Starlink Training Course 'Law Enforcement': Full speed ahead

On 28 September we kicked off our first 'Law Enforcement' workshop within the Starlink framework in Lviv, Ukraine. It was the first of four and since then we have visited Gudauri, Georgia (14-16 October) and Chisinau, Moldova (16-18 November). Last in line is Dnipropetrov'sk (14-16 December), again in Ukraine. The first three seminars were a success, even though we were new to the subject. The Lviv seminar provided us with some useful experiences which could be implemented in the next courses. All locations were wonderful, but Lviv sprang out where it came to symbolic value as the seminar was held at the National Lviv University of Internal Affairs. As Mr. Markiyan Malskyi (Dean of the Faculty of International Relations, National Lviv University named after Ivan Franko) put it: Opening the doors to an institute like the Lviv University of Internal Affairs, which is normally closed to the public, is one of the first steps in the process of successful democratisation within law enforcement agencies. The Georgian mountains, however, took our breath away, as did the low temperatures in Chisinau.

The participants came from various backgrounds, like the border control departments, the police, academic institutes, the office of the ombudsman and the District Attorney's Office. This resulted in very useful discussions on the role of the police in the community, the fighting of organised crime and the what and how of Integrated Border Management. These discussions are essential to our Starlink courses, as we believe that there is no blueprint for democratic governance: it should come about through dialogue and discourse. All in all we are, so far, very satisfied. All participants were enthousiastic about the course and assisted us in improving the seminars in the future by giving us advice on how to do so. The final preparations for our workshop in Dnipropetrov'sk are now underway and hopefully we will have just as exciting and informative an experience in December as the first three seminars.

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