Annex: Council Conclusions on the European Court
of Auditors' Special Report: The EU police mission in Afghanistan:
1. The Council welcomes the Special Report: "The
EU police mission in Afghanistan: mixed results" by the European
Court of Auditors published on 8 July 2015. The Court, for the
first time auditing solely an EU civilian CSDP mission, assessed
whether the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL
Afghanistan) had been effective in delivering its mandate, auditing
the period from EUPOL Afghanistan's launch in 2007 until end 2014,
with a particular focus on its activities after 2012. The constructive
participation of the EEAS and European Commission throughout the
process is likewise noted and appreciated.
2. The Council shares the Court's recognition that
EUPOL Afghanistan was launched and implemented in a uniquely challenging
environment for a civilian CSDP mission, gradually improving the
implementation of its mandate and gaining recognition from its
Afghan counterparts and other international actors for its expertise
and contribution to the on-going reform of the civilian policing
sector and its linkages with the criminal justice system. The
Council notes tangible progress in the Mission's mandate implementation
as per its three Lines of Operation (institutional reform of the
Ministry of Interior, professionalization of the Afghan National
Police and connection to the wider justice system).
3. In this context, the Council welcomes the Court's
recommendations relating to the planning, deployment and conduct
of EUPOL AFGHANISTAN and of civilian CSDP missions in general.
The Council also acknowledges that some observations and recommendations
concern issues specifically related to the early phases of EUPOL
Afghanistan; several additional recommendations had already been
acted upon, most notably relating to the improvement of the Mission's
capacity in planning, benchmarking, reporting, progress monitoring
and projects management.
4. The Council supports EUPOL Afghanistan's efforts
to ensure the sustainability of the Mission's outcomes, with the
EEAS and the Mission working closely with relevant EEAS and Commission
services, other international actors involved in Afghan Security
Sector Reform, as well as Afghan authorities to safeguard and
enable other actors to build upon Mission's achievements where
required. In this vein, the Council stresses the importance of
local ownership whilst recalling the continued EU commitment,
in line with the EU Afghanistan Strategy 2014-2016, to assist
with the professionalisation of civilian policing, including the
support for female police officers, in close coordination with
the Afghan authorities and international partners.
5. Concerning the further improvement of the effectiveness
of each type of activity of civilian CSDP missions (e.g. training,
monitoring/mentoring/advising, projects), the Council notes that
a suitable combination of types of activities is to be carefully
considered when designing or reviewing a civilian CSDP mission's
mandate, taking into account the specific operational environment,
the needs of the Host State as well as the mission's end state.
The Council notes the importance of a detailed guidance to be
given to civilian CSDP missions in order to meet specific operational
needs and welcomes ongoing related work.
6. With regards to improving the preparatory work
and logistics aspects, the Council also welcomes the Court's recommendations
on improving support functions in the planning of future civilian
CSDP missions, including the preparation of an overall strategy
to mitigate the risks inherent in the downsizing and closure of
missions and the disposal of mission assets.
7. The Council takes note of the EEAS' current work
to further develop comprehensive guidelines on operational tasks
and guidelines in mission support areas, which are partly already
in place, making maximum use of lessons learnt from previous missions.
8. In this context, the Council also welcomes the
ongoing work by relevant EEAS and Commission services on a Mission
Support Platform, aiming at increasing operational and financial
efficiency and synergies at both Brussels headquarters and in
the field by improving support at central level to key enabling
functions, including the rapid deployment of equipment.
9. Regarding human resources and sufficient staffing
allowing CSDP missions to operate, the Council supports the efforts
of the EEAS, in cooperation with the Commission services, as appropriate
and in consultation with the Member States, to explore ways to
enable greater flexibility in the recruitment process and ensuring
10. Looking ahead, the Council encourages the relevant
EEAS and Commission services as well as Member States to further
enhance successful cooperation and coordination in establishing
and conducting civilian CSDP missions. The Council thanks the
Court for its valuable work and invites the EEAS and the Commission
to implement the Court's recommendations as appropriate.
118 See Council Conclusions on the European Court of Auditors' Special Report "The EU police mission in Afghanistan: mixed results". Back