Cooperation with the European Union
The creation of the National Agency of Ukraine for Finding, Tracing and Management of Assets Derived from Corruption and Other Crimes (hereinafter - ARMA) was one of the main criteria for Ukraine’s implementation of the EU Action Plan on visa liberalization for Ukraine.
In the fifth monitoring report of the EU on Ukraine’s implementation of the EU Action Plan on visa liberalization for Ukraine (08.05.2015) in point 126.96.36.199. of the Section “Prevention and Combating Corruption” Ukraine has charged to create a National Agency for the Tracing of Illegal Assets.
In the sixth monitoring report of the EU on the implementation by Ukraine of the EU Action Plan on visa liberalization for Ukraine (18.12.2015) in point 188.8.131.52. of the Section “Prevention and Combating Corruption” Ukraine has charged to provide institutional capacity for finding, tracing and managment illicit assets, to adopt relevant legislation and ensuring the full functionality of ARMA.
In order to find the optimal model for creating a body responsible for finding and managing illegally obtained assets, as well as to ensure effective cooperation with European criminal justice authorities, the Law of Ukraine “On the National Agency of Ukraine for Finding, Tracing and Management of Assets Derived from Corruption and Other Crimes” was adopted in full compliance with:
- The Decision of the Council of the European Union 2007/845/JHA from 06.12.2007, according to which similar recovery and asset management institutions are successfully operating in the EU Member States;
- the EU Directive 2014/42/EU “On the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union” from 03.04.2014, which stipulates the need to take measures for the effective disposal of seized assets as well as the creation of special institutions, responsible for managing such assets in order to preserve it or preserve their value.
The Decision of the Council of the European Union 2007/845/JHA of 06 December 2007 on cooperation between the offices for the assets recovery in the field of tracing and finding of proceeds of crime or other property related to crimes, obliges the EU member states to establish offices for the tracing and recovery of assets, that may be seized in criminal proceedings (or provide similar powers to existing bodies), and also to ensure the exchange of information on such assets between EU member states.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council as of 20 November 2008 on improving the system of confiscation and recovery of criminal proceeds in the EU notes that asset recovery offices are an important tool in the fight against crime.
Therefore, in order to ensure the implementation of the Decision of the Council of the European Union 2007/845/JHA of 06 December 2007 and taking into account the recommendations of the European Commission, in 2009 an informal EU Asset Recovery Offices (ARO) Platform was launched. The Platform is designed to facilitate dialogue between EU Member States regarding the practical aspects of activities in the field of finding and tracing illegal assets, combating money laundering, new EU legislative initiatives, improving the system of information exchange between the asset recovery offices of the EU and third countries. The platform also includes subgroups on asset management and a subgroup on virtual currencies.
Today, ARMA is a partner of the EU asset recovery offices' platform and sub-group on asset recovery within the Platform, sub-group on currencies within the Platform that gives the opportunity to cooperate with similar bodies on asset recovery in EU state parties on the principle of reciprocity.
Representatives of ARMA participate in meetings of the Platform and Subgroups on an ongoing basis, which makes it possible to develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation with representatives of both the EU member states bodies authorized for the finding and management of assets and with representatives of EU institutions working in this area.
Europol (European Police Office)
In the framework of implementation of the function of finding and tracing assets, which can be seized in criminal proceedings, ARMA cooperates with the European Police Office (Europol).
On July 12, 2017, the Law of Ukraine № 2129-VIII ratified the Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between Ukraine and the European Police Office.
The purpose of the Agreement is to establish cooperation between Ukraine and Europol in order to support Ukraine and EU member states in preventing and combating organized crime, terrorism and other forms of international crime.
Upon completion of internal procedures and consultations with Europol, ARMA was included in the list of competent authorities of Ukraine that cooperate with the European Police Office.
The inclusion of ARMA in the list of competent authorities for the transfer of information from Europol to Ukraine and transfer of information in Ukraine significantly expand the format of cooperation, facilitate the exchange of operational information in criminal proceedings and participation in joint investigations of a much wider range of crimes, and provides participation in the analysis of operational data.
International technical assistance programs
One of the main activities of ARMA is to ensure cooperation with international, intergovernmental organizations, networks in the framework of finding, tracing and management of assets, exchange of experience and information on issues related to the finding, tracing and asset management.
Assistance in establishing such cooperation, as well as direct support in the institutional development of ARMA is provided within the frameworks of programs/projects of technical assistance that registered in Ukraine, international and foreign organizations, missions of foreign States, and EU bodies and institutions.
EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine
In accordance with the provisions of the Agreement on financing of the event “EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine”, concluded between the Government of Ukraine and the European Commission on November 24, 2016, the implementation of the Program “EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine” was launched in June 2017.
The EU “anti-corruption initiative for Ukraine” is implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark for the period 2017-2019 years.
The program aims to:
EUAM Ukraine aims to assist the Ukrainian authorities towards a sustainable reform of the civilian security sector through strategic advice and hands-on support for specific reform measures based on EU standards and international principles of good governance and human rights.
Cooperation is exercised by means of:
cooperation and ensuring coordination of reformation measures between the Ukrainian and international partners.