On 15-16 April 2021, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Police, the State Border Guard Service and the State Customs Service of Ukraine attended a two-day conference on enhancing interagency cooperation among the national integrated border management (IBM) agencies in Ukraine organised by the EU-funded project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine (EU4IBM)”.
“The European Union pays great attention to cooperation and coordination among border management agencies, as well as information exchange and joint risk analysis both between the EU Member States and with third countries, specifically with our immediate neighbours. The implementation of relevant best practices in this area in Ukraine will contribute to considerable enhancement of the overall national border management capacity”, said Xavier Camus, Head of the Good Governance and Democratisation Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.
The forum allowed representatives of the national IBM agencies to take stock of the current situation in Ukraine and obtain up-to-date information on existing EU practices with particular focus on establishment and operation of the national IBM coordination centres. The participants got acquainted with benefits of relevant approaches, institutional mechanisms, technical solutions and good practices in the area of interagency cooperation at the EU and member states’ level. Specific attention was paid to the current situation in the field of coordination and information exchange, risk analysis, preparation and use of joint analytical products and discussion of the opportunities they provide.
“EU4IBM project experts presented the developed concepts for establishment of the national coordination centre and joint risk analysis system that can considerably improve situational awareness, emergency response capacity and joint action planning in Ukraine. The examples of Finland, the Czech Republic and other countries show that working together “under one roof”, border, customs and police services have a unique opportunity to pool their forces and resources and better respond to various challenges, including cross-border crime”, commented Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM Team Leader.
In addition to Ukrainian agencies, the conference was attended by representatives of the national coordination centres of EU member states, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine (EUAM), the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), other international and regional projects working on integrated border management. Together the participants reviewed the existing and potential mechanisms for coordination and information exchange in Ukraine and EU member states, discussed the challenges and successful experiences in establishing interagency cooperation, as well as shared their views on proposed solutions.
Eventually, the conference should facilitate practical decision-making aimed at enhancing the existing system of interagency cooperation, coordination, information exchange and risk analysis in Ukraine.
“Implementation of the integrated border management, in particular regarding the fight against cross-border crime, requires a well-established interaction for exchange of information and risk analysis. I am confident that based on the discussed recommendations it will be possible to form a viable and effective model for interagency cooperation between IBM stakeholders in Ukraine. We are interested in a comprehensive approach to the application of good practices to ensure quality results at both strategic and tactical levels, as well as the sustainability of the model”, summed up the discussion Andriy Vikhtiuk, Director of the SBGS Department of Organization, Planning and Control.