• Українською
  • Olha Stefanishyna and EU Civilian Operations Commander identify areas of cooperation in civilian security sector reform
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 21 July 2023 17:47

    On Thursday, 20 July, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna met with Stefano Tomat, Managing Director and Civilian Operations Commander at the European External Action Service (EEAS), and Rolf Holmboe, Head of EUAM Ukraine.

    The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Oleksii Sergeyev and Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Serhii Deineko.

    The participants discussed a number of priority issues to expand cooperation to strengthen the country’s security component. In particular, they discussed the development of an action plan for the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector, a key document for the transformation and development of Ukraine’s law enforcement sector. The Strategic Plan, developed in response to seven recommendations of the European Commission, was approved by the President of Ukraine on 11 May 2023.

    “The preparation of the Action Plan is a priority not only in the context of Ukraine's future EU membership. The reform of law enforcement agencies is extremely important for ensuring a sustainable security policy in the country. Once the war is over, law enforcement agencies will have to adapt to civilian realities. And we already know that this process will be quite complex and will require cohesion and coordination. That is why we are looking for international experience and support to make this transition as successful as possible,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    Oleksii Sergeyev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, thanked EUAM experts for their active work on the draft action plan, which was being developed by an interagency working group set up by the Office of the Prosecutor General. The Ministry of Internal Affairs expects to present the action plan to the Government in two months’ time.

    For his part, Stefano Tomat stressed that the Russian aggression against Ukraine was a turning point for the EU to rethink its security policy. He reaffirmed the EU's continued support for the Ukrainian Government's efforts to reform the Ukrainian law enforcement sector to bring it closer to EU standards through the use of EUAM expertise, including the possibility of assisting in the adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to the EU acquis in the civilian security sector on the way to EU membership.

    The EU Civilian Operations Commander noted that the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) would support the Government’s efforts to restore justice for those who suffered crimes at the hands of the russian invaders. In turn, the Deputy Prime Minister informed about the Government’s joint efforts with the UN to provide comprehensive support to victims of war crimes and other consequences of the war.

    “We are indeed taking a very careful approach to this issue. Over the past year, we have already launched 11 Survivor Assistance Centres across Ukraine, which are essentially centres for coordinating all efforts to support such people. These are places where anyone who has survived the horrific crimes of war can come, ask any question or address a problem of concern and receive professional help,” said Olha Stefanishyna.

    In the context of cooperation aimed at implementing the Integrated Border Management Strategy, the Head of the State Border Guard Service Serhii Deineko noted that Ukraine’s priority was to ensure convenient, fast and unhindered border crossing for both citizens and the transit of goods. At the same time, he noted that Ukraine’s efforts were not enough to achieve this goal and stressed the importance of taking the necessary steps by neighbouring EU member states. Serhii Deineko thanked EUAM for its active cooperation and readiness to work together to resolve problematic issues.

    “I am very pleased that even in this difficult time we continue to have constant and active cooperation. We understand the responsibility that Ukraine (specifically, the State Border Guard Service) will face in protecting the EU's external borders after Ukraine becomes a member of the European Union. I would like to assure you that we are able to ensure reliable border protection for both Ukraine and the European Union,” said the Head of the State Border Guard Service Serhii Deineko.

    The parties also discussed joint EU-Ukraine efforts to prevent arms trafficking and smuggling. “We understand that as a result of the full-scale aggression of the terrorist state of russia, one of the most pressing issues now is to deepen cooperation with the EU at the level of law enforcement agencies to combat illegal arms trafficking. In particular, we have received the European Commission’s proposals for 11 steps to combat such crimes, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already prepared a draft plan for their implementation. At the same time, it should be noted that the effective implementation of these steps requires maximum involvement of EU institutions,” said Oleksii Sergeyev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.