EUBAM Advisory Board assesses progress in border management and discusses future strategies

        Chisinau, 9 October 2014: The period from May 2014 to September 2014 has been busy for the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), a range of successes achieved in cooperation with its partners – Moldovan and Ukrainian border and customs agencies. Since May, controls were tightened at the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border. The Mission helped ensure that the second line checks were carried out in compliance with European human rights standards.  EUBAM strengthened its monitoring and reporting capacity and assisted its partners in performing their tasks in securing the border.

        Significant progress was achieved in border demarcation.  Just 3.1 km of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border remain to be demarcated, out of which 2.8 km belong to the central segment of the border. Over the summer months, Moldova and Ukraine successfully concluded their twelfth joint border control operation OLVIA, which was carried out in cooperation with EUBAM. The operation led to some 140 interventions and the value of goods seized is estimated at about one million Euros.

        EUBAM reported its activity and discussed future strategies during the 23rd Advisory Board Meeting.  The meeting in Chisinau, Moldova, was attended by representatives from the EU delegations in Moldova and Ukraine, the Foreign Ministries, border and law enforcement agencies of Moldova and Ukraine and relevant international organizations. The Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine Ambassador Jan Tombinski chaired the meeting.

        “We have witnessed a historical moment with the signature and ratification of the Association Agreements between the EU and Moldova and EU and Ukraine. It opened new opportunities and challenges for the region”, said the chairman Ambassador Tombinski. “We considered how the Mission could support Moldovan and Ukrainian border and customs authorities in that area”, he added.

        “During the last five months of the Mission’s activity, significant progress has been made in the management of the joint Moldovan-Ukrainian border, particularly, in joint operations, capacity building and training events for the partner-services of Moldova and Ukraine”, the head of the Moldovan delegation, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova noted at the meeting. In this context, the Deputy Minister highlighted the importance of EUBAM assistance for the partner-states in the process of establishing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between EU and Moldova and EU and Ukraine, as well as in other areas.

        “The current situation in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine has significantly changed and increased the relevance of EUBAM’s activity”, said Mr Volodymyr Bachynsky, Deputy Director of the Directorate on European Union of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and thanked EUBAM for supporting Ukraine moving towards European integration.

        The Advisory Board took note of the report on EUBAM’s activity, on the update of the demarcation process and the security situation at Moldovan-Ukrainian border. Further empowerment of the Moldovan and Ukrainian partners was encouraged to ensure long term sustainability of the progress achieved.  The Board also welcomed EUBAM support to the partner services in the area of border control, visa liberalization and enhancement of their institutional and operational capacities. Both heads of the delegations of Moldova and Ukraine expressed their support to the extension of the Mission’s mandate beyond November 2015. The next meeting of the advisory board will take place in spring 2015 in Odessa.

        The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine was launched in 2005 to promote border control and customs norms and practices that meet European standards and to serve the needs of Moldovan and Ukrainian citizens and trade. EUBAM activities help advancing economic development and enhancing border security.