Written by Jacopo Maria Bosica
Edited by Miguel Andres Reyes Castro
On June 26th, 2023, the Council of the EU unanimously extended the mandate of three civilian missions operating under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) framework: the EU Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), the EU Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah), and the EU Police Mission in the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS). While the first mission was given a 2-year renewal, with its new deadline set on June 30th, 2025, the other two benefited from a one-year extension until June 30th, 2024, with a potential one-year extension. Most relevantly, the Council widened the scope of EUBAM Libya’s mandate, which now encapsulates ambitious objectives, such as the enhancement of state authorities and agencies’ border management capabilities, the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and counter-terrorism (Council of the EU, 2023).
EUBAM Libya was launched on May 22nd, 2013, as part of the EU’s mission to support the country’s transition to democracy, stability, and prosperity. Its core task is to facilitate land, sea, and air border management. To fulfil these objectives, the mission carries out advisory, training, and mentoring activities with Libyan authorities, whose efforts should also be oriented towards the adoption of a national Integrated Border Management strategy (EUBAM Libya, 2021).
EUBAM Rafah set off on November 24th, 2005, after Israeli forces disengaged from Gaza, with the aims to enhance Palestine’s capacity building, improve cross-order cooperation amongst Israeli, Palestinian, and Egyptian authorities, and monitor operations at the Rafah Crossing Point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (EUBAM Rafah, n.d.). Despite being on stand-by due to current political and security impediments, the mission continues to provide technical support to the Palestinian General Administration for Borders and Crossings (Council of the EU, 2023).
Since its establishment on January 1st, 2006, as part of the EU’s commitment to comprehensive peace and Palestinian state-building, EUPOL COPPS has been delivering support to the Palestinian Authority towards building a solid institutional apparatus, reforming the security and justice sectors, and safeguarding the population’s integrity by founding its mission and cooperation with Palestinian authorities upon human rights protection and gender-mainstreaming standards (EUPOL COPPS, n.d.).
Council of the EU. (2023, 26 June). CSDP civilian missions: Council extends mandates of EUBAM Libya, EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS. https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2023/06/26/csdp-civilian-missions-council-extends-mandates-of-eubam-libya-eubam-rafah-and-eupol-copps/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CSDP+civilian+missions%3a+Council+extends+mandates+of+EUBAM+Libya%2c+EUBAM+Rafah+and+EUPOL+COPPS.
EUBAM Libya. (2021, 15 September). About the EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM), European External Action Service. https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eubam-libya/about-eu-border-assistance-mission-libya-eubam_en?s=327.
EUBAM Rafah. (n.d.). About us. https://www.eubam-rafah.eu/en/node/5048.
EUPOL COPPS. (n.d.). The Mission. https://eupolcopps.eu/page/mission/en.