The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched on 30 November 2005 following a request made jointly to the European Commission by the presidents of the Republic Moldova and Ukraine. A range of illicit cross-border activity, including trafficking of human beings, smuggling and other illegal trade, was occurring along the 1,222km-long MD/UA border, a phenomenon not helped by the secessionist region of Transnistria in Moldova (which lies adjacent to 454km of the same border), over which the government of Moldova has no control. As a result both governments were losing substantial amounts in revenue to organised crime.
Fully funded by the European Union within the context of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, and with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) acting as implementing partner, EUBAM is an advisory, technical body mandated to enhance the border-management capacities of our partners – the border guard and customs authorities and other law enforcement and State agencies of Moldova and Ukraine. By offering comprehensive support to our partners on EU best practice from its headquarters in Odessa and six field offices on either side of the Moldova/Ukraine common border, EUBAM envisages that border and customs procedures and standards in MD/UA will ultimately mirror those prevalent in the European Union.
On a broader context and within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, EUBAM is a unique instrument by which the EU strives on the one hand to encourage the movement of legitimate trade and travel, and on the other hand to guarantee security for its citizens and tackle criminality.
EUBAM has a budget of €21 million (2011-13) and a staff of approximately 100 seconded and contracted staff mostly from EU member States, and more than 120 national staff of Moldova and Ukraine. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the European Commission, the government of Moldova, and the government of Ukraine in late 2005 is the legal basis for EUBAM, while an advisory board – which meets twice a year – acts as the Mission’s governing body. The Mission’s six cherished core values are neutrality, partnership, reliability, results, service and transparency. The mandate of the Mission has already been extended three times (in 2007, 2009 and 2011), with the current mandate expiring on 30 November, 2015.