EU police mission in BiH ends
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Monday 02 July 2012
The EU’s police mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) officially ended, on 30 June, and its remaining key tasks will be transferred to the office of EU Special Representative Peter Sorensen, which will be reinforced with a new law enforcement section. During the nine years it was active, the mission’s role was to support relevant law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system in BiH by enhancing interaction between police and prosecutors and by fostering regional and international cooperation.
The EU will continue to support the rule of law in the country through its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which it has been receiving since 2007 as a potential candidate country for EU membership. Throughout 2012, BiH will receive €108 million under the IPA and it is expected to receive €112 million in 2013.
“The completion of EUPM reflects the progress achieved by Bosnia and Herzegovina in strengthening the rule of law,” High Representative Catherine Ashton noted as she explained that Sorensen’s office would “support further improvements and accompany BiH on its path towards EU accession”.
The EUPM BiH was launched in January 2003 for an initial period of three years, but was then prolonged at the request of the country’s authorities. Over the last decade, more than 2,300 individuals participated in the mission: 1,786 police officers and 154 international experts.
On 27 June, the EU agreed to a road map on the steps to take before the Balkan states can officially apply for EU membership. If requirements stated in the road map are successfully implemented (see
Europolitics4454), BiH’s EU membership application could be submitted by the end of 2012.