Commander EUFOR gave a lecture today on “The Common Security and Defense Policy of the European Union and EUFOR’s Role in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
At the beginning of his lecture, the Commander thanked the President of Sarajevo University, Professor Muharem AVDISPAHIC, and the Academic Senate for giving him the opportunity of an exchange with the students of this university.

The Commander explained the importance of EUFOR’s role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying:

“It is not a secret that Europe’s inability to prevent or stop war and atrocities in its immediate neighbourhood – that is the former Yugoslavia – convinced the EU member states, in the 1990s, to increase their efforts to construct a military capability for the EU. EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the oldest military operation. From 1995, a 60000 strong multinational “Implementation Force” (IFOR) under NATO command, whose role was to implement the military Annexes of The General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), or Dayton Agreement, over the Stabilization Force (SFOR) in 1996, following a decision of the Council of the European Union, a European Union Force (EUFOR) replaced NATO-led SFOR, on 2 December 2004.

COM EUFOR gives lecture at the University of Sarajevo

Initially, Operation ALTHEA consisted of 7,000 troops. In 2012, another restructuring process reduced EUFOR troop levels to a number of approximately 600. Today’s presence of EUFOR ALTHEA is successfully focusing on capacity-building and training while also retaining the capability to contribute to the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities’ deterrence capacity if the situation so requires. The EU will continue an executive military role to support Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to maintain the safe and secure environment, under a renewed UN mandate”.

Major General Dieter Heidecker has been Force Commander of the EU Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Operation “ALTHEA”, since December 3, 2012. One month before he concludes his tour of duty, he shared his experience and knowledge on the above mentioned topics, including the diplomatic roles played by organisations within BiH, with Sarajevo University students and professors.

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