The European Union Police Mission: The Beginning of a New Future for Bosnia and Herzegovina?
The establishment of sustainable internal security in post-conflict societies remains one of the key challenges for practitioners and scholars in the contemporary fields of peace and security, particularly due to the changing nature of conflicts. Since the 1990s the world has witnessed a proliferation of international police missions, with regional organisations playing an increasingly more important role. This paper analyses the first three years of the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The research puzzle to be solved is why a mission that means so much for the development of EU´s external identity but also for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s road to EU membership has fallen short of fulfilling its overall goal of ‘Europeanising’ Bosnian police forces, and of its desire to be seen as providing this war-torn country with that additional ingredient in police matters that was missing by the time the UN left in 2002. In particular, the paper focuses on three examples: security levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina; institution and capacity-building; political and economic viability and sustainability. The explanatory framework used in this paper is based on the democratic policing discourse and in doing so, an additional aim of the paper is to shed light on the nature of so-called “best European practices” in police matters.