the European Union really has to take over the task of providing security and organising cooperation in Europe. A possible EU summit should deal with this question, too!


Anonymous said...

But ultimately, in situations like this, OSCE is useless. Maybe the most it is bound to be able to contribute only to the "cooperation" part, but not "security" of Europe. For that other organizations must be relied upon.