26 Mission Members awarded the CSDP Service Medal

At a ceremony today in Ramallah, 26 EUPOL COPPS Mission Members were awarded the Common Security and Defence Policy Service Medal. The medal is awarded to individuals, both uniformed and civilian, who have served in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Missions.

The medals were awarded to the Mission Members on behalf of the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini by the EU Civilian Operations Commander Vincenzo Coppola. “On my first visit to the Middle East since I was appointed Civilian Operations Commander, I am honoured to address all of you on this special occasion”, said Mr Coppola whilst thanking the awardees for a job well done and congratulating them on the medal. “Today, we recognise and applaud your efforts. Efforts which have aided the Palestinian institutions on their sometimes difficult course towards becoming more responsive and resilient”, concluded Mr Coppola, who also serves as Director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability of the European External Action Service.

“I would like to thank my entire team, who is here, for their support to the Palestinian Authority in its state building efforts”, said the Head of Mission, Kauko Aaltomaa: “The path we are following is challenging, but our Mission Members – as representatives of the will of the 28 EU Member States and the contributing states, such as Canada – understand this context and remain committed to help the Palestinians in realizing their dream of a modern state”.

During the ceremony, the Mission’s Canadian Police Adviser, Superintendent Barbara Kelly, seconded to the Mission by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was also decorated with the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for her previous service with the European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine. Additionally she was awarded the Silver Clasp to her Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal for 30 years of service. Both Canadian decorations were awarded to Ms Kelly by Canadian Armed Forces Brigadier General Marc Gagné, currently serving with the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC).

Photo 1: The EU Civilian Operations Commander, Vincenzo Coppola awarding the Common Security and Defence Policy Service Medal to the awardees. Mr Coppola is in charge of the strategic leadership of the EU’s currently 10 civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Missions on three continents.

Photo 2: The twenty-six newly decorated EUPOL COPPS Medal Awardees with Mr Coppola and the Head of Mission, Kauko Aaltomaa. On the front, the Common Security and Defence Policy Service Medal displays a circle of twelve five pointed stars. The stars represent the peoples of Europe in a circle, a symbol of unity. The reverse contains the Latin phrase, Pro Pace Unum, meaning ‘United for Peace’.

Photo 3: Canadian Armed Forces Brigadier General Marc Gagné decorating the Mission’s Canadian Police Adviser, Superintendent Barbara Kelly with the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and the Silver Clasp to her Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal.