A bill concerning the introduction of biometric IDs in Ukraine passed the first reading in the country’s parliament. Biometric documents will contribute to border security between Ukraine and the EU. The draft law provides for the creation of a unified state demographic register, which will contain basic personal information on each citizen. Additionally, the draft stipulates issuing the documents for traveling abroad that have a built-in proximity chip with registry information on the holder.
The new document standard will help eliminate ID fraud and thus increase border security. The registry may become accessible to all the relevant European services and institutions, improving the time and cost efficiency of their work, including the shortened border control procedure.
The Action Plan on visa liberalization with Ukraine was adopted in November 2010. The document stipulates that the government of Ukraine has to carry out a set of reforms regarding document security, illegal migration, internal security, external relations, and fundamental rights. Moreover, the EU plans to assess the effect visa liberalisation would make on illegal migration streams between Ukraine and the EU.
Working towards the goal of visa free regime, in 2010, Ukraine adopted the strategy of integrated border management. Same year the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych created the State Migration Service, responsible for managing citizenship, immigration, registration, and asylum issues. Furthermore, Ukrainian government took steps towards personal data protection necessary to launch biometric IDs, informed the Polish Centre for Eastern Studies.
Another development following the Action Plan is reforming border control system. The State Border Guard Service adopted new standards of recruitment, training and career development, highlights the Polish Centre for Eastern Studies. Ukraine has also been increasing border protection efficiency – through agreements with neighboring Belarus and Russia regarding common borders.
Currently, Ukraine is at stage one of the two-stage visa liberalization process. In July 2012, the EU and Ukraine extended the list of categories of Ukrainian citizens using the simplified visa procedure while travelling to the EU. Notably, the number of visas issued to the Ukrainian citizens demonstrates steady year on year increase, said Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira (the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine at the time) in August 2012.