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For the past 10 years the EU has successfully deployed a CSDP military naval operation to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia. Today the threat of piracy has been minimised. At the same time the operation was tasked with monitoring fishing activity and reporting any illegal activity. Improved security conditions now allow communities to engage in fishing activities supported by EU and UN missions and initiatives.
Prevention is better than cure. This basic principle stands behind many of the EU activities. A pertinent example is the EU's civilian monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM). It was deployed immediately following the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. EUMM has helped since then to prevent new hostilities and enabled the affected population to resume a normal life free from fear.
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.