EU - Bosnia-Herzegovina sign agreement on participation in crisis management operations

EU – Bosnia – Herzegovina sign agreement on participation in crisis management operation

The High Representative/Vice President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Marina Pendeš, signed on September 15 in Brussels a Framework Agreement on the participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in EU crisis management operations.

The agreement will set out a legal framework for the possible future participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the full range of EU-led crisis management military operations and civilian missions. It represents a step towards more structured cooperation between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the security field.

The EU has a close relation with the country in this field, as the first EU Common Security and Defence Policy Police Mission – EUPM – was launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2003, providing support to police structures until June 2012. The EU Military Operation, EUFOR Althea, launched in 2004 is still present in the country, supporting BiH efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment and supporting capacity-building and training of the BiH Ministry of Defence and BiH Armed Forces.

This new framework instrument will allow, on a case-by-case basis, the smooth involvement of Bosnia and Herzegovina in on-going and future EU crisis management efforts across the world. It will avoid unnecessary delays where Bosnia and Herzegovina is invited and agrees to participate in EU operations and will offer enhanced effectiveness and flexibility in response to future crises. It also further confirms BiH’s increasing role and commitment as security provider notably as regards its current contribution to UN Peace Keeping Operations.