Afghanistan: entering a decade of transformation
On Monday 14 May, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on Afghanistan to serve as guidelines for the upcoming international meetings on Afghanistan in Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo. Ministers reaffirmed the long-term commitment of the EU and its member states to support Afghanistan in its efforts to exercise complete responsibility for its own security.
The Council welcomed the progress made in Afghanistan's transition process and stressed "the importance of the international community taking a holistic view of post-2014 engagement".
Ministers made clear that the Afghan authorities must make a reciprocal and genuine effort to meet their reform obligations, and called on the Afghan government to make sure that inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections are held.
The Council highlighted the importance of capable, sustainable and affordable Afghan National Security Forces and recalled that "the professionalism and quality of the Afghan police is a higher priority than funding sufficient numbers alone". As fair and impartial policing is decisive for the promotion of human rights, "civilian policing will remain the key focus of EU assistance in the security sector". An extension of the mandate of EUPOL AFGHANISTAN until the end of 2014 had already been agreed in principle by the Foreign Affairs Council at its meeting in November 2011. Today ministers reiterated the EU's commitment to support Afghan efforts at strengthening policing and the rule of law beyond 2014.
The Council restated its readiness to engage actively with partners to strengthen regional political and economic cooperation while recalling that this process must be owned by the countries of the region. Following the Kabul Conference on 14 June, the EU will further consider possible ways to deepen its regional engagement.
Regarding donor funding, in the months to come the EU will actively promote synergies among member states and better use of international mechanisms. Its action will be reviewed following the donor conference that is going to take place on 8 July in Tokyo.
Council conclusions (pdf)
Press Conference (video)
Eupol Afghanistan (factsheet EEAS, April 2012)
EU engagement in Afghanistan (factsheet EEAS, November 2011)