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Anjum Shabbir
8th April 2020
External Relations & Trade

EU Advisory Mission on Security Sector Reform in Iraq extended until April 2022

An EU Advisory Mission in support of security sector reform in Iraq was established by the Council of the EU in 2017 through Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1869, upon the request of the Iraqi government, which sought advice and assistance on the implementation of civilian aspects of Iraq’s security sector reform.

Today the mandate of that Mission has been extended until 30 April 2022 further to a review, and the recommendation of the Political and Security Committee, which is put into effect by Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/513 amended the aforementioned Council Decision, published in the Official Journal today.

The Mission includes advising officials, visiting governorates and working with other international partners, to support the implementation of civilian aspects of Iraq’s Security Sector Reform programme, which in turn enables the implementation of the national security strategy. The process is supported by several international partners, and involves reversing the militarisation of civilian institutions such as the police that years of conflict had necessitated, often described as ‘transitioning from green to blue’. The intended aim of the transition is to strengthen relations between Iraq’s civilian security institutions and the population in order to consolidate stabilisation gains, to support reconstruction efforts, and contribute to preventing the emergence or renewal of conflict causes, including counter-terrorism and organised crime.

More specifically, the amended objectives are:

  • to provide advice and expertise to the Iraqi authorities at strategic level to identify and define the requirements for the coherent implementation of the Security Sector Reform civilian related aspects of the Iraqi National Security Strategy and associated plans;
  • to analyse, assess and identify opportunities at national, regional and provincial levels for further Union engagement in support of the needs of the civilian Security Sector Reform;
  • to inform and facilitate planning and implementation by the Union and Member States; and
  • to assist the Union Delegation in the coordination of the Union’s and Member States’ support in the field of civilian Security Sector Reform, ensuring coherence of Union action.

According to a newly inserted Article 14a by the amending Council Decision, in addition to having its mandate renewed, the Mission will also set up a new mechanism to identify and implement projects, which will also coordinate, facilitate and provide advice on projects implemented by Member States and other partner countries.

Read the amending Council Decision in the Official Journal here, and the Council of the EU’s press release for more information here.


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