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EUFOR

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EUFOR is the abbreviation of European Forces.


History

EUFOR took over from SFOR in Bosnia in December 2004.

The following is taken from the EUFOR websites History Page [1]:

Operation ALTHEA

The European Union’s Military Contribution to the Stabilisation and Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European Family of Nations

Althea is regarded by many as the Greek goddess of healing. In myth, Althea, mother of Meleager, was told by the Gods that her son would die as soon as a piece of wood on her fire was consumed. Althea took the wood from the fire, extinguished it and placed the wood in a chest to preserve her son’s life. With the fire in Bosnia and Herzegovina extinguished, Operation ALTHEA will now assist the healing of the country and all its peoples. Unlike the myth, the wood will never again be taken from the chest but will remain preserved, safely, forever.

The 2003 Thessaloniki Declaration confirmed that the future of the Western Balkans, of which Bosnia and Herzegovina is both a central and significant part, lies within the European Union. Operation ALTHEA is one facet of a comprehensive and coherent European Union commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It adds an extra dimension to the existing political engagement, assistance programmes and police and monitoring missions that are already underway.

ALTHEA is the third and largest military operation that the EU has embarked upon to date. The European Military Force, known as EUFOR, is a manifestation of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). From the ESDP has evolved the Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP). The CFSP, in addition to the objective of strengthening the security of the Union in all ways, also has a prime objective of preserving peace and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Miscellaneous

Units who were serving in Bosnia over the handover period were awarded both the Non-Article 5 and Op Althea medals. This caused a small amount of confusion about whether both medals could be worn. The confusion ended when Her Majesty the Queen (AKA Big Lizz) decided that both the Non-Article 5 and Op Althea medals could be worn.