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The 1st October marks 10 years since the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) was deployed to Georgia. For a decade, the EUMM has contributed to enhanced security and stability, conducting over 65,000 patrols on the ground. Over 1,700 EU nationals have served in the Mission over the years. That these staff have come from all 28 EU Member States is the strongest possible testament to the commitment of the entire European Union to this Mission. The Mission focuses on enhancing stability, monitoring the situation and rights of the people most affected by the conflict, building confidence and reporting factually.
The use of force must always abide by international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and this fully applies to autonomous weapons systems. States – and human beings – remain responsible and accountable for their behaviour in an armed conflict, even if it involves the use of autonomous weapons.
How governments should manage the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure we harness the opportunities while also addressing the threats of the digital era is one of the major strands of open debate the EU has initiated together with tech leaders.
Six EU military missions and operations are currently active in Europe's wider neighbourhood to support peace and security under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). These military missions and, more generally, recent progress on EU defence matters have often been in the forefront of public discussion. However, addressing complex security challenges in fragile partner countries also requires substantial civilian support and the EU has indeed currently ten civilian missions operating in the field.