Arsen Avakov: The main reform must take place in the minds of citizens (PHOTOS)
The head of MIA stated this on February 10 during the joint meeting of the boards of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice under the title: "From the new police to the new justice and safety of citizens".
This meeting was attended by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov and the Minister of Justice Pavel Petrenko. In the work of the joint board meeting also participated diplomats of countries that provide material and consulting assistance to the reform of the law enforcement system of Ukraine.
The meeting was attended by the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors of the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Hellenic Republic, Canada, USA, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, the Republic of Croatia, Japan, representatives of embassies of Estonia, the UK, Spain, Poland, the Italian Republic, the Czech Republic and Romania, as well as the heads of the EU Delegation to Ukraine and the political department of the EUAM Ukraine.
The Minister of Internal Affairs stated that a special format of this joint board meeting will permit to coordinate the process of reform of the two ministries and announce a clear plan of action for 2016. The head of MIA stressed that this reform takes place on a very tight schedule and in a country at war.
Arsen Avakov reminded that almost a year ago Ukrainian troops left the town of Debaltsevo. Yesterday marked one year since the death of the head of Debaltsevo militia department Eugene Yukhanov. The day before yesterday, on February 8, the new Kherson patrolmen swore allegiance to Ukraine. Among them - a former resident of Debaltsevo Tatiana Nervit who will now participate in the creation of a new Ukraine.
"The most important things, which form the basis of all our reforms, are the changes in people's minds. This is a main reform, which we have to accomplish" - said Arsen Avakov.
The Minister noted that before the end of 2016 MIA plans to fully complete a joint project to create a police special unit CORD (Corps of Prompt Immediate Action). This project continues with the support of the law enforcement bodies of the USA and Canada.
"It is very important for us to complete all these things in 2016. We need to bring to a logical end a whole flood of reforms" - stressed Arsen Avakov.
He said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Central bodies of executive power under its control will undergo a number of fundamental changes in the current year. One of the biggest reform will be the reform of the State Emergency Service (SES). In addition, significant changes will occur in the activities of border and migration services.
The Minister outlined the main aspects of the reform of MIA, which concern changes in the police, the National Guard, SES, the migration service.
In particular, according to the plan of liberalization of visa regime with the European Union, in the State Migration Service (SMS) was developed a unified information-analytical system of migration management. All databases have been adapted to the European standards. Also, the verification system has been developed, which allows citizens to obtain passports with electronic chip.
In addition, in 2016 the reform of the State Emergency Service is starting. The need for changes in the SES work became especially clear after a number of emergency situations on the line of military clashes in the ATO zone and during suppression of big fires.
"We plan in the near future to present the strategy of SES changes to the Cabinet. This is a very important area. Nearly 70 thousand people are working in this agency and often very important things depend on their work" - said Arsen Avakov.
Also, the strategy of changes to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS) is now implemented, as well as integrated border management concept. The projects of infrastructure development on the land and sea Ukrainian-Russian border are under way ("European Rampart" and "Sea Wall").
In the future, SBGS should become a civil service agency friendly to the people and get rid of part of its non-core functions, which will pass to the National Guard and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
"Of course, all innovations that we propose require a number of things: the political will (not only of our reform team), the will and support of the society, the unity of all branches of state power, the support of our partners" - said Arsen Avakov.
The head of MIA in his presentation stressed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine needs additional funds from the state budget. "Most of my colleagues believe that the budget of the MIA is one of the best. I do not think so. And I think that we need to look for resources, both from internal reserves through cuts in our ministry and from the central government".
In addition, Arsen Avakov noted that now MIA is "depoliticized", "demilitarized", "decentralized" and "completely devoid of the repressive functions". "The political function is reserved only for the Minister of Internal Affairs" - said Avakov.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine in his presentation noted the reforms carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs: "A new National Police is created. Young people who have passed the selection and training, went on the streets to protect public order. These young Ukrainian policemen provide security for the Ukrainian citizens".
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the European Union, the United States, Canada and the UK for serious support to the reform of the National Police and the National Guard of Ukraine.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk reminded that the report of the European Commission stated that Ukraine has fulfilled all conditions for visa-free regime with the EU. In particular, the State Migration Service has already started the process of issuing new biometric passports and citizens ID cards and "finally got rid of the old Soviet passports".
The Head of the Cabinet of Ministers stressed the need to amend a number of laws to liberalize the visa regime: "Parliament during the next plenary week should approve additional laws that have already been developed by the Government of Ukraine and sent to the President of Ukraine, in order to be considered by Parliament as a priority."
Department of communication of MIA-Ukraine