European Community Monitoring Mission - European Union Monitoring Mission (ECMM - EUMM): the Dutch contribution

As president of the EC, the Netherlands played a key role during the negotiations in Brioni. In that capacity, for 6 months (the duration of the presidency), our country provided not only observers but also the staff and some of the support personnel for the ECMM.

From the beginning of 1992 until 1 January 1997, the Dutch contribution to the ECMM fluctuated between 12 and 20 military personnel. In January 1997, the Netherlands assumed the presidency of the EU (the successor to the EC since November 1993). The Netherlands was now also supplying staff and support personnel for the ECMM, thus increasing the Dutch contribution from 17 to 85, 70 of whom were military personnel.

Decrease in the number of Dutch personnel

Officially, Luxembourg was to take over the staff task from the Netherlands with effect from 1 July 1997. Luxembourg did not feel able to do so, however, and asked the Netherlands to provide 46 people for the second half of 1997. The Dutch military contribution to the ECMM fell to 17 in January 1998 and in December 1998 numbered 18 military personnel (all from the Royal NL Army), including 8 soldiers for communications tasks (4 from July 1999). The Dutch government decided after the radical reorganisation of the mission in 2000 to continue its participation in the ECMM/EUMM. The contribution, however, by the Ministry of Defence fell from 10 people in January 2000 to 3 in January 2001.

ECMM becomes EUMM

On 22 December 2000, the European Union decided to run the ECMM direct from Brussels in future and to change the name to the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM). In the years to come, the EUMM was to concentrate on political developments and security, as well as monitoring cross-border, inter-ethnic affairs and the return of refugees to their homes.

Focus on Serbia and Macedonia

The EUMM’s attention was increasingly focused on Serbia (including Kosovo) and Macedonia, a fact illustrated by the closure of some 20 team locations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Over the years that followed, the European Union closed more and more EUMM offices. In 2004, EUMM withdrew from Croatia, followed by Albania at the end of 2006 and Montenegro in the middle of 2007. The observer mission came to an end on 31 December 2007. The 3 Dutch service personnel had already returned to the Netherlands on 24 August 2007.