Wednesday

20th Feb 2019

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

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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. Estonia kicks out Danske Bank over money laundering scandal
  2. May and Juncker meet over Brexit on Wednesday
  3. EU promises to open up advisory groups
  4. EU agrees to limit CO2 emissions by trucks
  5. Juncker under attack in Hungary government ad
  6. EU would not oppose extending Brexit talks, Juncker said
  7. Juncker expects Trump not to impose new car tariffs
  8. Former EU official sentenced for office rape

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. College of Europe alumni ask rector to cut Saudi ties
  2. EU says Hungary's anti-Juncker campaign is fake news
  3. Trump right for once: Europe should take back foreign fighters
  4. EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat
  5. Italian populists could be second biggest force in EU parliament
  6. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  7. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  8. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us