Bosnia and Herzegovina

EU launches Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

News and Press Release
Originally published
Brussels, 14 January 2003 - On January 15th 2003, the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) will be officially inaugurated. The three-year European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is the EU's first civilian crisis management operation under the European Common Foreign and Security respectively Defence Policy (CFSP/ESDP). It will make a vital contribution towards establishing the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, upon which its future as a modern European country depends. Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten said "We are helping the countries of the Western Balkans build honest, uncorrupt institutions brick by brick. Building a strong police service in Bosnia and Herzegovina, creating a more effective judiciary and assisting the fight against organised crime are priorities if BiH is to look forward to a stable future, and a closer relationship with the EU. It is also an essential prerequisite for attracting foreign investment and strengthening the BiH economy."

The aim of the EUPM is to help the authorities of BiH develop their police forces to the highest European and international standards through monitoring, mentoring and inspecting the management and operations of the police. International police and civilian experts will be present alongside mid- and senior-level BiH police officials. The EU Police Commissioner can recommend, if necessary, that non-compliant police officers be removed from office.

The total costs of the mission per year amount to €38m. The Community budget funded the set-up costs (€14m). The Community budget will pay €20m yearly running costs while the Member States cover €18m through the secondment of staff.(1)

The European Commission services administering the CFSP budget are actively supporting the Mission. Although the EUPM is an independent body, it is directly linked to the Commission via a contract between Mr. Sven Frederiksen as Head of EUPM and the Commission services, providing Mr. Frederiksen with the required operational budgetary means. The EUPM will receive advice and support from the Commission regarding legal, administrative and financial questions, including procurement matters regarding the best use of operational funds from the EC budget.

The EUPM will build on the work of the UN's International Police Task Force. More than 30 countries, including EU Member States and partners, are contributing personnel to the mission, comprising 500 police officers and more than 300 international civilian and local staff.(2)

Rule of Law in BiH

Supporting and consolidating the rule of law in BiH is a priority for the EU. The EUPM complements other elements of this strategy within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Process.(3)

The EU is a leading player in the implementation of Rule of Law in BiH and is the major contributor. In the period 1996 - 2004 the a total of €182.42m will be spent from the Community budget in this field under the CARDS(4) programme, supporting reforms in the following areas:

  • Administration of Justice (€47.4m up to 2004): The EU is the main contributor to the justice and prosecution reform and has financed or co-financed, the Independent Judicial Commission, and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils, as well as training of prosecutors.

  • Police (€14.89m up to 2003): Reform of the BiH Police, guided by the EU Police Mission, including training, technical assistance, restructuring of the police force and some supply of equipment. Special attention will be given to the fight against organised crime.

  • Asylum and Migration (€9m 2002-2004): The EU is the major donor supporting, inter alia, a database for aliens, a possible future detention centre for illegal migrants, and the setting up of asylum and migration management capacities.

  • Taxes and Customs (€71.65 up to 2004): EU assistance to administrative capacity building to help the fight against fraud, corruption and organised crime. As a result BiH benefits from improved levels of compliance, revenue collection and exposure of large-scale tax and customs fraud. The Customs and Fiscal Assistance Office is also advising High Representative Lord Ashdown on the implementation of a unified customs service for BiH. This should result in further efficiency gains and further reductions in fraud.
For more information:

(1) Operational expenditure of ESDP actions without military or defence implications are charged to the Community budget unless the Council unanimously decides otherwise (Article 28 (3) TEU). EUPM is the by far largest Joint Action under CFSP.

(2) EU Member States contribute 80% of staff.

(3) HYPERLINK "|0|AGED&lg=EN&display=" IP/99/350 Commission proposes a Stabilisation and Association process for countries of South-Eastern Europe (26.05.1999).

(4) Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation.