EUAM Deputy Head of Mission urges clear delineation of powers in law enforcement agencies

June 14, 2018

A conference in Kyiv organised by the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) today debated the ways that Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies could promote synergies between each other while avoiding overlap of functions. The Parliament-Civil Society Platform, taking place for the fifth time, brought together over 150 senior law enforcement officials, parliamentarians, experts and civil society activists to openly discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead in Ukraine’s civilian security sector reform.

“Law enforcement agencies in Ukraine need to have clearly delineated competencies to be effective and legitimate. It is a waste of time and money when different law enforcement agencies do the same thing,” said Fredrik Wesslau, the Deputy Head of EUAM in his opening remarks. “It is important that agencies work together as an organic whole so that they can succeed in their core task – keeping citizens safe”.

Ukraine stands at a pivotal moment for the future of law enforcement in the country. The Law on the Anti-Corruption Court has been passed in the Ukrainian Parliament, and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is working towards establishing full operational capability. Moreover, the Draft Law on National Security is its final legislative stages and key discussions are taking place to ensure strong Parliamentary oversight of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) as well as transferring investigative functions from the SSU to other agencies. It is crucial that these changes take place with a clear vision of what the competences of each agency will be and how they will cooperate with each other.

Among the topics on the day’s agenda were how to define the investigative priorities of the SBI, why transferring the SSU’s anticorruption, smuggling and economic crimes investigation activities to other agencies will make the organisation more effective and how to improve cooperation between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and other agencies.

Mr Wesslau was joined at the first panel debate of the Platform by the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, the Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine, Alexander Vinnikov, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legislative Support of Law Enforcement, Andriy Kozhemiakin, the Director of SBI, Roman Truba, the Director of NABU, Artem Sytnyk and the First Deputy Head of the SSU Pavlo Demchina.