On Wednesday 22 Mar, EUFOR held an international medal parade in Camp Butmir. During the ceremony, 138 soldiers from 10 different nations within EUFOR received the Common Security and Defence Policy Medal for Operation Althea.
The Parade Commander for the ceremony was Major Istvan Baranyai, from the Hungarian Armed Forces. Medals were presented to the recipients by COM EUFOR Major General Helmut Haberymayer, COS EUFOR Brigadier General Zoltan Somogyi, DCOS OPS Colonel Mustafa Buyukkoroglu and HQ Camp Comdt Lieutenant Colonel Laszlo Balogh. The parade was also attended by Commander of Crisis Management Strategic Centre of Slovak Armed Forces Brigadier General Martin Stoklasa, who presented medals to recipients from the Slovakian contingent.
While addressing the parade, COM EUFOR Major General Helmut Haberymayer thanked the medal recipients by saying
“Today’s Medal Parade is a very significant event for me, as it provides me an opportunity personally to thank each of you, for your contribution to the continued success, of our shared mission.” He continued by stating, “I would like to take this opportunity to think of your families and those loved ones you left behind, in your home countries. The support of families can never be appreciated enough, as without their support this mission would not be successful, especially in these challenging times.”
The Common Security and Defence Policy Medal for Operation Althea was first awarded in 2004 and is given to every international member who serves in EUFOR. It is inscribed with the Latin phrase “Pro pace unum” meaning “United for peace”. The Medal is awarded by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles. It is tradition for the medal to be worn for the whole day after it is awarded.
The European Union Force Operation Althea has executed the United Nations Security Council mandate for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2004. The current mandate is UNSCR 2658 which was adopted by the Security Council on the 2nd November 2022. Currently, there are 21 different nations serving in EUFOR Operation Althea. The European Union is currently executing 21 CSDP Missions and Operations with this mission, Operation Althea, being the first one.