Home » General Sticz Assumes Command of EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina

General Sticz Assumes Command of EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina

General Sticz Assumes Command of EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina

EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina – A formal handover ceremony for the command of EUFOR was held today at the EUFOR Headquarters in the ‘Butmir’ base in Sarajevo.

During the military ceremony, Major General László Sticz of the Hungarian Defense Forces took over the command from the outgoing EUFOR commander, Major General Helmut Habermayer of the Armed Forces of Austria.

Hungarian General Sticz emphasized his complete dedication to executing the ALTHEA/EUFOR mission, underscoring that he would continue the work of his predecessor in strengthening the capabilities of the European Union Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR).

“We are here to support the local authorities, primarily the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH), and law enforcement agencies,” stated General Sticz, highlighting that EUFOR possesses deterrent forces and, if necessary, defensive capabilities against anyone who might question the secure and stable environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He emphasized that, in the spirit of the European Union’s integrated approach, cooperation with EUFOR’s partners would continue in line with the mission and mandate of these forces.

General Sticz extended congratulations to his predecessor for outstanding achievements and commended the EUFOR members from 23 participating countries for their contributions to the mission.

Outgoing EUFOR commander Major General Helmut Habermayer reflected on the key tasks during his mandate, emphasizing it as a period in which the EU Forces demonstrated determination to protect the sovereignty, integrity, and indivisibility of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He expressed gratitude to everyone who contributed to the successful realization of set goals, especially the EUFOR members who were directly engaged in this effort.

Simultaneously, General Habermayer welcomed and wished success to the new EUFOR commander, General Sticz.

Operational Commander for Operation ‘ALTHEA’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lieutenant General Hubert Cottereau, highlighted the significance of EUFOR’s mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He praised the outgoing commander, General Habermayer, and congratulated the new commander, General Sticz, expressing confidence that the new EUFOR commander would continue in the spirit of his predecessor, demonstrating determination in executing the mission to support Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ambassador Johann Sattler, the Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, greeted the ceremony attendees, expressing satisfaction and gratitude for EUFOR’s dedication to preserving a safe and stable environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promoting its European future.

He stated, among other things, that the European path offers a platform, process, and resources to overcome tensions and divisions, facilitating accelerated progress for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the international community, as well as numerous dignitaries and guests. Following the handover of command, a military parade featuring the presentation of military equipment took place.

Hungarian General Sticz assumes command of the EUFOR mission after 11 generals from Austria served in that position since 2009. Before that, command responsibilities for the EUFOR mission were held by the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Germany.

General Sticz holds a Ph.D. in military sciences and has extensive experience in various responsible positions. Among other roles, he gained invaluable experience in the mission as an operations officer at the NATO Joint Operations Center in Pristina and expanded his knowledge within the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. Simultaneously, he successfully fulfilled numerous duties within the Hungarian Defense Forces. From 2022 until assuming command of Operation ALTHEA EU, Major General Sticz served as the Commander of the Hungarian Defense Forces’ Modernization and Transformation Command. For his exceptional merits, General Sticz has been repeatedly honored with high military recognitions throughout his career.

Operation Althea, formally known as EUFOR (European Union Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina), is an international force operating under the authority of the European Council. The military operation was launched on December 2, 2004, nine years after the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, succeeding the then-NATO-led SFOR (Stabilization Force) in a peacekeeping mission.

The European Union initially deployed military forces (EUFOR) at the same personnel level as NATO SFOR (around 7,000 soldiers) to ensure continuous compliance with the Dayton Agreement.

In addition to its mission focused on supporting a safe and stable environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUFOR, in accordance with its mandate, is engaged in collective and combined training of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH), as well as in demining and addressing surplus weapons.

A total of 23 countries, including EU member states and non-member states, are present as part of EUFOR.

Contingents from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey are actively involved in EUFOR.

EUFOR, among other activities, maintains a network of 19 Liaison and Observation Teams (LOT) throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.