Still early days for public-order reform but Odesa events signal progress
"We have been advocating for a European approach to public order, based on facilitation, de-escalation and a graduated approach"
Whether we want to express our dissatisfaction with a particular government policy or simply enjoy a football match such as the Champions League Final in a crowd, the right to free assembly is fundamental to a democracy. With the ‘March of Equality’ taking place in Kyiv on Sunday, when thousands are expected to gather to celebrate equality and diversity and advocate for the rights of Ukraine’s LGBT community, it is worth remembering how important it is for mass events to take place peacefully, without the fear of violence or disorder.
The European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) has been working closely with the NPU and other partners over recent months in trying to bring EU public-order practices to bear on real mass events in Ukraine, particularly in Odesa. What we have witnessed is a noticeable improvement in the approach to planning and management of mass events – a measure of progress some people thought was impossible. It is easy to forget that Maidan was only four years ago.
If a police officer is safe, the pubic is safe as well. EUAM experts have completed an extensive two-year training programme for the National Police of Ukraine. Together with the Canadian Police Mission, EUAM experts trained over 200 personal safety police instructors, who will now cascade their knowledge to colleagues in the National Police all over Ukraine. Check out this infographic for more details.