EUAM visits Cherkasy for the first timeNovember 26, 2015
His name is Nord. He is one of the police dogs sniffing for drugs helping Customs officers all around Ukraine. Demonstration of Nords skills was organized by regional Customs officers at “Cherkasy-Pivdennyi” Customs terminal. The exercise was observed by a team of the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM).
It was the first visit of the EUAM Regional Outreach staff to Cherkasy. The eight days of their stay in the region were fully scheduled with thorough meetings with dozens of interlocutors. The EUAM team assessed and observed foremost the extremely open attitude of the Ukrainian сounterparts. Interestingly, the first talks, on the day of EUAM team’s arrival itself, were held with Yuriy Tkachenko , the Head of the Regional State Administration. This is not always the case. He showed his openness by inviting to the meeting also representatives of the Police, other LEAs and Free Legal Aid.
A mixed feeling of disenchantment and persisting hope is widely shown. “We haven’t seen real reforms yet,” is a common say among many local counterparts, who, at the same time, do not stop striving for change and uncorrupted practices. There are positive developments, though: Police and Public Prosecutor started coordinating and working on the new organisational framework. A new Chief Police, Mr. Vladyslav Pustovar, was appointed last year upon the pressure of the civil society. Some results are already evident, starting from his availability to engage more with the public, including media and NGOs.
“Without the involvement of the whole society you cannot have effective and accountable security,” encouraged Tiit Matsulevits, EUAM Strategic Communication Adviser, interviewed by the Regional TV and Radio channels, as well as by an independent news agency. Medias’ interest in EUAM was a further signal. The way to cooperation was steadily paved, in a region that just asks for concrete results.