Select Committee on European Scrutiny Twenty-Seventh Report



14. EU POLICE MISSION TO BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

 

(23399)

OTNYR

Draft text of Concept of Operations for the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Legal base:

Article 14 EU; unanimity

   

Department:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Basis of consideration:

EM of 30 April 2002

Previous Committee Report:

None

To be discussed in Council:

15 April General Affairs Council (as an 'A' point)

Committee's assessment:

Politically important

Committee's decision:

Cleared

 

 

Introduction

  14.1  On 6 March, we cleared a draft Joint Action on establishing the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) which will take over from the UN-led International Police Task Force (IPFT) in Bosnia and Herzegovina when its mandate expires at the end of 2002. This will be the first civilian mission under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). We also cleared a draft Joint Action and a draft Council Decision on the appointment of Lord Ashdown as EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the appointment of the police commissioner[15].

The document

  14.2  The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Denis MacShane) has submitted an Explanatory Memorandum on the unofficial text of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) drawn up by the police planning team of the Council Secretariat. He comments that:

"While the IPFT concentrated on basic training and monitoring of the day-to-day activities of the Bosnian police forces, the EUPM will focus on improving mid-to high-level management in the Bosnian police forces, developing the rule of law, and getting the politics out of policing. Building Bosnian capacity in this area is a key part of our conflict prevention strategy in the Balkans. To accomplish this the follow-on mission will require approximately 500 international police officers".

  14.3  The CONOPS outlines the political objectives of the EUPM, key planning assumptions, how the mission will be carried out, and how the mission will be supported (legal, logistical, and medical). It also sets out the EUPM's core tasks. These are that the EUPM should seek to improve police planning, management and performance in:

— public order and security

— criminal investigations

— discipline and internal affairs

— police administration

— standardisation of information management

— inter-entity and inter-cantonal police co-operation

— co-operation between the police and the judicial system

— the State Border Service

      — the State Information and Protection Agency (SIPA)

  14.4  The EUPM's mandate will begin on 1 January 2003 and end on 31 December 2005. There will be three phases:

—  a Planning phase during which the aim will be to enable a smooth transition from the IPTF to the EUPM on 1 January 2003;

—  a Development phase (2003 - 2005) during which the aim will be to ensure the sustainability of finished projects, the completion of others and the finalising of the modernisation process; and

—  an Exit phase (2005). The CONOPS states that this will:

"start in a timely manner based on an overall assessment of the competence and capability of the BiH police to be ready to take over the responsibilities necessary to sustain the desired end-state."

  14.5  The mission will have been successful if, at the end of its mandate, the Bosnian police are acting in a professional manner to the standards acceptable to the international community, recruitment and training meet European standards, and cases are investigated effectively and efficiently. There should also be a qualitative improvement in the cases brought to trial, and a reduction in the number of cases that fail.

The Government's view

  14.6  The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos) wrote to us on 9 April[16] outlining these developments and informing us that the draft text of the CONOPS would go to the General Affairs Council on 15 April. She said that an Explanatory Memorandum would follow as soon as an agreed text was available.

  14.7  The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Denis MacShane) says that the Government is satisfied that the CONOPS reflects its key concerns "on a clear mission statement, clear command and control arrangements (which fully take into account the work of the High Representative for Bosnia (Lord Ashdown)), and secure financial arrangements".

  14.8  The Minister adds that the EUPM will begin to deploy to Sarajevo at the beginning of May. Based on the CONOPS, the EUPM planning team will draw up a detailed Operational Plan (OPLAN), which he expects to submit for scrutiny towards the end of May.

Conclusion

  14.9  Although we did not have an opportunity to scrutinise this unofficial text in advance of the 15 April General Affairs Council, we were given a satisfactory account in advance by Baroness Amos. We report these details of the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) text as the European Union Police Mission to Bosnia will be the first civilian mission to be established under the European Security and Defence Policy. We welcome the Minister's assurance that the key concerns of the Government, such as the need for a clear mission statement, clear command and control arrangements and secure financial arrangements, are satisfactorily dealt with in the CONOPS text.

  14.10  We now clear the document.

 


15  (23269) - ; (23270) - ;and (23271) -; see HC 152-xx (2001-02), paragraph 22 (6 March 2002). Back

16  Not reported. Back

 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 13 May 2002