Since the Dayton Peace Accords were signed in 1995, the EU has been involved in the stabilisation of Bosnia. The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the European Union’s mission to aide local police organisations and strengthen the rule of law in the country. They assumed responsibility from the UN and the International Police Task Force (IPTF) when their term came to an end in 2002. From 2003 EUPM acted under the coordination of the European Union Special representative and also the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The aim of the EUPM was to establish a sustainable, professional and, multi-ethnic police force. Its mandate was to assist the local police, fight large-scale organised crime and help with police reforms. Initially the EUPM ran from 1st January 2003 for three years. Later, EUPM II was extended with modified mandates and sizes after an invitation by the Bosnian authorities to establish a follow-on police mission. EUPM II the mission continued its work with continued emphasis on organised crime and corruption, eventually ending on 30th June 2012.
The EUPM’s key tasks were;
To strengthen the operational capacity and joint capability of the 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 ensuring a suitable level of accountability.
The EUPM represented a milestone and a crucial test for the civilian crisis mechanism of the EU general and its police initiative, as this was the EU’s first civilian crisis management operation under its European Security and Defence Policy. To ensure its success, it was allocated significant resources, with an annual budget of €38 million. Despite the investment, it is widely believes that the EUPM largely failed to meet its ambitious goals. Its negative reputation among Bosnians and internationals suggest that the mission was too ambitious in its mandate to make any significant changes and, in fact, levels of crime increased during its tenure across Bosnia.