Ambassador Tombinski chairs EUBAM Advisory Board Meeting for first time

EUBAMHead of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Jan Tombinski, chaired the 19th Advisory Board Meeting of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) on Nov. 22 – the first time he has done so in his new role.

Ambassador Tombinski said that “alignment with European Union standards is the underlying objective” and that the work of EUBAM showed how the relationship between the EU and both Moldova and Ukraine could be “mutually beneficial.”

EUBAM 2EUBAM has played an important role in many areas and activities: 1) greater sustainability in capacity-building activities, 2) support for EURO 2012 preparations, 3) bringing customs representatives from Chisinau and Tiraspol together following the resumption of rail freight traffic through Transnistria, 4) establishing a jointly operated border crossing point at Rossoshany-Briceni, and 5) the commencement of joint patrolling on the Moldova-Ukraine border in July this year. EUBAM presented its six-month Activity Report to its main partners – the foreign ministries, border police, and border-guard and customs services of Moldova and Ukraine – and international partners including the EU delegations in Moldova and Ukraine, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

EUBAM has also recently signed a joint statement of cooperation with the Federal Criminal Intelligence Service of Austria in Odessa, to cooperate in joint training courses in criminal intelligence, information management and modern investigation and surveillance techniques. They also agreed to joint operations to counteract cross-border crime, and to involve Austrian experts in EUBAM workshops and seminars.

Almost seven years to the day since the Mission first began its work, the head of EUBAM, Udo Burkholder, said that its partners could count on EUBAM’s long-term commitment to improving border-management standards on the Moldova-Ukraine border. “We are an ambitious mission,” said Burkholder, “and with higher achievements come higher expectations. But we intend to be equal to those expectations.”

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