The legal approximation between the European Union and the third countries aspiring to join the Union stands as a crucial aspect of their cooperation, allowing to synchronize national legislations with the EU Acquis. On 18 December 2023, the ‘EU Support to Integrated Border Management in Ukraine – Resilience’ project, implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, organized a webinar to present the Lithuanian experience of EU legal approximation to Ukrainian border guards.
What is the purpose of the Schengen Area? How is border control regulated by the Schengen Borders Code? What equipment and databases do EU Member States’ border guard agencies use for effective border checks? What are the preconditions for getting access to the specialized EU Integrated Border Management Fund? These were some of the questions discussed at the webinar to help deepen the understanding of the EU border management legislation, and its main provisions to align with.
The invited experts debated with the participating SBGS officers over the alignment of border management legal frameworks and introduced them to some peculiarities and modus operandi of selected EU Regulations. Additionally, they presented Lithuania’s multilayered IT systems architecture, the databases in use, and some key features of their comprehensive border security system.
“Legal approximation is an extensive and intricate process, and it just recently went higher on Ukraine’s agenda with the official launch of the accession negotiations on 14 December. To support our Ukrainian partners, not only do we provide expert assistance in analyzing draft IBM-related legislation, but we also facilitate knowledge exchange with counterparts from EU member states and enable practical recommendations”, notes Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM-Resilience Team Leader.
Upon the reception of detailed feedback from the participants, Project experts will further provide tailored follow-up support. At the same time, the SBGS representatives have already agreed to share updates on the implementation of IBM in Ukraine with the Lithuanian colleagues after the webinar.
In 2023, Ukrainian ministries and other central executive bodies, including SBGS, went through a self-screening exercise to define the scope of legislative acts that need to be harmonized with the EU Acquis. They are currently expecting the government’s Adaptation Plan to start their work on adapting and redrafting the laws concerned. Over the year, the EU4IBM-Resilience project supported the self-screening in the context of IBM, and also engaged in the compliance analysis of draft IBM-related legislation in cooperation with Ukrainian bodies and international assistance projects. Legal approximation support at a larger scale will commence once the adaptation plan is announced and put in motion by the government.