Keeping Ukraine and Europe’s streets safer: EUAM Ukraine organises firearms control study-visit to Portugal

February 07, 2024

The EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine supports the actions of Ukraine’s civilian security sector in their efforts to strengthen civilian firearms’ regulation and to combatting illicit trafficking in firearms.

This is an important topic for the safety and security of Ukraine, and for the safety and security of Europe, as criminal activities don’t respect border regulations.

A step forward in this direction was undertaken by EUAM Ukraine with organising a study-visit on firearms control and on the appointment of the national firearms focal point (NFFP) for representatives of key Ukrainian competent institutions to Portugal, from 29 January to 2 February.

The visit was organised in cooperation with the Public Security Police of Portugal. Five Ukrainian representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police and the Bokarius Forensic Institute had the opportunity share their experience with Portuguese colleagues. The experts shared with the visiting Ukrainian partners best practices on firearms control and on the establishment of a National Firearms Focal Point, which is meant to be responsible for firearms cooperation and coordination at the national and international level.

This is in line with current EU regulations, as Member States set up inter-connected national focal points on firearms to develop expertise and improve analysis and strategic reporting on illicit trafficking in firearms through the combined use of both ballistic and criminal intelligence.

While in Portugal, Ukrainian prosecutors, officers and forensic experts discussed topics such as the transposition of the provisions of the EU Firearms Directive into national legislation, criminal intelligence, pre-trial investigation and prosecution of trafficking in firearms, and the legislative framework for the functioning of the NFFP. The Portuguese subject matter experts also shared information on the licensing system for firearms, ammunition, explosives, and precursors, and on the databases used by the Public Security Police, including the firearms register.

Overall, the visit contributed to the establishment of professional networking between the representatives of respective civilian security institutions of Ukraine and Portugal in the field of combating serious and organised crime.