Eva Gross

Case Studies

Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan: the EU’s contribution

European Union Institute for Security Studies

Selected Resources 

Publication: Militarized versus Civilian Policing: Problems of Reforming the Afghan National Police, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

Publication: Reforming Afghanistan's Police, International Crisis Group

The EU engages in aspects of Security Sector Reform (SSR) through EUPOL Afghanistan, the police mission launched in 2007, and through the European Commission’s contributions to justice reform in the country. Based on an analysis of past efforts at police reform by the EU and other European and international actors, this Occasional Paper identifies a set of internal and external coordination challenges that hamper mission success.

Internally, institutional constraints have meant that the coordination of EU instruments has been difficult to achieve. Member States, meanwhile, have until recently focused primarily on bilateral contributions to police and justice reform in the case of Germany and Italy, respectively, or on their military contributions to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Externally, the resource gap and differing philosophies underlying police reform on the part of the US (the biggest contributor to police reform) and the EU have meant that coordination has been lacking, and existing coordination bodies unable to fulfil their tasks.

Limited resources deployed in pursuit of police reform exacerbate these difficulties as inadequate commitments of political, material and personnel resources all too often translate into a loss of political influence at the strategic level.

Case Study

Policy and Research Papers

Assessing the EU’s Approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR)

SSR activities are key for stabilizing fragile and post-conflict states through their emphasis on training, institutional reform and governance. The EU has engaged in aspects of SSR for the past decade through its CFSP/CSDP as well as development and enlargement policies. The recently launched CSDP missions in the Horn of Africa take place in a new institutional context, and address European security concerns in a fragile but geopolitically important region. The EU’s engagement with SSR in general and the Horn of Africa in particular shows the difficulties in simultaneously pursuing dual objectives of stability and institution-building and in adopting and coordinating long-and short-term approaches to the problems facing the region. To do justice to the holistic conception of SSR and its emphasis on accountability and democratic oversight, the training of security forces and capacity building needs to be framed in a long-term approach that aims for sustainable structural change. The creation of the EEAS has given the EU the right tools – but a continued emphasis on policy coordination is necessary to address old and new, institutional and operational, challenges so as to attain a comprehensive approach to SSR. The input and continued commitment of member states to CSDP also remains vital


The end of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina: What lessons for the Common Security and Defence Policy?

On 30 June the EU’s first and longest-serving Common Security and Defence Policy mission will come to an end: the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina will close after a near-decade of activities. In this Policy Brief, Eva Gross explores the impact of this decision on the rule of law in Bosnia, but also examines lessons learned for the CSDP in general. With new CSDP missions planned for deployment in Africa, what ‘dos and dont's’ can be learned from Bosnia?

For full access to the policy brief, The end of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina: What lessons for the Common Security and Defence Policy?, kindly follow the link.