Documents considered by the Committee on 24 November - European Scrutiny Committee Contents

17 European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Council Decision amending Council Decision 2009/906/CFSP on the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

Legal baseArticle 28 and 43(2) TEU; unanimity
DepartmentForeign and Commonwealth Office
Basis of considerationEM of 18 November 2010
Previous Committee ReportNone; but see (31122) —: HC 5-v (2009-10), chapter 12 (6 January 2010) and HC 5-i (2009-10), chapter 15 (19 November 2009)
Discussed in Council6-12 December 2010
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionCleared; further information requested


17.1 The Dayton Peace Agreement ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH); established BiH as a state comprising two Entities, each with a high degree of autonomy — the Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation (FBiH) — and designated the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement on behalf of the international community and coordinate the activities of the civilian organisations operating in BiH.

17.2 The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) — 55 countries and international organisations that sponsor and direct the peace implementation process — and a PIC Steering Board (SB) oversees all this. On a day to day basis, a Board of Principals, chaired by the HR, serves as the main coordinating body. Its permanent members are the OHR, EUFOR,[80] NATO HQ Sarajevo, OSCE, UNHCR, EUPM and the Commission. International financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the UNDP are also regular participants.

17.3 The longstanding goal has always been for BiH to work its way towards European accession. The most recent step was the signing in June 2008 of BiH's Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Then, according to plan, the OHR would be wound up and there would then be only the EUSR. But things have not gone according to plan. Prior to transition, the BiH authorities need to deliver Five Objectives (well established, approved by the PIC SB and all previously recognized by BiH authorities as obligations) revolving around creating a sustainable, multi-ethnic, democratic, law-based State, and to fulfil Two Conditions—signing of the SAA (achieved), and a positive assessment of the situation in BiH by the PIC SB based on full compliance with the Dayton Agreement (so far not achieved).

17.4 In March 2002, the then Committee cleared two draft Joint Actions and one draft Council Decision that, between them, established an EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and appointed its Head of Mission/Police Commissioner, as well as the EU Special Representative (EUSR), to whom he was to report. The Special Representative was to report to the Secretary General/High Representative, Javier Solana. Lord Ashdown was expected to be (and duly became) the new UN High Representative in BiH. The General Affairs Council agreed that he should also be appointed EU Special Representative and the draft Joint Action on this appointment noted that the two were expected to be one and the same person. The EU Police Mission (which took over from the UN's International Police Task Force) was expected to improve high-level management, develop the rule of law and, to quote the then Minister, "take the politics out of policing" in Bosnia. EU Foreign Ministers agreed the Joint Action taking the decision to launch the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM BOSNIA ) at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 11 March 2002. It was the first European Security and Defence Policy mission.

17.5 Since 2002, progress in developing sustainable policing arrangements and raising policy standards under BiH ownership and significant BiH improvement in its cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) paved the way for the opening of Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations, which brought BiH into line with the other countries of the region and marked a milestone on its path to EU integration. But specific challenges remained to be addressed, including tackling organised crime and implementing police restructuring. Bosnia's state-level law enforcement agencies were not yet functioning adequately and EU troops still remained to maintain a safe and secure environment.

17.6 Four years ago the then Committee cleared a revised mandate, which extended the mission for a further two years with reduced staffing levels and a refocused mandate, concentrating on building capacity within the senior ranks of the state-level agencies and taking a leading role in assisting the fight against organised crime.

17.7 Two years later, the Committee cleared a further Joint Action to extend the mission for a further and final two years until 31 December 2009. During this mandate, a joint co-ordination mechanism was to be established to facilitate the transition to Community assistance to meet remaining police and rule of law development needs.

17.8 The then Minister noted that police reform was the key remaining condition for Bosnia and Herzegovina to initial and sign its Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, and thus to move further along its accession path, and the Government's full support for "the EU membership aspirations of the Western Balkans countries", which the mission supported through its focus on reforming Bosnia's police structures.

17.9 Then, two years ago, on 20 November 2008, the then Committee considered a further Council Decision which provided €12.5 million funding for EUPM BOSNIA for 2009.

17.10 The then Minister for Europe (Caroline Flint) noted that BiH had signed its SAA with the EU on 16 June 2008; the continued presence of EUPM in 2009 would "support further reform of Bosnian police structures to uphold the rule of law in line with European standards."

17.11 On the Resource Implications, the then Minister also noted that:

—  of the confirmed 2009 budget of €12.5 million, the UK would contribute an estimated €2.13 million (then £1.68 million) in line with its share of the CFSP budget;

—  the UK had 12 secondees in the mission, funded from the Whitehall Peacekeeping budget.

17.12 A year ago, the then Committee considered a further extension of EUPM Bosnia's mandate for a further two years, until 31 December 2011, and providing funding until 31 December 2010.

