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Serbian police officers in European police missions?

The Serbian contingent engaged in the Minurcat (credit: Serbian Defense Ministry)

Police officers in the civilian missions of the European Union. This is the hope cherished in Belgrade and the offer made to the Europeans yesterday by the Serbian Minister of the Interior, Ivica Dadic, according to our Serbian colleagues.

The approval of the security agreement between the European Union and Serbia, which must be signed in the coming days or weeks (1), now allows the military or police to be hired. Serbia is ready to participate in European missions, said the Serbian minister, thus making a specific offer.

Serbs are already participating in UN missions in Liberia and Haiti, as well as in Congo (MONUSCO), Chad (Minurcat) and Cyprus (UNFICYP). And Serbian soldiers should join Lebanon as part of the Spanish contingent, the technical agreement having been signed in mid-October between the two defense ministries. The national parliament having authorized 36 police officers and 98 soldiers in external operations.

This commitment takes up a tradition of the Yugoslav army of strong participation in multinational peace missions. The Serbian army has undertaken a vast reform, including the suspension of conscription on January 1, 2011. It now regularly participates in bilateral or multinational exercises. And has signed several cooperation agreements with European countries, in particular with Belgium (transport and circulation) or Turkey (special units).

(1) Towards a secure information exchange agreement with Serbia

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).