The EU is working on a Ukraine Marshall Plan

Briefly: The European Commission is reportedly working on a four-year financing plan worth tens of billions of euros to help Ukraine rebuild.

Almost a year and a half into Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s needs are massive:

  • 📉 a $38b budget deficit this year alone, plus
  • 🏭 $14b in urgent reconstruction for critical infrastructure just for 2023

And while international support for Ukraine is strong, it’s still pretty ad hoc:

  • 🇪🇺 Hungary’s PM has often vetoed EU aid for Ukraine, in an attempt at leverage to unblock EU funding for his own country, and
  • 🇺🇸 US elections next year inject some uncertainty around US assistance

So that’s why the EU is seeking to put Ukraine’s aid on a longer-term footing. But getting unanimous support across the EU system will be a tough slog.

And that’s just on the financing. In parallel yesterday (Thursday), 47 leaders from wider Europe gathered in a Moldovan castle (just 8km from a Russian-controlled separatist enclave) to discuss security assistance for Ukraine.

Intrigue’s take: World leaders are often better at talking than walking; more comfortable in poetry than prose. But so far, the West’s support for Ukraine has done both: leaders have walked the talk with $168B in aid already.

But placing that aid on a longer-term footing means threading it through more needles: elections, budgetary schedules, gamesmanship. And that won’t be easy.

So at this initial stage, the EU’s long-term aid package looks less like a Marshall Plan and more like a Maybe Plan. And Ukraine will need something firmer.

Also worth noting:

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