Strengthening Ukraine’s IBM through Technological Integration and Use of EU Funds

Thursday, May 23, 2024


The role of advanced technologies and the strategic use of EU funds in modernising the Integrated Border Management (IBM) system to align it to the European Union standards were widely discussed at the webinar delivered by the EU4IBM-Resilience project on 22 May 2024. The online event, bringing together representatives of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, continued the series of activities organised to share various aspects of the Romanian experience of accession to the EU, which could be helpful to Ukrainian border management authorities.

In his presentation, Colonel Andrei Voicu, expert in border management and former Logistics Director of the Romanian Border Police, drew on Romania’s successful experience of integrating technology into border management practices implemented to a significant extent due to the access of the country to relevant EU funds. The expert focused, inter alia, on such sophisticated automated border control systems as the Integrated System for Border Surveillance (SISF) and the Complex System for Maritime Surveillance (SCOMAR), and how these technologies have transformed operational efficiency, and have bolstered security at Romania’s borders.

Colonel Voicu also showcased several successful projects to demonstrate the practical benefits of proper access to and management of EU funds: refurbishment of border infrastructure, acquisition of surveillance and intervention vehicles, and modernisation of training centres for border guards. These projects significantly enhanced the operational capabilities of the Romanian Border Police but also set a precedent for Ukraine to follow by demonstrating the tangible outcomes of such initiatives.

“Learning from Romania’s experience of using EU funds and working on technological integration provides a valuable roadmap for Ukraine. Romania is our direct neighbour who worked a lot to be able to eventually join the Schengen area. Ukraine’s path will be even harder but learning from good practices of our EU partners is crucial for modernising the country’s border management system,” highlighted Vyacheslav Toporov, EU4IBM-Resilience Senior Project Manager while commenting on the relevance of these insights for Ukraine’s ongoing reforms.

In their feedback, the participants of the webinar also praised the session for its practical relevance and the depth of information provided, which improved their understanding of how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the EU integration in the area of IBM.

This new knowledge may be quite interesting in the context of the recently launched Ukraine Facility mechanism.  As part of the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression and to assist Ukraine in its endeavours to recover, rebuild, and modernise, EU introduced this novel support mechanism spanning from 2024 to 2027. The tool will enable the EU to furnish Ukraine with a maximum of 50 billion EUR in reliable and consistent financial aid throughout this timeframe, including potential support to border management. The particularity of the Ukraine Facility mechanism is that major financial assistance in form of loans for equipment and infrastructure should be requested directly by relevant Ukrainian authorities, therefore understanding and experience of managing EU funds will be crucial to benefit from this opportunity.

The EU4IBM-Resilience project will continue supporting SBGS and other national IBM stakeholders through additional capacity-building events, including consultations, webinars, and study visits. These initiatives are designed to equip Ukraine with the necessary tools to efficiently harmonise its national IBM-related legislation with EU standards, incorporate best practices, and align the National IBM Strategy with the Technical and Operational Strategy for European Integrated Border Management 2023-2027.


Background information: The project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine –Resilience (EU4IBM-Resilience)” is funded by the EU and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The project is aimed at building the resilience of the Ukrainian border management agencies during wartime, as well as supporting further reforms to approximate the border management system of Ukraine to the EU standards and best practices in line with the Integrated Border Management Strategy of Ukraine adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 24 July 2019. The project runs from December 2022 until May 2025.

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The EU4IBM project team includes international technical assistance professionals and subject matter experts from Ukraine and the European Union who work on a daily basis to support the border management agencies of Ukraine in the time of war, as well as to further assist in the implementation of national reforms that bring the Ukrainian border management system closer to the standards and best practices of integrated border management. Support our work by sharing our official page on social networks

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