Since the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords (1995), the EU has had a key supporting role in the stabilisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of a broader effort undertaken by the EU and other players to strengthen the rule of law in the country. EUPM, the first mission under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), was launched on 1 January 2003 for an initial period of three years. Upon the invitation by the BiH authorities, the EUPM continued its mission with modified mandates and size until 30 June 2012.
Mandate and Objectives
In nearly a decade of its involvement in strengthening of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUPM worked diligently to create, under BiH ownership, a modern, sustainable, professional multi-ethnic police force, trained, equipped and able to assume full responsibility and to independently uphold law enforcement at the level of international standards.
Focusing on police reform, and keeping a finger on police accountability, EUPM’s primary centre of attention has been the fight against organised crime and corruption. This effort has included in particular extensive work on achieving coordination, communication and cooperation among BiH’s 15 police agencies, as well as between law enforcement and judiciary, and succeeded in creating joint strategic and operational capacity.
Specifically, the EU Police Mission’s key tasks have been the following:
- To strengthen the operational capacity and joint capability of the law enforcement agencies engaged in the fight against organised crime and corruption;
- To assist and support in the planning and conduct of investigations in the fight against organised crime and corruption in a systematic approach;
- To assist and promote development of criminal investigative capacities of BiH;
- To enhance police-prosecution cooperation;
- To strengthen police-penitentiary system cooperation;
- To contribute to ensuring a suitable level of accountability.
Throughout its involvement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU Police Mission maintained its presence in the entire country through regional and field offices, ensuring monitoring, mentoring and advising at all levels, from local to entity and state level. The BiH counterparts appreciated this approach, as it allowed for addressing issues specific to their respective areas, thus obtaining the highest level of assistance.
The EU Police Mission's main headquarters was in Sarajevo. In the last two years of its mandate, the mission maintained four regional offices in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla. Furthermore, police and other rule of law experts were co-located within the relevant law enforcement agencies engaged in the fight against organised crime and corruption.
More than 2,200 seconded police, judiciary and civilian personnel from the EU Member States, third countries, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina have contributed to EUPM’s achievements in developing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership.
Staff of EUPM at various steps of the mission's history
Some successes of the EUPM include:
- Law enforcement agencies at state and entity level have reached joint strategic and operational capacity;
- The police and judiciary at state level have developed and applied investigative capability in consistent cooperation with police and judiciary at other levels;
- Institutions and mechanisms prescribed by the police reform laws have been established and reached initial functionality;
- The police at all levels is able to acknowledge and effectively assume responsibility towards its community for its actions in line with domestic legislation, human rights standards and good governance principles;
- BiH police agencies have fulfilled all requirements from the Roadmap to visa liberalisation, leading to visa-free travel for its citizens since December 2010;
- The number of large scale anti-organised crime operations conducted by BiH police, including cross-border operations, has significantly increased.
- EUPM helped the police to develop its outreach activities and to raise its image, integrity and accountability towards the citizens through public information campaigns.
- EUPM is also leaving behind two police brands – 122 as a unique BiH police number and Crime Stoppers hotline staffed by the State Investigation and Protection Agency.
MISSION FACTS AND FIGURES
Theatre: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
Start date: 1 January 2003
End date: 30 June 2012
Head of mission: Commissioner Stefan Feller
Previous Heads of Mission: late Police Commissioner Sven Frederiksen of Denmark, Police Commissioner Kevin Carty of Ireland and Police Commissioner Vincenzo Coppola of Italy.
Final Mission strength: 34 international staff and 47 national staff (situation in June 2012).
Initial strength: 478 international staff and 296 national staff
Mission budget 2012: EUR 5 250 000
Total from 2002-2012: EUR 32 940 897
Contributing states: EU member States, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine
In 2011, following a strategic review of EUPM's work, it was assessed that EUPM had achieved significant progress in all areas of its mandate and that the exit strategy should be implemented. EU technical support to law enforcement agencies will continue through the pre-accession assistance (IPA). A new law enforcement section within the office of the EU Special Representative will advise local legislative and executive authorities at political and strategic level, in order to ensure progressive development in the field of law enforcement.
Here you can download a PDF file.