Kiev, Ukraine — The European Union will continue to train and advise Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. The EU has renewed the deployment of the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) until 2019. It also approved a $38 million budget.

Although mostly manned by civilians, the EUAM essentially does the equivalent of foreign internal defence, except with law enforcement agencies. It was first deployed in Ukraine following the Melian Revolution in 2014.  Since then, it has trained, advised and equipped Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.  The EUAM works with an array of law enforcement agencies, to include the National Police, State Border Guard Service, National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Security Service.

Projects include officer exchange programs, strategic planning, strategic communications, riot-control training, community-engaging training, patrolling, investigation techniques, anti-corruption training and recruitment.

Although the EUAM’s headquarters are in Kiev, the mission operates throughout Ukraine in cities like Lviv, Kharkov and soon Odessa.

One of the chief sources of legitimacy for a government is the ability to defend and protect its people.  Having a foreign force, Russia, invading your sovereign territory, chomping a whole part of it (Crimea) and supporting an insurgency against you doesn’t really enhance your citizens’ trust in you.  The EUAM aims to improve Ukrainians’ trust in their elected government and thus enhance the legitimacy of the government by doing such simple things as training police officers to patrol communities.

The Ukrainian public services enjoy the infamy of corruption (sadly, a common phenomenon in former Soviet countries).  Ukraine has long thought about joining the EU and/or NATO.  Schemes like the EUAM might seem banal, bureaucratic excuses for more public spending, but a hidden motive may lie underneath all the paperwork.  Any country that wishes to apply for EU membership must meet certain financial and political standards.  It seems, therefore, that the EU is cultivating and encouraging such standards in Ukraine through schemes like the EUAM.


Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press