For the first time as a Head of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Mr Francesco Bastagli reported on EUBAM activities to members of the Mission’s Advisory Board.
The 22nd Advisory Board Meeting of EUBAM brought together representatives of the EU Delegations in Moldova and Ukraine, the Foreign Ministries of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine and their the border and law enforcement agencies. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Organization for Migration and United Nations Development Programme also participated in the meeting.
The Chair of the meeting, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador Jan Tombinski, highlighted EUBAM’s engagement in the modernization of customs and border procedures, the visa liberalization process and joint border control operations.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ms Natalia Galibarenko thanked EUBAM for its contribution in capacity building and development of border infrastructure. Ms Galibarenko also highlighted EUBAM support for the new legislation adopted in line with the first phase of visa liberalization action plan. “We are looking forward moving to the second phase of the process”, she continued.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Iulian Groza expressed his gratitude for the Mission for its support in visa liberalization process, and offered to support the Ukrainian colleagues in this area. Mr Groza also noted that there were a number of new projects developed with EUBAM in the framework of Eastern Partnership programme and Moldova would like to increase the ammount of the jointly operated border crossing points.
“As Moldova and Ukraine move towards European Union standards, the Mission will support reforms in border control and customs legislation, structure and procedures”, the Head of EUBAM, Mr Francesco Bastagli stated. “Besides the deeper involvement in the area of strategic and policy advice, cross-border cooperation of Moldova and Ukrainian authorities, such as joint working groups, joint border control operations and jointly operated border crossing points, will stay among EUBAM priorities.”
Mr Bastagli noted that the contribution to the peaceful settlement of Transnistrian conflict was also a key priority for EUBAM. The Mission would make practical solutions available to the problems encountered in the flow of people, goods and service to and from Transnistria. As Moldova moved towards compliance with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement requirements, EUBAM could facilitate reasonable connections with the special customs and trade circumstances of Transnistria.
At the end of its deliberations, the Advisory Board took note of EUBAM’s activity reports and of the updates on the security situation and the progress in the border demarcation. The Board also took note of the update provided by the Head of Mission in his introductory statement. It positively assessed the efforts of Ukrainian and Moldovan services towards reforms and approximation to EU standards in border control and customs and highlighted cooperation between the partner services and EUBAM.
The next meeting of the advisory board will take place in October-November 2014 in Chisinau.