The focus of the webinar delivered to 52 anticorruption officers of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service (SBGS) on 5 September 2023 centred on strategies for preventing, identifying, and addressing border-related corruption risks applied in the EU MSs. This online training initiative was organized and led by the EU-funded Project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine – Resilience (EU4IBM-Resilience).”
Evaldas Skirmantas, Head of the Immunity Board of Lithuanian State Border Protection Service, shared the insights from the experience of the Lithuanian border guards in the field of corruption prevention. He emphasized several key factors, such as the assessment of the likelihood of corruption, establishment of anti-corruption training programmes, and effective strategies for working with newly recruited personnel. Additionally, the webinar delved into the discussion of corruption control measures, including but not limited to the implementation of restrictions at border checkpoints, control of the usage of the databases, warnings for possible bribery, records of contacts and many more.
«Effective operation of the Ukrainian border management agencies is under a big threat if corruption is in place. No high-tech equipment can replace transparent and efficient control procedures at the state border. By investing in anti-corruption efforts by our Ukrainian partners, we invest in combatting illegal movement of goods and items between Ukraine and the EU», highlighted Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM-Resilience Team Leader.
During the Q&A session, the participants of the webinar engaged in a discussion regarding the adaptation and enhancement of the presented practices in the face current circumstances in which the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies work. SBGS anticorruption officers mentioned that active promotion of anti-corruption initiatives and increasing awareness among personnel can serve as a potent means to mitigate a multitude of corruption-related crimes, ultimately reducing threats to national security.
The objective of the webinar extends beyond merely presenting effective EU anti-corruption practices and relates to the project’s aim to offer tailored assistance in enhancing corruption prevention measures within SBGS as needed. This support includes, among other things, reviewing and aiding in the finalization of the SBGS Anticorruption Programme. In this context, it is imperative to actively promote EU practices, particularly those concerning conflicts of interests, protection of whistle-blowers, and identification of corruption risks, while ensuring that both conventional and newly emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and risks are identified and appropriately addressed.