#AgentsofChange – Galyna Mykhailiuk, People’s Deputy of Ukraine and Deputy Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement

October 05, 2021

“Love at first sight. These are the words that come to my mind when I think about the time spent at the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM). The story of this overarching love, so deeply rooted in my activities and views, symbolically began on 1 April 2015, as if a new page opened up in my life.

The Mission was only setting up and was looking for like-mindedly-thinking professionals ready to assist in implementing law-enforcement and judiciary reforms in Ukraine, thanks to their experience and expertise. Today, a well-functioning institution with field offices in five Ukrainian cities, EUAM began with 60 employees, only 15 of which were local staff hired by the Mission for the first time. I worked among them as a legislation drafting expert, the highest position available for the Ukrainian staff.

More than four years that I spent working with the EU were filled with exciting events, productive meetings, constant communication with top-talent professionals, continuous learning and a feeling of satisfaction with your achievements. However, the summer of 2019 drastically changed my life and led me into politics.

Thus, on 29 August 2019, I was sworn in as a Member of the Parliament of the 9th convocation, wishing to be a part of a new generation of MPs that will drive and lead necessary transformations in Ukraine. Despite huge expectations and inner drive, I found adjusting to the new position and responsibilities rather tricky. When your outlook and view of Ukraine’s development are based on EU fundamental principles and best practices, even the slightest non-compliance seems striking.

In the past two years, as the Deputy Head of the Committee on Law Enforcement, I have been actively engaged in the civilian security sector reform, which is EUAM’s main priority. Having taken part in organising training programs on the improvement of legislative processes for the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus as a member of the EUAM team, as well as managing such projects as “Improving the legislative drafting capacities in the area of SSR reform of the Ukrainian Parliament through EU best practices” and “Increasing the role of the Parliament in promoting Better Regulation through Ex-post Evaluation of Legislation”, laid the foundation for my deep understanding of this area and legislative branch’s responsibility for its proper functioning.

Considering this, an integrated approach to fixing Ukraine’s systematic issues on the legislative level is crucial. That is why I initiated and promoted various draft laws: on strengthening responsibility for domestic and sex-based violence (#3908-1), on preventing sex-based discrimination and sexism in society (#4599-1, #4598-1, #3427, #3193) and on strengthening responsibility for selling drugs to minors (#5123, #5131, #5123-1).

Also, within the Committee’s parliamentary oversight scope, I meet regularly with the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA), State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), State Border Guard Service (SBGS), State Customs Service (SCS), National Police (NPU), and other agencies. In this context, EUAM’s contribution and support are invaluable: learning the best practices of the EU member-state parliaments, preparing public hearings and public thematic events, facilitating field visits, and monitoring inspections to establish direct communication with regional and local stakeholders.

Continuing work to reform the civilian security sector and close cooperation with the EUAM remain my unchanged priorities. Every day, this reminds me of that still lingering love-at-first-sight encounter and the motto of my professional development – apply my knowledge, skills and expertise for the good of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people!”

*The views expressed in #AgentsofChange do not necessarily reflect the position of EUAM. Share your own story by writing to stories@euam-ukraine.eu (500 words maximum).