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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.”

News in Brief

  1. EU states make progress on Covid-19 'travel certificates'
  2. Michel pledges to protect von der Leyen's 'dignity' in future
  3. Libya frees UN-sanctioned human trafficker
  4. European court: jailed Turkish writer's rights violated
  5. EU set to miss 1m electric charging points by 2025 target
  6. Lavrov expects Iran nuclear deal to be saved
  7. France suspends flights from Brazil due to Covid variant
  8. Johnson & Johnson delays roll-out of vaccine in EU

Feature

Covid-hit homeless find Xmas relief at Brussels food centre

The Kamiano food distribution centre in Brussels is expecting 20 people every half hour on Christmas Day. For many, Kamiano is also more than that - a support system for those made homeless or impoverished.

Top court finds Hungary and Poland broke EU rules

EU tribunal said Hungary's legislation made it "virtually impossible" to make an asylum application. Restricting access to international protection procedure is a violation of EU rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. Nato and US urge Russia to back off on Ukraine
  2. Future EU platform seeks to 'stay clean' of hate speech
  3. Denmark threatens Syria deportations amid EU concerns
  4. MEPs raise concerns on vaccine 'travel certificates'
  5. Will Romania be EU's Green Deal laggard?
  6. Muslims, Ramadan, and myths facing 'European civilisation'
  7. Europe & Africa - rebuilding the future
  8. How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us