The EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM), the first mission launched under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), will complete its mandate on 30 June. Initially launched on 1 January 2003 for a period of three years, EUPM continued its mission beyond this at the request of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), regularly adjusting its size and role as necessary within the framework of the EU's efforts to support the rule of law.
The mission maintained its presence throughout the country through regional and field offices, ensuring monitoring, mentoring and strategic advice at local-, entity- and state-levels. Its BiH counterparts stated their appreciation of this approach, as it allowed them to address issues specific to their areas, with the highest level of assistance.
Focusing on police reform, and keeping a finger on police accountability, its primary centre of attention has been the fight against organised crime and corruption. This has included extensive work on effective co-ordination, communication and cooperation among BiH’s fifteen police agencies, as well as between law enforcement and the judiciary, succeeding in creating joint strategic and operational capacity.
EUPM's successes include:
The EU Police Mission has also implemented several public information campaigns to raise awareness of issues such as domestic violence, traffic safety, juvenile delinquency and property safety. These campaigns have helped the police to develop its outreach activities and to improve its image, its integrity and accountability towards citizens. EUPM is also leaving behind two police brands – 122 as a unique BiH police number and a Crime Stoppers hotline.
Making full use of its 'comprehensive approach' to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU will ensure the sustainability of EUPM's achievements through other tools.
The Office of the European Union Special Representative will be reinforced by a Law Enforcement Section, which will advise local legislative and executive authorities in order to ensure progressive development in the field of law enforcement, public safety and security and will facilitate the efforts of BiH and EU interlocutors alike.
The EU will continue to finance activities in the law enforcement sector through its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), managed by the European Commission (19.3 million Euro since 2007). The EU is also maintaining its military operation in BiH, EUFOR ALTHEA, which is now focusing on capacity building and training of the armed forces.
On 25 June, the Foreign Affairs Council reiterated its unequivocal support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a sovereign and united country enjoying full territorial integrity. The Council also reaffirmed its intention to "further reinforce the EU role in the country as of July 2012, including by further increasing EU's presence in the field and on law enforcement, rule of law and economic matters, also following the closure of EUPM".