Progress in reform

Advice and support for civilian security sector reform lies in the heart of EUAM’s mandate. The mission’s advisors provide strategic advice, and hands-on support, to Ukrainian law-enforcement and rule of law agencies – with a focus on police reform, fighting corruption, and reform of the prosecution system. Since the beginning of 2016, EUAM has added operational, projects, and training activities to its mandate in order to assist with the implementation of reforms.


There are numerous challenges that hinder reform of the civilian security sector, such as unwillingness and resistance to change, gaps in legislation, insufficient funding, unsatisfactory professional standards, a lack of coordination between agencies, and the prevalence of corruption. 


Despite this, the Ukrainian government has taken some positive steps towards reform, and clearly outlined its reform priorities in areas such as anti-corruption, the police, and the judicial system. According to a public opinion survey conducted by Kiev International Institute of Sociology for EUAM in September 2015, respondents (45%) considered reform of law-enforcement agencies to have progressed the most. However, the same survey showed that only 18% of respondents considered reform in general to be progressing – low levels of public trust in the political, law-enforcement and judicial systems is evidence that much more needs to be done before the expectations of the Ukrainian public are met.


EUAM’s achievements are really the achievements of EUAM’s Ukrainian partners. Therefore, progress that our Ukrainian partners have achieved with EUAM support includes the following:


— EUAM supported the establishment of the National Police of Ukraine (in November 2015) by carrying out training in leadership development for heads of regional chiefs of police patrol, a series of pilot community police workshops for supervisors of Kyiv City Patrol Police, public order training for the new specialised public order sub-branch of Ukrainian police named ‘Kord’, and training on the rights of peaceful assembly for police officers in Lviv and Kharkiv;


— EUAM has provided strategic advice on a range of concept papers and strategies, such as the ‘Strategy of the reform of the internal affairs agencies’, ‘National Police Reform Concept 2016-2017’, on legislation such as the ‘Law on the National Police of Ukraine’ and the draft law on freedom of assembly, and on the National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan;


— Together with the National Police of Ukraine, EUAM established four joint working groups to develop concepts and action plans on community policing, criminal investigations, public order and human-resource management; 


— One of the flagship projects of the mission is the development of a response police model for rural areas and small towns (supplementary to the patrol police in the big cities) that was first implemented in Sambir (Lviv region) in 2015 before being rolled out to eight police stations in Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv regions;


— Thanks to EUAM support, the concept of community policing (new to Ukraine) has been established and is being implemented through provision of strategic advice and training;


— EUAM is acting as an observer in the re-attestation process of the Ukrainian police, whereby officers need to pass exams in order to meet adequate professional standards;


— EUAM supported the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and National Anti-Corruption Prevention Agency by acting as observers in the selection panels that chose heads and deputy heads of those institutions;


— EUAM has carried out numerous training programmes in order to support reform in areas such as public order, community policing, leadership, and strategic communication, and taken Ukrainian partners on study visits to EU Member States in order to share experience and best practice.