Operation Althea

Military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina
EUFOR Althea.svg
New emblem adopted in March 2017
Military leader Major General Anton Wessely
Political leader European Union
Dates of operation2 December 2004 (2004-12-02) – present
Allegiance European Union
MotivesSuccessful implementation of the Dayton Agreement
Size1100 members
Battles and warsthe Dayton Agreement
ColoursBlue, white, and yellow
Preceded by

Operation Althea, formally the European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), is a military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement.[1] It is the successor to NATO's SFOR and IFOR. The transition from SFOR to EUFOR was largely a change of name and commanders: 80% of the troops remained in place.[2] It replaced SFOR on 2 December 2004.

General aspects

Civilian implementation of the Dayton Agreement is enforced by the Office of the High Representative. In 2007, EUFOR had 600 troops from 21 countries,[3] mostly from the member states of the European Union (EU). There are, however, additional troops from other non-EU member states such as Chile and Turkey.

EUFOR's commander is Major General Anton Wessely of Austria (all of EUFOR's commanders since 2009 have been Austrians). For this mission, the European Union Military Staff is using NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as the EU's Operational Headquarters (OHQ) and is working through the Deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, a European officer.

EUFOR assumed all the missions of SFOR, except for the hunt for individuals indicted by the war crimes tribunal, notably Radovan Karadžić, former leader of Republika Srpska, and Ratko Mladić, their former military leader, which remained a mission for NATO[2] through NATO Headquarters Sarajevo.[4] EUFOR does have police duties against organised crime, which is believed to be linked to suspected war criminals.[5] It worked with the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM) and with the Bosnian Police. The European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides political guidance on military issues with a local political dimension to the EUFOR.

As of March 2019[update], the total force of EUFOR is at 600 troops from 19 countries, including EU member states and non-EU "Troop Contributing Countries" (TCC) are present within EUFOR (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey).[6]

On 18th December 2020, the United Kingdom marked the end of its 16 year contribution to EUFOR, following Brexit.[7]

As of early 2021, EUFOR personnel bases include:

  • Multinational Battalion is EUFOR's military maneuver unit for BiH, located at Camp Butmir, Sarajevo and comprises troops from Austria, Hungary and Turkey;
  • 17 LOT Houses located throughout BiH to connect EUFOR to local communities and authorities. From north to south, west to east – Cazin, Banja Luka (Romania) and Banja Luka (Chile), Brcko, Doboj, Tuzla, Zavidovici, Travnik, Bratunac, Zenica, Sarajevo (headquarters), Livno, Jablanica, Visegrad, Foca, Mostar, and Trebinje.[8]


No. State Rank Name Tenure
1  United Kingdom Major general David Leakey 2 December 2004 – 6 December 2005
2  Italy Major general Gian Marco Chiarini 6 December 2005 – 5 December 2006
3  Germany Rear admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer 5 December 2006 – 4 December 2007
4  Spain Major general Ignacio Martín Villalaín[9] 4 December 2007 – 4 December 2008
5  Italy Major general Stefano Castagnotto 4 December 2008 – 3 December 2009
6  Austria Major general Bernhard Bair 4 December 2009 – 6 December 2011
7  Austria Major general Robert Brieger 6 December 2011 – 3 December 2012
8  Austria Major general Dieter Heidecker 3 December 2012 – 17 December 2014
9  Austria Major general Johann Luif 17 December 2014 – 24 March 2016
10  Austria Major general Friedrich Schrötter 24 March 2016 – 28 March 2017
11  Austria Major general Anton Waldner 28 March 2017 – 28 March 2018
12  Austria Major general Martin Dorfer 28 March 2018 – 26 June 2019
13  Austria Major general Reinhard Trischak 26 June 2019 – 14 January 2021
14  Austria Major general Alexander Platzer 14 January 2021 – 20 January 2022
15  Austria Major general Anton Wessely 20 January 2022 – present

See also

  • flagEuropean Union portal


  1. ^ Reuters[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "EU troops prepare for Bosnia swap". BBC. 23 October 2004.
  3. ^ EUFOR Troop Strength (1 November 2007)
  4. ^ "Allied Joint Force Command Naples". Archived from the original on 2007-11-23. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  5. ^ Evans, Michael (29 November 2004). "EU force to take on pimps, drug barons and smugglers". The Times. Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  6. ^ "EUFOR Fact Sheet – Countries of EUFOR". EUFOR. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  7. ^ "European Union Force in BiH – United Kingdom ends contribution to EU Mission". www.euforbih.org. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  8. ^ Accessed 29 April 2021 http://www.euforbih.org/index.php/eufor-elements/eufor-houses
  9. ^ EUFOR change of command ceremony

Further reading

  • Le Monde (in French)
  • http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/csdp/missions-and-operations/althea-bih/pdf/factsheet_eufor_althea_en.pdf
  • Dominik Tolksdorf The Difficulties of the European Union in Supporting the Europeanization of Bosnia and Herzegovina[permanent dead link] EU Frontier Policy Paper, Budapest: Center for EU Enlargement Studies – Central European University, 2011

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to EUFOR Althea.
  • Official EUFOR website
  • The Council of the European Union's page on EUFOR-Althea
  • The European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • the European Commission's Delegation to Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Swiss Military Department EUFOR page (in French)
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1: Conducted by the Western European Union prior to 2003. These missions were not named using conventional prefixes such as EUFOR, EUNAVFOR etc.