Good governance and anti-corruption runs through all of EUBAM’s activities. When left unchecked, corruption inhibits investment and damages trade. It can be the root cause which allows smuggling and trafficking to flourish and erodes border security.
At an institutional level, the Mission has worked with Moldova and Ukraine’s border agencies to put in place robust regulations and mechanisms to prevent, detect and investigate corrupt behaviour. Slawomir Pichor, Head of EUBAM’s Office in Moldova, explains how EUBAM helps to tackle corruption.
Prevention is the most sustainable and effective means to combat corruption. That means shaping the behaviour of Customs and Border Officers. In 2016, EUBAM worked with Moldova’s Customs Service to develop their Code of Ethics and Conduct. The new Code complies with international standards of integrity and outlines the fundamental principles of ethics, mandatory norms of professional conduct and discipline. Artiom Popenco, Principal Inspector of Integrity and Surveillance Division of Moldova’s Customs Service explains why the Code matters.
Modernised Customs practices are also an important means to curtail corruption. EUBAM promotes simplified customs procedures such as automated clearance and the introduction of Single Window systems, which reduces the possibilities for corrupt practices.
EUBAM’s border and customs experts also take the fight against corruption to the border crossing points on the Moldova-Ukraine border. The Mission regularly visit the 69 border crossing points on the common border, as well as ports of entry at Odesa, Chornomorsk and Giurgiulesti ports. They observe the practices of Customs and Border Officers, advise on the transparency of procedures and seek to ensure that corruption is not practiced.
EUBAM’s experts have a zero-tolerance approach to corruption. Where corruption is suspected or reported to them, these concerns are shared with the management of the respective service and robustly follow-up to ensure complaints are investigated.
Who we are?
The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched in 2005. It promotes border control and customs norms and practices that meet EU standards and serve the needs of its two partner countries. It is an advisory, technical body with the Headquarters in Odesa (Ukraine). A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the European Commission and the Governments of Moldova and Ukraine in late 2005 is the legal basis for EUBAM, while an Advisory Board acts as the Mission’s governing body. The mandate of the Mission has already been extended five times (in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017), with the current mandate expiring on 30 November 2020.
What we do?
The Mission works with Moldova and Ukraine to harmonise border control, and customs and trade standards and procedures with those in EU Member States. It helps to improve cross-border cooperation between the border guard and customs agencies and other law enforcement bodies and to facilitate international coordinated cooperation. EUBAM assists Moldova and Ukraine to fulfil the obligations of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which both countries signed as part of their Association Agreements with the EU. It also contributes to the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict through confidence building measures and as a monitoring presence at the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border.
Where we work?
The Moldova-Ukraine state border is 1,222 km long, consisting of 955 km of “green” (land) border and 267 km of “blue” (river) border.
The Mission is headquartered in Odesa (Ukraine). It has an EUBAM Office in Moldova and six field offices – three on the Moldovan side of the joint border and three on the Ukrainian side.
EUBAM Office in Moldova has a liaison function which is focused on projecting and representing the activities of EUBAM amongst other donors and beneficiaries to ensure better coordination and an improved consultative process. It enables the identification of strategic partner needs that are relevant to current and future planning, and have provides EUBAM with an understanding of the broader issues and obstacles that may affect the achievement of objectives.
There are 67 permanent official border crossing points along the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, including international, inter-state and local ones. The central segment of this border length 453 km is under Tiraspol control, including 25 official crossing points to Ukraine.
The “internal boundary” between the two banks of the Dniester river is not monitored by Moldovan border guards, but there are some customs check-points.