17.13 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 11 November 2009, the then Minister for Europe (Chris Bryant) said that, over the current mandate until 30 December 2009, the mission had made progress against the objectives agreed by Member States, EUPM BOSNIA and BiH police managers and Ministers of Interior at state and entity level, and that the work of the mission and the BiH police had led to improved public relations and trust in the police force. This third extension would focus the mandate on the fight against organised crime: it aimed to improve law enforcement co-operation and co-ordination through promoting links between the police, judicial and penal sectors, whilst ensuring local ownership, and would have six key tasks:

—  To strengthen the operational capacity and joint capability of Law Enforcement Agencies engaged in the fight against organised crime and corruption;

—  To assist and support in the planning and conduct of investigations in the fight against organised crime and corruption in a systematic approach;

—  To assist and promote development of criminal investigative capacities of BiH;

—  To enhance police-prosecution cooperation;

—  To strengthen police-penitentiary system cooperation;

—  To contribute to ensure a suitable level of accountability.

17.14 To achieve these tasks, the mission would have strategic advisers working closely with BiH personnel at State and entity level, as well as advisers and experts working with local counterparts along the full length of organised crime and corruption investigations, from the initial intelligence development through prosecution to prison. The mission was setting benchmarks for each of these processes, to be agreed with State and entity level Ministers of Interior. The mission would liaise closely with the EUSR and provide him with information and strategic advice on law enforcement and the rule of law, as well as actively seeking his local political guidance and support. EUPM would also work closely with the Commission to enable the transition of mission elements to Community Instruments.

17.15 The then Minister also discussed the Mission's performance under its present mandate. He noted that despite some headline developments, such as the adoption of a new strategy for fighting corruption 2009-2014 and the implementation of elements of the UN convention on transnational organised crime, much still remained to be done; even with international assistance, 2009 had been a year of only limited progress for the Bosnians in their fight against organised crime and corruption; during the next mandate period, the support of EUPM would be essential if Bosnia and Herzegovina was to reach accepted European standards.

The previous Committee's assessment

17.16 The previous Committee noted[81] that it had been envisaged two years earlier that the mandate then coming to an end would be the last one. While having no wish to take issue with this further extension per se, it said that it would have expected him to have said a good deal more about the wider context, other than that police agencies in BiH remained capable and confident "despite political challenges".

17.17 The previous Committee noted that the Commission's recent Communication on its 2010 enlargement strategy had noted a year of limited progress in BiH on the reform agenda and the urgent need to speed this up; that there were also concerns about the ongoing ethnic nationalist rhetoric and challenges to state institutions and a marked deterioration in the political climate. With regard to the further development of BiH's European perspective, the Commission had referred to the crucial role of the Five Objectives and Two Conditions for closure of the OHR being met, and of the need for constitutional reform, and had urged BiH political leaders to make progress on this. The previous Committee asked the Minister for his assessment of the present position and the prospects for the wider process of moving BiH forward. In addition, they also asked:

—  if EUPOL BOSNIA had succeeded in "take the politics out of policing";

—  what the present position was on the Five Objectives and Two Conditions for closure of the OHR;

—  what the present position was on a revised mandate for the EUSR;

—  what his view was on the role of the PIC at this juncture (against a background of suggestions of differences of view among PIC members about its immediate future, with Russia said to be arguing for its disbandment);

—  what, in present circumstances, was meant by "enable the transition of mission elements to Community Instruments";

—  if the establishment of a warehouse to store and reuse equipment from existing ESDP missions, so as to improve the EU's ability to respond to crises and provide rapid equipment deployment to existing and any new ESDP missions, was a response to the fragility and fears referred to in contemporary media reports.

17.18 In the meantime, they cleared the document.[82] It was adopted in due course as Council Decision 2009/906/CFSP.

The then Minister's letter of 23 December 2009

17.19 The then Minister responded as follows:


"One of the main problems facing the mission is that only some (mainly Bosniak) political parties are fully supportive of state-level institutions in BiH, whilst others (mainly Republika Srpska political parties) often block measures perceived to strengthen state-level agencies. This situation means that politics and policing are closely intertwined in BiH, and explains the difficulties facing EUPM in its attempts to separate the two. In spite of these difficulties, the mission has been successful in supporting several reforms aimed at protecting policing from political interference.

"First, when EUPM took up its mandate in 2003, it inherited from the existing UN mission the task of implementing mechanisms designed to avoid political interference in the BiH police. Among these, the most important was the establishment of Directors of Police and Police Commissioners, positions which were made explicitly separate from the politically appointed Ministers of Interior and Security, who were left with responsibility for the security situation, but without room to interfere in operational police matters. Alongside this, Independent Selection and Review Boards were established to select and appoint those Directors of Police and Police Commissioners in a non-political manner. EUPM mentored the establishment and functioning of these boards, aimed at reducing political interference at the initial recruitment stage, and assisted in supporting the position of the Directors and Commissioners vis a vis their political counterparts (the Ministers of Interior and Minister of Security).

