At the start of 2000-ies the representatives of MIA, State Border Service of Ukraine and representatives of police countries of European Union participated at one of joint meetings where a precedent happened that described logics of migration “policy” of Ukraine very well.
After durable stories of European policemen about the way how to fight against the illegal migrants, how Europe is ready to help us, one of the high authorities of State Border Service of Ukraine decided to have a speech. A cue was short but volumetric: “Fight against illegal migrants is necessary. But the final aim for them is not Ukraine, it is Europe. What for we have to fight against them, it they do not stay here for a long time?!”
This cue, probably, left in minds of high authorities of Ukrainian State, which already lives the 18th year of its independence without exact migration policy. Herewith, at first it just pretended that money of EU are very carefully used in this fight, then it demonstratively showed that money were not left and the question could not be raised about the fight. Until they went into extremities – chase for friendship with European Union and illusive perspective on entering it from the light hand of Secretariat of President and Ministry of Armed Forces made all possible migration preferences for EU.
In such a way, Agreement on Readmission signed by Ukraine and EU in January 2008 foresees that Ukraine and EU country-members will accept back its citizens and citizens of third countries who illegally get or illegally stay at the territory of its parties. Agreement, essentially, is an obligation of Ukraine to share with EU responsibility for security of common European home the part of which Ukraine has not become. There were assurances in exchange from EU on simplified visa regime for Ukrainian citizens that are still left empty promises.
How should readmission work on practise? For example, if citizen of the third country has lived before or has stayed in Ukraine with visit approximately at the same time entering illegally the country of EU, then he was detained as illegal migrant, in such a way Ukraine is obliged to accept him to its territory and solve the problem on his deportation. Experts more that once warned Ukrainian power about prematurity of such a preference to the side of EU. Nevertheless, present Ukrainian power does not like very much to consider the EU experts’ opinion, political activity incomprehensible to majority which often disregards state security.
Authoritative in the whole world human right organization “Human Rights Watch” made a statement with some conclusions on incorrect behaviour of European Union regarding Ukraine in migration policy: “EU just transfers those disturbances to Kyiv which Europeans have to deal themselves, likewise violating the rights of migrants trying to keep them outside the Union borders”.
And let’s see how much readmission costs for Ukraine. According to data of UNO, there are 6.7 million migrants are now in Ukraine. In average the readmission of one illegal migrant costs to the state more than $1 thousand. And even this sum is overmodest as Ukrainian power is obliged to issue the foreigner documents and open all necessary visas for his returning back home. Ticket is also paid by Ukraine. In a current year, according to data of Department on Migration, Citizenship and Religion for deportation of illegal migrants only 3 million UAH is allotted, it means that about 600 illegal migrants can be deported. The last ones should live in migration camps for the costs of Ukrainian side. In average the monthly allowance of one violator in special camps costs more than $ 100.
For security of Ukraine before signing up the Agreement on Readmission with European Union it will be logically to create the single readmission space – chain of bilateral agreements between the countries of appointment. First of all, such agreements are to be signed among Ukraine, Russia and Belarus in order to share the responsibility concerning deportation of illegal migrants. However, such agreements being not concluded considering ability of our neighbours to protect their state interests will hardly be signed in the nearest years or decades.
Signing up international documents “not seeing” it becomes some modern Ukrainian tradition. By the way, signing of Agreement on Readmission in migration sphere for Ukraine is not the first case of such behaviour.
Let’s remind, how long problem on Ukraine’s joining to Convention UNO about refugees status 1951 was solving. As a result, October 10, 2002 was the date when Convention was ratified by Ukraine. Since that time, international cooperation has absolute right to demand from Ukraine fulfilment of obligations as to refugees from the third countries that, as a rule, do not look for the asylum in Ukraine but for the transit.
Ukraine should be more attentive in evaluation of its national resources, staff needs and economic possibilities for real implementation of taken international responsibility before signing up such kind of document. For example, Turkey signing up Convention 1951 made a limitation in spread of its standards only for the refugees from Europe. Thus, it took off itself corresponding responsibilities as to refugees’ accept from the neighbouring countries of the Near East. The similar type of geographical limitation applied Malta, Hungary, Monaco and other countries.
On the basis of complete disbalance in foreign migration policy, in interior migration legislation Ukraine also needs a reform on a serious level already for 7-8 years.
At first, Ukraine really does not have any single state migration policy which according to Constitution would be fixed in a separate normative document and realization of which would be controlled by a single state body. Now control functions in migration sphere including illegal migration as well are charged with different bodies of state power which at the same time need inspection of its status and authorities. Thus, State Border Service of Ukraine is not transformed into valuable law enforcement body: it still remains the structure of military type without investigatory authorities in the sphere of illegal transportation of migrants. Reform directed upon transformation of MIA into the body of state interior policy formation besides in the sphere of administration in migration processes still has not happened. State Committee on Migration and Nationalities generally is in permanent process of liquidation.
Secondly, it is necessary cardinally to revise criminal legislation of Ukraine in the sphere of fight against illegal transportation of migrants. Ukrainian side has all grounds to learn opportunities to strengthen criminal responsibility and crimes foreseen by Article 332 of CC of Ukraine by means of increase of upper limit of punishment in the form of deprivation of freedom not less than for 8 years.
Thirdly, according to Law of Ukraine “About immigration” an opportunity foresees of so-called fixing a quota for immigrants. This policy is successfully applied by different developed states of the world (EU, USA, Canada, and Australia) and has all the effective chances for Ukraine. The government specifies according to what number of migrants, what age and qualification it is ready to accept in this or that time period.
For example, according to the calculations of experts, if only taking demographic criteria in order only to compensate the decrease in number of population Ukraine it is necessary to attract to the country about 30-40 thousand persons a year.
Fourthly, probably, expediency of substitution of visa-free regime into seasonal visa-free one for citizens from successful countries of the world should be examined including EU as well. Croatia making analysis in financial advantage from tourist flows from Ukraine has changed “anger to kindness”. Still last year it was difficult to open tourist visa to this country as to the countries of EU, so this year for citizens of Ukraine it introduced seasonal visa-free regime (from May to October) herewith having all chances to attract more tourists. What prevents Ukraine from acting in the same way having such resorts as Crimea, for example?
Realization of above mentioned reformation steps in the legislation in the same will be able to influence the valuable realization of responsibilities on readmission taken by Ukraine. Instead, due to want of talent in realization of interior policy Ukraine has all chances to feel one more blow on its international prestige. Week Ukrainian authorities of MAF and Secretariat of President are unable to change anything in “dragon” visa-free policy of EU countries trying “to frighten” Europe with introduction of visas in answer for the citizens of EU and even possible rupture of Agreement on Readmission. But this did not lead to anything, and Ukraine does not stop to be “staging” migration post.
As it is known, in May 7, 2009 at the summit in Prague EU a programme “Eastern partnership was proposed to post-Soviet countries – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia”. Until European Union does not see in Ukraine a state that will be able to become its even associated member. That is why “Eastern partnership” should be used by Ukraine as pragmatic programme for implementation of visa standards of Schengen countries. How we will use this chance – depends only on ourselves. It depends only on Ukraine if it will be able to break practice according to which migration police transformed to some sphere of populist demagogy or empty declarative standard acts where logics and balance of national security and responsibility for fulfilling the international obligations are absent.