Since 2004 EUFOR has been a vigilant but neutral observer in BiH. Positioning ourselves outside of the political dynamics and being present in the background, pursuing our mandate under the Dayton Peace agreement. The EUFOR mandate supports BiH in its progress, as a ‘security provider’ rather than a ‘security consumer’, putting the safe and secure environment of the citizens above political agendas.
Our key objective is to support the BiH authorities in providing a safe and secure environment, as maintaining peace and stability is key to progress. EUFOR does this by monitoring the security situation in the country, supporting the disposal of surplus of weapons and ammunition, advising and assisting demining operations and by conducting combined trainings of the EUFOR Multinational Battalion and the Armed Forces of BiH. EUFOR also plays an essential role assisting in disaster relief such as fighting wildfire, combating winter disruption, flood relief and many more. We believe that actions speak louder than words.
We conduct quarterly surveys and measure the level of support within BiH for our organisation and the work we do. The results show that EUFOR is viewed positively across the country and its different ethnic groups. We do not stand behind a certain group of people, but support the entire population of BiH. Together we can achieve success, stability and progress.
In the 15 years that EUFOR has been stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we have been active partners of the citizens and authorities of BiH. We have developed a trusted relationship with the AFBiH and continue to conduct Combined Training with them. We provide Mine Risk Education in schools all over the country and assist and advise in demining efforts. We have also developed good working relationships and enjoy close cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies. Our aim is to provide the authorities with military expertise and assist in passing on knowledge to develop strong and independent internal processes.
EUFOR ALTHEA is an international mission. We are made up from 20 troop-contributing countries, investing their own resources in the support of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to the Headquarters element, the Multinational Battalion (MNBN) of EUFOR is the main manoeuver element of the force. The tasks of the MNBN include training activities with AFBiH and conducting patrols across the country, maintaining a presence in the community. EUFOR has a network of 17 different Liaison Observation Team (LOT) Houses, manned by seven different countries, located across BiH. These are our direct link to the community and provide citizens and local authorities with a great opportunity to stay in touch with EUFOR, contributing to maintaining peace and stability throughout the country.
Operation EUFOR Althea, as the name suggests, is part of the European Union’s commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. EUFOR, along with the EU Delegation and the EU Special Representative, is part of the EU’s ‘integrated approach’, assisting BiH on the road towards European integration. The EUFOR mission demonstrates how countries can come together in a spirit of solidarity and assist the BiH authorities and AFBiH in making progress in a variety of areas, which have links in to the requirements of EU membership.
The Commander of EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, has said: “EUFOR will leave BiH as soon as possible, but will remain as long as necessary.” This statement encapsulates EUFOR’s commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are not in the business of sticking plasters or the art of the quick fix. We are interested in durable progress, and the path towards sustainable change is rarely a straight one, often with many twists and turns, making it hard to navigate, especially if you are alone on your journey. EUFOR will therefore continue to follow its mandate, to support the BiH authorities in providing a safe and secure environment for all citizens of BiH.