What is EUPOL Afghanistan?

EUPOL Afghanistan (European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan) is a civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission. It has since its establishment in 2007 supported the reform efforts of the Afghan Government in building a civilian police service that operates within an improved rule of law framework and in respect of human rights. The Mission is part of the EU's long-term commitment and contributes to the EU's overall political and strategic objectives in Afghanistan. The Council of the European Union has extended the mandate of EUPOL Afghanistan until 31 December 2016.

EUPOL Afghanistan's support is delivered by its police experts from EU Member States, mainly through advising at the strategic level to the Afghan Ministry of Interior. EUPOL carries out its tasks in a joint effort with the Government and in close coordination with a number of local and international partners.

The EU Council's Political and Security Committee appointed in February 2015 Pia Stjernvall from Finland as the Head of Mission. Stjernvall succeeds Police Commissioner Karl Ake Roghe in the lead of the Mission. Tarmo Miilits (Estonia) serves as the Deputy Head of Mission. The European Union Special Representative in Afghanistan (EUSR), currently Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, provides the Head Mission with local political guidance.

Mandate and objective

The Mission focuses on institutional reform of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and professionalisation of the Afghan National Police (ANP), including through the development of local training capacity and institutions. In addition, it supports the development of an improved interaction among Afghan law enforcement and criminal justice actors such as cooperation of police officers and prosecutors in criminal investigations. Human rights and gender, as well as aspects related to enhancing accountability are being mainstreamed across all Mission's activities. In all its undertakings, EUPOL Afghanistan ensures that the needs, abilities and skills of local authorities guide the reform process.

The Council of the European Union decided on 17 December, to extend the mandate of EUPOL Afghanistan until 31 December 2016. EUPOL Afghanistan continues supporting further development efforts by the Afghan counterparts in the field of civilian policing and to work on a sustainable transition to local ownership and, where needed, to other actors in order to safeguard its achievements.

During 2016, the mission will specifically contribute to:

- advancing the MoI's institutional capacity, including its ability to coordinate international support through improved long-term planning, management and leadership, policy implementation and accountability.

- the further professionalisation and efficiency of the ANP as a civilian police service. Particular attention will be given to professional standards, improved leadership, community policing, criminal investigation capacities, intelligence-led policing, sustainable recruitment and retention of female police officers, implementation of the code of conduct, management of training institutions and the fight against corruption.

When EUPOL Afghanistan completes its work end-2016, the EU will continue supporting the professionalisation of the Afghan police and application of rule of law, as part of a broader international effort. The support includes funding from the European Commission and bilaterally from EU Member States as well as the possible reinforcement of the EUSR Office in Kabul.



Key achievements of EUPOL Afghanistan in support of the Government of Afghanistan entail:

- establishment of training institutions - the Crime Management College and the Police Staff College - for senior leaders of the ANP and detectives;

- development of policies and strategies at the MoI, including on female police, that constitute a firm strategic and operational framework to the overall police reform process;

- more community oriented policing practices;

- enhanced cooperation between police and prosecutors in investigations;

- establishment of the Office of the Police Ombudsman and the Department of Human Rights and Gender in the MoI;

- establishment of Family Response Units of the ANP;

- advanced awareness on human rights, including women and child rights within the ANP;

- new Afghan Penal Code through the Criminal Law Reform Working Group;

- improved legal framework for police disciplinary procedures.


Quick Facts:

Mandate: until 31 December 2016
Head of Mission: Pia Stjernvall
Headquarters: Kabul, Afghanistan
Staff: EUPOL has around 156 international and 166 local staff members (December 2015)
Budget: The annual budget for 2016 is EUR 43,7 million.