President Duda extends Polish Army involvement in mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina

On Friday, President Andrzej Duda signed an agreement to extend the stay of the Polish Military Contingent in the EU mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to the president's decision, the contingent will comprise of 50 soldiers and employees and will be used in the EU operation in Althea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from November 9 this year until November 8, 2020.

Polish Forces in Althea are subordinate operationally to the EU force commander, while in terms of national leadership they report to the defence minister through the head of the General Staff of the Polish Army.

Poland has been participating in the EU training and consulting mission in Althea since December 2004, when - in line with the decision made at the NATO summit - the EU took over the responsibility for stabilisation missions from NATO.

Polish soldiers have been present in the Balkans since 1992, when the UN Secretary General invited Poland to participate in UN peacekeeping forces in former Yugoslavia.

The mission of the contingent is to exchange experiences with the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, make contact with the local population and support local authorities.