From Dayton to Brussels

Lt. Anne-Claude Gouy
First published in
SFOR Informer#154, December 19, 2002

A key milestone for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) towards Europe takes place on Dec. 31, 2002. The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) will follow on from the International Police Task Force (IPTF). The main mission of the EUPM will be to help the BiH authorities develop local police forces by monitoring, mentoring and inspecting, always in co-operation with SFOR.

Sarajevo - The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) will finish at the end of this year and the IPTF mission will be transferred to the EUPM. However, even though the official date is Dec. 31, 2002 at midnight, the 'technical' transfer has already taken place.
Smooth hand-over
"For five months, with method and strictness, executive personnel of EUPM have worked beside their IPTF colleagues, in order to grow familiar with records and working methods, and ensure good continuity," said Senegalese Col. Bamalick N'Diour, senior advisor to the IPTF Commissioner. "Having managed the operations department for two years, I can tell that this hand-over is being done in perfect co-operation and softly, to keep safe the International Community actions installed over seven years," added N'Diour.
On March 11, 2002, the United Nations' General Affairs Council established the EUPM in BiH, which will be the first civilian crisis management operation initiated under the European Security and Defence policy. On the same date, the Council of the European Union appointed Danish Police Commander Sven Frederiksen as police commissioner for the IPTF, and then the EUPM.
No weapons and a blue beret
15 countries from the EU and 17 non-EU will work together, under the initials EUPM, and in co-operation with SFOR, as IPTF did up until now. One example of this co-operation was the training last February of 88 police officers of the two Entities by the IPTF and the Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) from SFOR. "We have very close relationship with SFOR. We don't have any weapons, so SFOR is responsible of our security and safety. And we are still working very closer," said Dutch Col. Ronald Dongor of the EUPM.
This close co-operation will be the same, even if the conditions will be a little different. The EUPM will number about 900 officers, whereas the IPTF had 2,000. But the level of responsibility will also change. The EUPM will be in charge of monitoring, mentoring and inspecting BiH police managerial and operational capacities, and take a part in the administration of justice. "It will be a work of co-operation. But we will be the co-pilot, not the leader. We have to help local people to trust in their police, not in our own," explained French Police Commissioner Gilles Hardy, EUPM liaison officer with SFOR. In fact, within the context of its mandate, the EUPM will be responsible for assisting the BiH police to develop the ability to deal with organised crime.
The succession of a world organisation such as the IPTF by the European-led EUPM is another sign of the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina towards European integration.

Related link:
Our Partners - IPTF

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Photos: Courtesy of EUPM

From IPTF to EUPM, the same goal: to train police forces from BiH.


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Just like IPTF, EUPM police officers proudly wear the blue beret.


EUPM and EUMM
Don't be confused!
EUPM is the organisation described in this article.
EUMM is the European Union Monitoring Mission. And you can recognize them easily: they are dressed in white.
Only one letter makes a big difference.

The 15 European countries members of EUPM
Austria
Belgium
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom