Post-war Ukraine will need its own Marshall Plan

Russia’s war in Ukraine will end, and when it does, we have a historic chance to build a more democratic and modern Ukraine that can successfully integrate into the EU, writes Ukrainian parliamentarian Vadym Halaichuk
Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament in Kyiv. Photo: Alamy

By Vadym Halaichuk

Vadym Halaichuk is first deputy chair of the European Integration Committee in Ukraine and a member of parliament for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party

27 Jun 2022

The case of the post-Second World War reconstruction of Europe – the Marshall Plan – became the famous success story of the European continent’s economic transformation. In Ukraine today, I believe we face an even more complex and challenging task – not just rebuilding but offering a new agenda for forming a stronger and more competitive Europe. We have a historic chance to create a new world in which the coming together of countries will help them achieve true political independence and economic prosperity. 

We in Ukraine are very encouraged by the signals from different European institutions on the forming of a joint action plan on the post-war renewal of Ukraine, which should be based upon our plan to become a full member of the European Union one day. 

We understand this as a strategic perspective. Our goal should be to build a modern economy based on innovation and technology, one which is adaptive to the challenges of free competitive markets. The renewal plan should have a very clear focus on the specific sectors of the economy that will become the accelerators for growth, and the legal, administrative, and financial decisions that should be taken.  

We are so pleased that Ukraine has received EU candidate status. For successful integration into the European Union, Ukraine still needs to achieve certain long-standing goals regarding the rule of law, effective reforms in the justice and law enforcement sectors, and true transparency in government spending, all of which are necessary preconditions for investors to view the country as attractive and safe. 

Another important condition for both Ukraine and the EU to succeed in this economic and political renewal project would be to eliminate any dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which is the weapon Russia has used to deceive its trading partners in Europe and to finance its war machine.  

We must not forget that with every day of this brutal war, the price of renewal will only increase.

Today we have 23 working groups in the National Council for the Recovery of Ukraine from the War, which was created by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in April 2022. He worked tirelessly to bring this together. The plan is to divide the process into three stages: first, the war economy, which will last tentatively until the end of 2022; secondly, we foresee a fast revival that jump starts the economy and gets institutions functioning again, a phase we project to last from 2023 until 2025; and finally, there will be the structural modernisation and full integration of Ukraine into the EU. We project this last stage will last from 2026 to 2032.

An important part of the plan should be the calculation of detailed financial estimates and forecasts for the expected results of our efforts. And we must not forget that with every day of this brutal war, the price of renewal will only increase. 

We already have the full support of our European partners for stage one, especially in terms of the suspension of import duties on Ukrainian exports, establishment of solidarity lanes for Ukrainian agricultural exports, financing the budget deficit in Ukraine and the joint reconstruction efforts to rebuild destroyed cities. The EU and its Member States are supplying badly needed weapons and ammunitions to Ukraine.   

So let this be the “Brussels Plan” for Ukraine in its post-war renewal. To quote a Tweet from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in May: Ukraine’s “reconstruction should combine investment with reforms. In time it will help Ukraine on its European path.” 

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