News BlogBalkans

The police mission in Bosnia extended, before closure (update)

(BRUSSELS2) The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be extended until June 2012. A final extension before closure. The mission must, in fact, hand over the baton to the office of the EU special representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who will henceforth carry out the tasks of advice and assistance to the local government in matters of police and customs, like all other functions. . The Coreper ambassadors today approved this decision, which must be formally endorsed by EU Ministers (as point A, without debate). Some people from the mission could stay, after June 2012, for a few more weeks (2-3 months maximum) in order to ensure the smooth running of the relay.

This modification of tasks is part of a dynamic of normalization of relations between the European Union and Bosnia-Herzegovina, a natural candidate for EU membership (even if its candidacy is not yet legally recognized).

Its mission will no longer really include an operational role and will instead consist of “assist relevant law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system of Bosnia and Herzegovina in combating organized crime and corruption, by strengthening interactions between the police and the prosecution.”

The Europeans will have four well-defined functions:

  • providing strategic advice to law enforcement agencies and political authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the fight against organized crime and corruption;
  • promote and facilitate coordination and cooperation mechanisms, both vertical and horizontal, between relevant law enforcement agencies, paying particular attention to law enforcement at the state level;
  • ensure a smooth transfer between the EUPM and the EUSR's office;
  • contribute to the coordination of the efforts of the EU and its Member States in the area of ​​the rule of law.

In addition, the mission will have to ensure the management of the EU reserve warehouse – a sort of strategic reserve for future missions – on a provisional basis while waiting for “the development of provisions final" on the subject.

The MPUE will remain mainly based in Sarajevo, with 3 other “field” branches in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla.


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).