The 15 EU foreign ministers agreed on 28 January to send a 500-strong police force to Bosnia to replace the United Nations-led International Police Task Force. The decision gives a boost to the EU’s new security and defence policy, which was declared operational at the Summit of Laeken in December.
The EU police force for Bosnia will be the first civilian operation in the framework of the European security and defence policy. Its aim is to contribute to the overall peace implementation in Bosnia, and help the achievement of the objectives of EU’s overall policy in the region, notably the Stabilisation and Association Process.
The European police force will train a professional police force in Bosnia in order to establish sustainable policing structures.
The police operation is expected to cost 45-50 million euro per year. The Member States and the Commission have yet to agree on the financing of the operation. Police salaries should be paid by the Member States, while the overhead costs (buildings, infrastructure, transport) should be paid from the EU budget.