European Union to prolong CSDP civilian missions

EUPOL COPPS staff provides school bags for Palestinian students EUPOL COPPS staff provides school bags for Palestinian students EUPOL COPPS Photogallery.

30 June 2020

The European Union (EU) has recently lengthened its civilian foreign commitments for another year

On 30 June 2020, the Council of the EU prolonged the mandate of three flagship Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) civilian missions: the European Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), the European Border Assistance Mission in the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah) and the European Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories.

The EU decision stems from the slowdown of some activities mandated within the missions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a strategic review of their objectives looms in the background of the extension of the three terms.

EUBAM Libya was activated on 22 May 2013. Born as a capacity-building mission in the field of border security, it evolved into a fully-fledged CSDP civilian mission starting from December 2018 . According to its revised mandate, it contributes to Libyan authorities’ efforts to disrupt organised criminal networks involved notably in migrants smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism. Recently, EUBAM has pooled efforts on border security planning with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of a Memorandum of Understanding.

EUBAM Rafah was initiated on 25 November 2005 after Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza strip to provide a third-party presence at the Rafah Crossing Point (RCP).  The mission aims at enhancing the Palestinian Authority’s border capacity, by mentoring its personnel on border related issues. Recently, as clarified by the Head of the Mission Guenther Freisleben, part of the existing funds was reallocated to provide border and customs officials with fever screening systems to prevent the COVID-19 contagion.

Finally, EUPOL COPPS, established on 1 January 2006, assists the Palestinian Authority capacity-building efforts by encouraging a Palestinian Civil Police reform and strengthening the Criminal Justice System. As for EUBAM Rafah, also EUPOL COPPS has maximized its efforts in disease prevention, by delivering protective equipment to Palestinian Public Prosecution.


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Author: Gianmarco Italia; Editor: Barbara Caltabiano

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