"Second, EUPM was the driving force in the drafting of the first Law on Police Officials (LoPO) in BiH, applicable to police officials working for the newly established state-level agencies SIPA (State Information and Protection Agency) and BP (Border Police). The LoPO established a proper ranking system, which allowed for a meritocratic system, leaving less room for political interference in the process of recruitment and promotion of police officials, even in the lower ranks—an innovation essential for accountability and for avoiding future political intrusion in the work of those police officials."


The then Minister explained that the Instrument in question is the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance or IPA, and continued as follows:

"In line with wider UK policy, the Government aims to ensure that the EU uses the most appropriate tools at its disposal to achieve its objectives in any given situation. In BiH we consider that the efforts to tackle Organised Crime and Corruption require the continued presence of the sort of hands-on expertise that can be provided through a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission. However, given the work of EUPM to date, further support in some areas can be provided equally—or more effectively—through a smaller in-country footprint via financial support and expertise from the EU's funding instruments coordinated through the European Union Delegation in country. The Mission Implementation Plan for 2010/11 is currently being drafted by the mission, in collaboration with local Bosnian police and criminal justice agencies, and the local EU delegation, and will, accordingly, include planning for any transition."


"The establishment of this warehouse is not in response to the fragility of the country, nor for fear that a new conflict could erupt as reported by some media. The purpose of the temporary warehouse is to enable the EU to more effectively and rapidly provide equipment to launch a new civilian CSDP mission or to meet the urgent needs of an existing mission. One of the main lessons from recent CSDP deployments, including during the establishment of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, was that the EU needed to improve its capability to provide equipment rapidly for the deployment of missions during a crisis. This temporary warehouse is a response to that need. For legal reasons it was not possible to establish a stand-alone facility and, following a cost and feasibility analysis carried out by the Council Secretariat and endorsed by Member States, it was decided that EUPM Bosnia represented the best location, not least because its downsizing will release equipment to form the core stock in the warehouse. The Commission is currently undertaking a feasibility study into the establishment of a more permanent warehouse solution for civilian CSDP mission."


"The Committee is right to note that there has been disappointing progress over the past year. Ethnic nationalist rhetoric remains, and the political stalemate this engenders continues to hold back reform. The UK Government remains deeply concerned about this lack of reform progress and has been encouraging Bosnian politicians to work together in a spirit of compromise and flexibility.

"More positively, all the main parties in BiH are in favour of moving towards European Union and NATO membership, and it is to be hoped that this common aim will galvanise local politicians to work together to achieve the necessary reforms."


"The UK Government remains in favour of transition from the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to an EU-led international presence (EU Special Representative, EUSR) in BiH, but has consistently maintained that this can only happen when the '5 objectives and 2 conditions' set by the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board have been completed. We remain hopeful that Bosnian politicians will seize the opportunity offered by the current EU/US initiative, begun in October this year, to reach agreement on the necessary reforms for completing the '5+2' objectives and conditions.


"The introduction of a revised mandate for the EUSR is dependent on completion of the 5+2 and subsequent closure of the OHR. The nature of the revised mandate is therefore not yet finalised."


"The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) was established at the Peace Implementation Conference in London in December 1995 to manage peace implementation and to give the High Representative political guidance. It continues to fulfil this important role in BiH. The most recent PIC Steering Board meeting took place in Sarajevo on 18/19 November and a copy of its unanimously agreed communiqué is attached to this letter."[83]

17.20 The previous Committee thanked the Minister for this further information, which it reported to the House because of the level of interest in developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.[84]

The draft Council Decision

17.21 This Council Decision provides €17.6m funding for the EUPM BiH for the second twelve month period of its current two year mandate.

17.22 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 18 November 2010, the Minister for Europe (David Lidington) reiterates the international community's long-term aim as transition from the Office of the High Representative, with its executive authority in BiH, "to a strengthened but non-executive EU-led presence, in line with the formation of the European External Action Service." After also reiterating strong support for the mission and to say that it " has made significant progress under its current mandate", the Minister explains the main components of this funding as follows:

  • "Personnel Costs (71.3% of the budget), including daily allowances for international seconded staff, all staff costs for international contracted and locally engaged staff;
  • "Running Expenditure (20.8%), including transportation, IT and office rent and service costs;
  • "Closure costs (4.8%)—the constituent costs are set out below.

