Building safe and humane borders through the public assessment of the Polish-Ukrainian border

1-12364Traditionally, the functioning of the state border is analyzed by means of exploring  infrastructure flaws and cases of improper governance, but such approach sets limits to understanding nature of the border development problems, since more than a third of its (border) users are inhabitants of local communities whose lives are closely tied to a border. Many issues such as the dynamics of relations within local communities, the impact of historical traumas on the cultural and socio-economic status of the frontier, of the challenges and opportunities of the border on women, the interaction between local communities and law enforcement structures, as well as the role of international organizations in this process, remain unexplored.

The project aims to form a comprehensive vision of the problem of Ukrainian-Polish border, to find out the hidden obstacles for the development of border communities in the context of people contacts and to increase the civil society impact on solving these problems in order to create humane conditions for crossing the border for all categories of travelers, as well as to distribute best practices of local communities.

The tasks of the study are:

  1. To identify the main problems related to the state border between Ukraine and Poland at three levels: (1) macro level – the state of affairs in intergovernmental cooperation, in particular the opening of new checkpoints and the introduction of a joint control procedure, as well as the state of cooperation between Ukraine and EU at the level of local authorities (2) mezzo level – infrastructure of checkpoints and access roads, car and bus connections, cooperation between local authorities, border and customs services, as well as international organizations, historical, socio-economic and cultural background of problems of border communities, particularly those that lay in the dimension of historical trauma, (3) micro level – border control procedures and possible cases of improper governance and discrimination of travelers, dynamics of relationships within local communities.
  2. Explore the peculiarities of a cross-border trade and its impact on the development of local communities.
  3. To document both the positive and the negative effects of the challenges and opportunities of the state border (cross-border trade, labor migration, improper governance, corruption, undeveloped infrastructure) on women and children.
  4. Assess the impact of the visa-free regime with the EU and the Association Agreement with the EU on cross-border travel and the development of local border communities.
  5. Evaluate the innovations of the EU Border Management System, their impact on Ukraine, and propose key steps for the effective implementation of the Integrated Border Management (IBM) system in Ukraine.

The research will be implemented in cooperation with Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland)

Term: February – December 2019

Funding: International Renaissance Foundation

Photo: Border Guard Service of Poland

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