Ukrainian border guards gain first-hand skills thanks to EU project

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????More than 1000 representatives from customs and border authorities from six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries benefited from the EU-funded project, “Eastern Partnership – Integrated Border Management Flagship Initiative Training.”

Martijn Pluim, director of Eastern Dimension at the International Center for Migration Policy Development, presented the results of the 30-month project at the closing conference on June 12 in Kyiv.

The project dealt with a wide range of issues: document security, detection of drugs and smuggled cigarettes, protection of intellectual property rights, the fight against corruption and combating human trafficking. The participants got an opportunity to learn about the EU’s good practices and strengthen their expertise in a number of areas related to border management, Pluim emphasised.

He also added that the knowledge acquired through the project will contribute to Ukraine’s progress in meeting its obligations under the visa liberalisation action plan agreement with the EU.

Oleksandr Panchenko, deputy head of the Department of International Co-operation of State Border Service of Ukraine, added that Ukraine is now on the brink of launching a new programme to provide all interested parties with the knowledge and skills acquired through the project.

The overall objective of the training project was to facilitate the movement of persons and goods across borders in the six EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) while maintaining secure borders. This goal was achieved through the enhancement of inter-agency and bilateral/multilateral co-operation among the partner countries, EU member states and other international stakeholders. With a budget of €2 million, the project started in January 2011 and lasted for two and a half years.

For further information: www.eap-fit.eu