The new face of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. EUAM conducts management assistance group meeting

September 03, 2015

The prospects, needs, challenges and projects. This were the topics discussed during the Border Management Assistance Group meeting on 3 September with the aim to facilitate the reforming process of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS). Representatives from embassies and international organisations gathered at EUAM headquarters to find out more on the current state of changes taking place in SBGS and to identify areas for providing assistance.


To serve, to protect and to help. These are the main working themes of the SBGS. The representatives of the border guards acquainted the participants with the ongoing pilot project. It aims to improve the work of border checkpoints in compliance with European standards, the commitments to the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP), to raise the prestige and strengthen the status of SBGS and to create a new image of the border guard as a highly-moral and competent state defender trusted by people.


The project implements the competitive selection of staff (which must be competent in foreign languages), the new approaches of training (EU practices). It also aims to increase the motivation of the personnel and includes a daily public opinion poll on the SBGS work. The first stage of the project will be implemented at the border units in Zhuliany, Hostomel and at a border crossing point in Kyiv (Borispol Airport). 160 border guards, who were already selected (out of 361 applicants), will undergo a two months training before they move to their posts. The newly selected staff of SBGS will be also provided with a raise of their salaries (up to eight thousand hryvnas).


“There is no way back to the old system. We expect the assistance and support from the international community. It is time for significant changes in the Border Guard Service. We are ready to your critics and will react on them quickly. You support and advice in the reforming process is very important,” said the First Deputy Head of the SBGS Vasyl Servatyuk. He also outlined the current needs of the service: experienced staff, technologies for border security and staff training (as well as language skills); legal knowledge, handling of documents (passports, vehicle’s  documents), the detection of falsified documents, technological support (renewal of equipment). Servatyuk also outlined the lack of biometrics control systems at border crossing points (only 98 are equipped out of 150) as well as the lack of experienced border guards educated to use biometrics systems.


The Acting Head of EUAM Strategic Border Guard & Customs Advisory Unit, Brian Richard, explained that EUAM will facilitate and coordinate the process for SBGS on the behalf of the international community, as well as any assistance provided from the members of the Management Assistance Group.


EUAM Strategic Border Guard Service adviser, Ivo Kersten, updated the participants on the Mission advice provided to SBGS and mentioned particularly European universal values. The First Deputy Head of the SBGS thanked EUAM for support and proposed to arrange the next meeting of the Group at the Border Guards Training Center in Cherkasy.