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How does the reviewed mandate of the EU Mission impact the law enforcement reform in Ukraine?

Kyiv, March 23, 2017.

The European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) set to assist reforming of the civilian security sector has been supporting Ukraine in its efforts to reform law enforcement for two and a half years. At its second year of operation the Mission’s mandate was updated. The Institute of World Policy (IWP) held the audit of the Mission’s activities, it comes as the second edition, the results were presented at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Online media outlet “Europeiska Pravda” published the detailed analytical note on the same issue prepared by Kateryna Zarembo, Deputy Director at the IWP.

Reviewed mandate

Reviewed and expanded Mission’s mandate provided a new impulse for its work. “Ukraine’s discontent as to the merely advisory functions of the Mission was heard in Brussels. EU member states demonstrated untypical flexibility. In a year [since the Mission’s launch] they reviewed its mandate, allowing the Mission to implement projects and hold training events,” writes Zarembo in the analytical note for “Europeiska Pravda”. “To give advice is one thing, but to make it practical and sustainable is a completely other. After one year we went for the review of the mandate. Based on the high political discussion [at EU level and between the EU member states] it was possible to modify the mandate. Modification of the mandate is a serious step forward to work more for efficiency and sustainability of the entire reform process. It is not only to advise, but to also train and give equipment support so that [our partners] are able to do what’s been advised. It’s the major key of the success for this Mission,” said Udo Möller, EUAM Head of Operations.

At the moment EUAM activities are diverse and include advisory support for the development of strategic documents and draft laws, assistance with purchasing equipment, coordination of donor assistance in Ukraine for reforming of law enforcement as well as even search for donor money for implementation of the reforms, elaborates Zarembo in the note. The Mission’s key partners are Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, National Police, Office of the Prosecutor General, National Anticorruption Bureau, Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, State Border Guard Service and State Fiscal Service.

The Mission is EU’s gesture of support

EUAM is a special instrument of EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. According to the analyst of the Institute of World Policy, sending the Mission to a country with an ongoing armed conflict is an exceptional support gesture by the EU.

War in the east stays outside of the focus

According to Zarembo, there were some differences in the vision of their tasks by the Mission itself and by its Ukrainian counterparts in the light of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Ukraine now has understanding that EUAM will be working only over the problems of the civilian not military security and will not join to settlement of the conflict with Russia.

Achievements

The Mission’s presence in Ukraine’s regions is critical to preserve the balance between security and human rights, as the misbalance in Ukraine is often towards the first component. “The Mission came to the regions where individuals [law enforcement staff] did not pass the attestation but restored themselves in their offices through courts and are just dreaming to come back to bargaining the posts and covering illegal businesses. In this light the weight of the Mission’s role will be only increasing as it clearly points at fact that the work of the police needs to be refocused to communities and interests of individuals and that it is the priority,” said Yevhen Zakharov, director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.

Thanks to the cooperation with law enforcement agencies the draft Law on the National Security has been prepared. “The work over this document is very much illustrative. It helped practice the cooperation between the NATO’s European structures and Ukraine. We tried to adapt European approaches to Ukrainian realities,” said Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Deputy Head of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

It is expected that the software for the Office of the Prosecutor General will bring the process of consideration of criminal cases to the qualitatively new level. “We are talking about the e-system of criminal proceedings. I think the wider society is aware of the cases when documents are lost or documents that relate to notorious proceedings are damaged by the drainage system for example. Once the e-proceeding system is introduced, the problem will be left in the past together with the criminal risks and human contacts,” expected Yevhen Yenin, Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

IWP’s policy brief “Mission Accomplishable? Audit of the EU Efforts in Reforming Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector” in English is available online.

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