On 14 December, Ambassador Marek Szczygieł will formally end his tenure as Head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia – a position he held from 15 March 2020.
Before leading EUMM, Ambassador Szczygieł worked for 27 years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, both in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. He served, inter alia, as Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Romania, Polish Ambassador-at-large for Emerging Security Challenges and Coordinator for International Cyber Policy.
During his three-year tenure as EUMM Head of Mission, Mr. Szczygieł has faced complex issues, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In his farewell message to staff, Mr. Szczygieł said: “Serving as Head of EUMM has been the most rewarding professional experience in my career. Thanks to your dedication, we managed to maintain operational activities even during the most challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year we have demonstrated our preparedness and resilience in light of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Lately, the Mission successfully deployed an entirely new monitoring operation in Armenia in a record-short time. On top of this, we have swiftly relocated Field Office Mtskheta and EUMM Headquarters to new and modern premises.”
He expressed his satisfaction that the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), which was restarted in July 2020, has been taking place on a regular basis with all participants committed to this format of dialogue. During his mandate, Ambassador Szczygieł co-facilitated fourteen regular IPRM meetings in Ergneti.
Mr. Szczygieł further added: “This is my last week in the Mission. I am immensely proud to have been part of the EUMM team during so many landmark and demanding moments in the Missions history. I am convinced that the Mission will stay strong, effectively managed and well-prepared to face future challenges. I am also confident that EUMM Georgia will continue to play a crucial role in contributing to stability and security in Georgia and the wider region.”
Before leaving the Mission, Mr. Szczygieł held a number of farewell meetings, including with Georgian President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Georgian interlocutors expressed their gratitude for professional and dedicated leadership of Ambassador Szczygieł, as well as highlighted the key role of the Mission in maintaining stability and security on the ground.
Dr. Tibor Kozma – who joined the Mission in March 2022 – will be Acting Head of Mission until a new Head of Mission is deployed to EUMM Georgia.