Thursday

23rd Mar 2017

UK, Poland and Sweden propose EU police mission for Ukraine

  • The EU's border control mission in western Ukraine has been training local officials since 2005 (Photo: eubam.org)

The UK, Poland, and Sweden have proposed sending an EU police mission to Ukraine to build up its law enforcement bodies in the wake of February’s revolution.

“Re-establishing confidence in the rule of law in Ukraine will be vital for future stability. We thus propose a capacity-building mission focused on supporting the police and judicial system,” they said in an informal paper circulated in Brussels this week.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The paper, seen by EUobserver, notes the mission would focus on “monitoring, mentoring and advising” as well as “strategic advice”.

It says: “While the mission should primarily focus on central government in Kiev, it should also have a remit to work in the regions, monitoring and providing advice on how to build a robust national system in the medium to long-term.”

“This would provide a clearer idea of the pressures and challenges in the regions, and give a greater understanding of what is happening on the ground,” it adds.

EU ambassadors discussed the idea on Wednesday.

But the paper also calls on the EU’s foreign service to put the proposal on the agenda of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

“In principle, launch of the mission should occur by June 2014 and a core team should deploy to Kiev as soon as possible after the FAC [the ministers’ meeting] to commence planning and co-ordination,” it says.

The mission, under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) umbrella, would work together with the EU’s existing border-control operation in western Ukraine, the so-called Eubam.

It would also work alongside a military monitoring mission already sent into the field by the OSCE, a multilateral body in Vienna, and alongside Nato experts working on Ukraine security sector reform.

“A CSDP mission supporting the wider rule of law sector and civilian aspect of security would complement and reinforce these vital efforts; there would be no duplication of activity,” the informal paper notes.

An EU diplomat told this website the idea was initially floated by the UK at a foreign ministers’ meeting in Athens last weekend, where it gained “some support”.

Several EU countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, have voiced concern about taking steps that might antagonise Russia.

The idea that the overthrow of former president Viktor Yanukovych has created lawlessness and exposed Russian-speakers in eastern and southern Ukraine to violence from nationalist self-defence squads is central to Russian propaganda justifying Russian intervention.

But the EU diplomat said the CSDP proposal is not about Russia.

“To a great extent, the Maidan [the popular anti-Yanukovych movement] was about the judicial system and rule of law in Ukraine, not just about the central government, so the new mission is designed primarily to address this,” the contact noted.

“The experts on the ground would advise and mentor police chiefs, but also other institutions, such as the prosecutors’ services … The EU has real expertise in this field to offer to the new Ukrainian government and to the Ukrainian people.”

'No zero terror risk', EU security commissioner warns

Julian King said it was not an accident that the London attacks happened on the anniversary of the Brussels bombings, while other politicians in Europe advocated for tougher immigration laws and border controls in the wake of the attack.

News in Brief

  1. Man arrested in Antwerp after trying to mow people down
  2. Marine Le Pen goes to Russia
  3. Dutch post-election talks prioritise green-right coalition
  4. EU summons Turkish envoy over threats to Europeans
  5. British police make first arrests in London terror probe
  6. EU commission has received Facebook reply on WhatsApp
  7. Rome expects thousands of protesters at summit
  8. Dijsselbloem says his comments had 'Dutch directness'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  2. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  3. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  4. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  5. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  6. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  8. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  9. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  10. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  11. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  12. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted

Latest News

  1. 'No zero terror risk', EU security commissioner warns
  2. UN could step in where EU fails in child migrant protection
  3. May: London attacker was known to the police
  4. Ending the migrant deal with Turkey may save the EU
  5. Poland unlikely to face EU discipline on rule of law
  6. Rutte courted Wilders' voters, now he must deliver
  7. Barnier to UK: trade talks will come after settling accounts
  8. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times