17.23 The Minister then says that the reasons for the increase compared with the 2010 budget of €14.1 million are as follows:

  • "Closure costs (67% of the funding increase)—ring-fenced provision for costs incurred should the mission close at the end of its current mandate on 31 December 2011. These funds include staff severance pay for locally engaged staff and a detailed assessment of the costs involved in closing down EUPM, drawing on the experience of the costs incurred in the closure of other missions. A decision on the future of the mission will be made after a strategic review of mission activity in late spring 2011.
  • "Increase in personnel costs (11% of the funding increase) due to a significant increase in daily allowances for international staff as a result of exchange rate fluctuations between the euro and the dollar, and following an uplift in the UN allowance in Sarajevo against which the EU pegs its rates.
  • "Increases in the cost of security (6%) following the suspension of a service by the BiH government to provide security guards for mission property."

17.24 Noting that the UK's contribution to the 2011 EU budget (which includes the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) budget) is currently estimated as 13.8%, the Minister says that "if we take 13.8% as roughly indicative of the UK's contribution to this budget of €17.6 million, the cost to the UK would be around €2.4 million (€2.1 million)."

The Government's view

17.25 The Minister says that the budget and the proposed increases are required for on-going operations, and to comment as follows:

"In order to offset some of the increases, the mission has made a number of savings compared to previous years, including a reduction in IT costs of €124,000, international staff insurance cuts of €37,500, transportation reductions of €17,000 and reductions in the contingency fund of €66,500. During negotiations over the new budget the UK secured an additional €300,000 reduction against the mission's original budget proposal. The government also extracted an explicit guarantee that the costs associated with mission closure would be ring-fenced. EUPM has also demonstrated effective budget management to date with its 2010 budget on track for 100% spend."

17.26 More broadly, Minister says that he continues to support the work of the mission:

"Tackling organised crime and corruption is a key priority for police progress in BiH given growing criminal activity and the fact that BiH is a major transit country for illegal narcotics into Western Europe. The current EUPM mandate from January 2010 was refocused to tackle more explicitly organised crime and corruption. The mission is providing support for BiH law enforcement agencies covering the police and the judiciary in order to encourage more coherent working in the fight against OCC.

"EUPM has focussed on supporting the local authorities in the planning and conduct of police operations through monitoring, mentoring and advising police operations targeting large criminal networks in the country. Tackling the movement of drugs, international criminal groups and associated crimes such as corruption and money laundering in BiH is central to improving its stability. Successful operations in 2010 have included the significant seizure of drugs as part of a nationwide operation and arrests of people suspected of trafficking weapons between Bosnia and Serbia. These activities are in the UK national interest as OCC in Bosnia and the region has an impact throughout the EU.

"EUPM also provides effective support to the Bosnian authorities through the implementation of police reform. The mission has provided crucial support to the establishment of the Directorate for Police Coordination and is providing sustained and detailed expert assistance to the Directorate leadership. The Directorate is a key component for improving police coordination and cooperation in BiH where 15 distinctive police authorities operate independently due to the country's political and ethic context."

17.27 In conclusion, the Minister says: "The British Government supports BiH's European integration because we believe it will help entrench long term stability in the region."

17.28 He expects this Council Decision to be agreed at Council in the week beginning 6 December 2010.


17.29 Although the Minister's comments include some encouraging elements, we note that there is no reference as to how the Mission has performed in relation to the six tasks that form a key part of the current mandate (c.f. paragraph 0.13 above). Nor does the Minister have anything to say about the broader context, as outlined above, and in particular what the current prospects are for achieving the international community's long-term aim of transition from the Office of the High Representative, with its executive authority, "to a strengthened but non-executive EU-led presence, in line with the formation of the European External Action Service."

17.30 In other circumstances, we would have asked the Minister to flesh out his Explanatory Memorandum by providing this information. But we note that a decision on the future of the mission will be made after a strategic review of mission activity in late spring 2011. We therefore ask that the Minister writes to us after that review has been promulgated, with a summary of its findings, his views thereon, and what his expectations then are for achieving the international community's long-term aim.

17.31 In the meantime, we clear the Council Decision.

80   The EU's military operation in BiH - Operation EUFOR ALTHEA - deployed in December 2004, following the decision by NATO to conclude its SFOR mission. Originally 7,000 troops, following a Council decision in December 2006, EUFOR was reconfigured during 2007, and now numbers some 2,500 troops on the ground, backed up by over-the-horizon reserves. EUFOR continues to act in accordance with its peace enforcement mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, as specified in UN Security Council Resolutions 1575 (2004), 1639 (2005), 1722 (2006), which was renewed by the Security Council on 21 November 2007 (Security Council Resolution 1785). See for full information. Back

81   (31122):seeHC5-v(2009-10),chapter12(6January2010). Back

82   See headnote: HC 5-i (2009-10), chapter 15. Back

83   Which was reproduced at Annex 1 to the previous Committee's most recent Report; see headnote (31122) -: HC 5-v (2009-10), chapter 12 (6 January 2010). Back

84   See headnote: (31122) -: HC 5-v (2009-10), chapter 12 (6 January 2010). Back

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