The Reform of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is state’s special purpose law enforcement body. According to acting Law, it is empowered to protect state sovereignty, constitutional order, territorial integrity, economical, scientific and technical, and defense potential of Ukraine, state’s legal interests and civil rights from intelligence and subversion activities of foreign special services and from unlawful interference of certain organizations, groups and individuals. It is also tasked with ensuring protection of state secrets.

Currently, the SBU has a number of functions that overlap with the ones of other institutions, including fight against corruption. Optimization of the SBU was envisaged in the 2014 Parliamentary Coalition Agreement. In early 2016 a permanent international advisory group on the SBU reform was established with the participation of the representatives of the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine, the NATO Communication Office in Ukraine, the NATO Centre for information and documentation in Ukraine, and other international organizations. The Concept of

the SBU reform, based on NATO standards, was developed and finished in July 2016, and submitted to state institutions for approval. In March 2017 the President announced a comprehensive reform of the SBU, aimed specifically at transferring part of its functions to the other law enforcement institutions – the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine, the State Bureau of Investigations (after its launch) and the National Police. He also claimed that the reform will introduce civil control over the SBU. In addition, according to the President, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine was supposed to promptly review and approve the Concept.

However, as of early May 2018 the Concept has not been adopted by the President and by the National Security and Defence Council, and subsequently the subject draft law was not developed on its basis. The reform stalled. Detailed memo.

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