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February 2018
MoIA continues to lead way in customer service with unveiling of manual and online course

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Fight against organised crime takes big step forward with creation of dedicated unit within police
EUAM supports MoIA’s efforts to promote gender equality as Deputy Minister outlines way forward

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Protection of journalists in focus as EUAM and UNESCO team up for first time

Paul van Buitenen and Sergei Magnitsky were whistleblowers with different fates – how does Ukraine want to treat its whistleblowers?

Today, 10 December, is International Human Rights Day, marking the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. If ever there was proof that from profound darkness and tragedy, good things can emerge, then the Universal Declaration of Human Rights might be it. The Declaration, born amid the ashes of the Second World War, is one of the great achievements of the United Nations. Its 30 articles follow on from Franklin D Roosevelt’s ‘Four Freedoms’ – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, freedom from want – that he articulated in 1941.

In the late 1990s, an auditor in the European Commission, Paul van Buitenen, noticed irregularities in spending at the institution he worked at. After voicing his concerns internally, he took his evidence to a Member of the European Parliament, setting off a train of events which would eventually lead the Parliament to demand a full investigation of the allegations. The consequence was that the entire leadership of the Commission resigned. A new Commission was appointed which significantly improved anti-fraud structures within the institution. Van Buitenen later became an MEP himself and anti-corruption campaigner.

Van Buitenen was what we call a whistleblower i.e. someone who acts on their conscience and reports wrongdoing within their organisation despite the possible impact it might have on their career and relationship with colleagues.    

Protecting these brave people is an essential part of a well–functioning law enforcement system. The evidence that they bring forward is often crucial in securing a conviction, particularly in cases of fraud and corruption.  It therefore extremely important that public and private institutions have structures where people can report their concerns in confidence, and also that whistleblowers receive some sort of protection once they come forward with an allegation.

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Strategic communications activities in 2017

EUAM supports the development of strategic communications in the government institutions of the civil security sector, assists in development of communication strategies and information campaigns and conducts trainings for heads, speakers and press secretaries.

As EUAM strategic communications advisor Luciano Scambiato Licciardi explains: “The communication of the reforms is as important as its implementation. If you don’t inform citizens about the changes and why change is needed, you shouldn’t expect the support and trust of the public.”

In 2017, the Mission organised about 30 communication trainings in seven regions of Ukraine for 604 civil servants. In addition, the representatives of the State Border Guard Service and the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine had an opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Estonian government communication experts during a study visit to Tallinn.

More than 160 representatives of the Ukrainian government and public organisations, communication experts, civil servants and journalists came to Kyiv in May 2017 for the first EUAM strategic communications conference, ‘Paradigm shifts in government communications’.
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