On the way to inclusive driving in Ukraine

January 30, 2024

Ukraine is making significant steps in enhancing public services and progressing its European integration.

Last week the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine facilitated the visit of a delegation from the Dutch Central Bureau for Certification of Driving Skills (CBR) to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Main Service Centre (MSC).

During their visit, the Dutch experts met with Ukrainian and European partners, including Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kateryna Pavlichenko, Head of the MSC Mykola Rudyk, EUAM’s Deputy Head of Operations, Mikko Groenberg, and the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kyiv, Esselien van Eerten.

The visit by the Dutch delegation had three key objectives in support of Ukrainian authorities: enhancing the training of driving examiners, ensuring the quality of driving tests, and expanding driving access for people with disabilities.

Mykola Rudyk, Head of the MSC, who hosted the delegation, noted improvements already made to the transparency of the driving test process, such as the introduction of video cameras in exam rooms and vehicles, as well as the renewal of the vehicle fleet. “Last year, we purchased about 150 new category B cars and five cars for people with disabilities,” said Rudyk.

Special attention was paid to advancing barrier-free accessibility in Ukraine, a pressing issue in today’s context, as highlighted by Deputy Minister Kateryna Pavlichenko. She emphasised the importance of integrating people with disabilities into public life and expressed confidence in the positive impact of this cooperation on driving schools and service centres.

Mikko Groenberg reiterated EUAM’s support for this initiative, aimed at facilitating driving for persons with disabilities. He commended the MSC and Ministry of Internal Affairs for their efforts amidst current challenges, arising both from the ongoing war and the need for reform due to Ukraine’s EU candidacy status. “The EU accession process is crucial for building a better society in Ukraine, ensuring that development actions align with European Union best practices. EUAM will continue to support Ukraine throughout the EU accession process,” he stated.

A key moment of the visit was the presentation of a specialised vehicle at the MSC, designed for practical exams for persons with disabilities. Additionally, the delegation was shown another vehicle adapted for everyday use by such individuals with special needs. This emphasised the importance of such advancements, especially given the challenges posed by Russia’s ongoing, unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine.

Sharing valuable insights with Ukrainian counterparts, the CBR experts expressed their readiness to continue the cooperation. “Despite the security risks, we came to Ukraine. If our experience can save at least one life from a road accident, our visit was not in vain,” stressed Lodewijk Gilbert de Boer, policy expert from the CBR.

This visit follows a study trip by Ukrainian officials to the Netherlands in June 2023, aiming to adopt the EU’s best driving practices in Ukraine and marking a crucial step towards a more inclusive society and safer driving environment.