War against Ukraine: Von der Leyen wants to link reconstruction and reforms

Status: 05/20/2022 02:21

European Commission President von der Leyen wants to link the reconstruction of Ukraine with a view to EU membership to the necessary reforms. Businessman Truger advocates common EU debt for reconstruction.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed linking future aid for Ukraine’s reconstruction to reforms given the country’s desire to join the EU.

“Anyway, we will have to help finance the reconstruction of Ukraine,” von der Leyen said of the ZDF program “Maybrit Illner”. Then, according to her, it was logical to say: “Yes to investments, but immediately with the necessary reforms, for example against corruption or, for example, to establish the rule of law. Ukraine wants it too, I discussed it again this morning with President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy.”

According to von der Leyen, the European Union is also looking at ways to use the frozen assets of the Russian oligarch to finance post-war reconstruction in Ukraine. In this way, Russia can make a contribution to post-war reconstruction, said the President of the Commission.

Lots of motivation to join

Ukraine wants to join the European Union at all costs, so there is a lot of motivation for the upcoming accession process. Ukraine has already applied to join the EU and wants to join as soon as possible. Finally, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) slowed down. EU membership usually takes several years from the date of application.

Von der Leyen underlined that the course of the procedure ultimately depends on the development of Ukraine. “It depends on Ukraine itself how it handles this reconstruction at the end of this war, which we are going to help with, but how it actually implements the reforms, how it gets rid of the oligarchs, how it does the reforms necessary economics.

Wirtschaftsweiser: Common EU debts for reconstruction

Meanwhile, economist Achim Truger has come out in favor of financing Ukraine’s reconstruction through joint debts from the European Union. A model similar to the Corona reconstruction fund could also make sense for the planned financial support for Ukraine, Truger told the Funke media group newspapers.

The member of the Advisory Council for the Evaluation of Global Economic Development considers that such an instrument for stabilizing the economy is economically justifiable. “Although sums of 500 billion euros seem gigantic, compared to the economic output of the EU, it is only a good 3%,” said the economist.

Joint EU borrowing also carries less risk than uncoordinated national borrowing, “also because it builds trust in the EU and the common ability to act”.

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