FELLER ADDRESSES CIVCOM AND COMMITTEE OF CONTRIBUTORS
Brussels, 20 June 2012 - "The closure of EUPM marks the turning of many pages - for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the Common Security and Defense Policy, and for the EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans," emphasised Head of EUPM Commissioner Stefan Feller in his address to the Committee for the Civilian Aspect of Crisis Management and the Committee of Contributors in Brussels today.
Speaking about the legacy of EUPM as the first and the longest CSDP crisis management operation, Feller noted that the objectives clearly formulated by the then European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana in January 2003 have been accomplished.
"EUPM was meant to, first, build and strengthen the EU identity in security and foreign affairs. After more than 20 CSDP missions, we can state undeniable progress here, of which our Mission has a share," said Feller. "The second aim for EUPM was to contribute to the peace implementation process in BiH. The reconfiguration of the international community, our own closure, and the existence of a single EU presence is an indication that this phase is also nearing an end. Thirdly, and most importantly, the Mission was to prepare and support BiH's European perspective, in particular in the area of police and the rule of law."
Focusing on police reform in the beginning, and keeping a finger on police accountability, the EUPM's primary centre of attention has been the fight against organized crime and corruption.
"This effort has included in particular extensive work on achieving a high-level of coordination, communication and cooperation among BiH's 15 police agencies, as well as between law enforcement and judiciary, succeeding in creating joint strategic and operational capacity," added Feller.
Concluding his address, Feller highlighted the most valuable contribution of 1,786 police officers who have served the mission and 154 international civilian experts representing 27 EU member states as well as Canada, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine and 487 staff from BIH. "Without their dedication and determination the mission could not have been possible," concluded Feller.