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Eupol Afghanistan: we are progressing, slowly, too slowly…

(BRUSSELS2) The 27 Foreign Ministers reaffirmed, on Tuesday, their " determination to make a significant contribution to the reform of the Afghan police ". " Strengthening Afghanistan's policing and rule of law sector is critical to promoting stability and security in the country they added. But beyond the words, the actions seem less consistent.
The strength of the European police mission EUPOL Afghanistan is filling up slowly, very slowly. The last conference – organized on November 10 – made it possible to reach a (promised) workforce of 320 people, compared to around 270 now (NB: the objective was set at 400 people in May 2008!). “ It is less than I expected – did not hide Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs who chaired the meeting – but we are moving forward »

A new call. " It is of the utmost importance that the EU honors its commitments to reform the Afghan police services. The Council stressed the importance of Member States providing the mission with the personnel and logistical means it needs (1) to carry out its mandate throughout the country » reaffirmed the 27, with their hands on their hearts. Let's hope that their colleagues from the Interior and Finance (who hold the purse) will hear this appeal and that this is the last time we will have to talk about it here!

At the organizational level, Eupol's priorities have been reviewed and grouped into six objectives: intelligence, the chain of command, control and communication, judicial investigations, the fight against corruption, links between police and prosecution, taking into account the question of gender equality. EUPOL also has a “projects unit”. And its budget was (slightly) increased accordingly.

(1) There is a particular lack of means of transport, such as helicopters or planes, if we want the mission to be able to leave Kabul. According to a European police officer, the mission is effective in the Afghan capital. But outside, in the provinces, it’s another story…

(photo credit: Council of the European Union, Carl Bildt and Benita Ferrero Waldner, during the press conference)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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