Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert Blobaum

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine Aaslestad

Committee Member

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf


The political changes in Europe and the shift in the world's balance of power brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union forced the European Union in the early 1990's to redefine the possible role it wanted to play in the international arena. From being an organization focused mostly on economic cooperation, the European Union quickly transformed itself into a player interested also in the security realm. The first place where the EU attempted to prove itself as a new crisis management power was post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country that needed physical, political and social reconstruction. As a result in 2003 Brussels launched its first-ever civilian crisis management mission, the European Union's Police Mission in Bosnia -- Herzegovina (EUPM). It was quickly supplemented by the military crisis management mission -- EUFOR Althea, launched in 2004.;This study evaluates the successes and failures of the EU's crisis management missions in Bosnia with a special emphasis on their impact on Bosnian social and political life. It argues that when deploying its police officers on the ground Brussels was not ready to handle the complex problems of the country. As a result the EU failed to provide Bosnia with the best possible assistance with its transition into a sustainable country. The shortcomings of the mission exposed the weaknesses of the EU and consequently undermined its role as a power able to help to resolve Bosnia's political deadlock and hindered cooperation between Brussels and Sarajevo.;Fortunately, the military component of the EU's crisis management in Bosnia proved to be much more successful than the civilian one. EUFOR Althea was able to secure the situation in the country and prevented the possible outbreak of renewed violence. On the other hand, it can be argued that much of its success was due to the limited scope of its tasks and good coordination with the previous NATO mission. Moreover, the relationship between Althea and EUPM left much to be desired. Whereas for Brussels the shortcomings of the mission served as a lesson for further improvement, they proved to be fatal for Bosnia's political life. Thus, although the EU may have learned how to conduct crisis management missions, it has yet to learn how to assist Bosnia with resolving its problems.