EUBAM Advisory Board appraises ongoing reforms and Transnistria conflict settlement efforts

        EUBAM’s 26th Advisory Board Meeting ended on Wednesday after reviewing progress made in the implementation of border management, customs and trade facilitation reforms in Moldova and Ukraine. Ongoing confidence building measures related to the Transnistrian settlement process were also assessed.

        EU Ambassador to Moldova Pirkka Tapiola said: “A joint effort is needed in order to ensure the successful phased implementation of the joint border crossing point Kuchurhan-Pervomaisk. I believe that if properly implemented, engaging all relevant stake-holders, it could build confidence in the Transnistrian settlement process and create new opportunities for all”.

        EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombinski noted: “The people of Moldova and Ukraine want to see concrete results and reform in the issues that matter to them the most. In these critical times the EU will continue to support both countries to bolster security, to develop their economic potential, and to meet the legitimate aspirations of their populations and EUBAM will remain an important part of that effort.”

        The Mission marked its tenth anniversary in November 2015 and Head of EUBAM Ambassador Andrew Tesoriere said: “The demand for EUBAM technical expertise remains undiminished, especially through our strong field presence. Both Moldova and Ukraine have embarked on an ambitious set of reforms to align border and customs procedures to EU standards, and EUBAM remains a reliable and experienced partner”. Ambassador Tesoriere welcomed increased national ownership of the new practices and procedures which have been established with EUBAM support.

        Daniela Morari, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration noted: “Going through all the points of our today’s detailed agenda, I believe that all sides involved have reconfirmed that EUBAM remains our main partner in its dual role of both helping to ensure stability and security in the region and strengthening capacities at the national level of both Moldova and Ukraine. This is a very important factor in pursuing reforms and implementing commitments within the Association Agreements/DCFTA.”

        Vsevolod Chentsov, Director General for the EU of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted that for more than 10 years EUBAM has been building capacities of partner services of Ukraine and Moldova, both at the state and regional levels. This provided for significant improvement of border management as well as for important reduction of the trans-border crime including illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, and contraband. It contributed to the security not only along Ukraine – Moldova state border but in the entire region in general.

        Mr Chentsov said: “The joint border control, facilitated by the Mission, including at the central segment of Ukraine-Moldovan border, is seen as an evolution of the enhanced cooperation between the border services of the two countries. We should benefit from the experience gained and lessons learned by the Mission and to make proper use thereof at other segments of Ukraine’s border, taking into account current security challenges.”

        The Board acknowledged the concrete accomplishments of partner services in the ongoing implementation of DCFTAs and Integrated Border Management strategies in both countries. Priority areas for EUBAM’s support over the next six months were discussed, with special attention given to identifying and developing opportunities for confidence building measures on Transnistria.

        Following the Advisory Board, a series of technical meetings on the establishment of jointly operated border crossing points, import and export certificates and future EUBAM support on veterinary, sanitary and phyto-sanitary controls were held between experts from Moldovan and Ukrainian border and customs agencies, the EU Delegations and EUBAM.

        The Advisory Board Meeting brought together representatives from the Foreign Ministries, border and law enforcement agencies of Moldova and Ukraine, the EU Delegations to Moldova and Ukraine, IOM, OSCE and UNDP. It will meet again in Chisinau in early November 2016.