22.05.2006 Medal parade at Rafah Crossing Point

The European Union Border Assistance Mission (EU BAM) at the Rafah Crossing Point (RCP) celebrated today, Monday 22 May, a Medal Parade for those Mission officers who have completed their service and shall be returning to their home countries by the end of the month.

This morning’s ceremony was co-chaired by EU BAM’s Head of Mission, Lt. Gen. Pietro Pistolese and Director General of DGE IX at the EU Council (responsible for civilian crisis management), Mr. Pedro Serrano de Haro. Together, they awarded the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) medal to several officers finishing their duties at RCP.

The majority of the officers however, were seconded by their member States for 12 months and shall stay until the end of the Mission’s mandate, which is 24 November 2006. Until this date they will keep monitoring, verifying and evaluating the implementation of proper border management standards at RCP. From this date, an eventual extension of the mandate will be possible if the two parties, the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, agree doing so.

Since RCP was opened on 26 November 2005, 230.000 passengers have crossed in both directions, averaging over 1.290 each day. Palestinian police, security and customs officers working at RCP show a progressive learning curve in the implementation of international border management standards, while the liaison and cooperation with the Egyptian authorities improves on a daily basis as well.

For any questions please contact EU-BAM’s PPIO: 054-2247250