EU commits €33 bln for Ukraine's transport infrastructure, making it first non-EU country to receive such support
Ukraine and the European Union signed the agreement on the country's participation in the program "Mechanism 'Connecting Europe.'"
Rubryka reports, referring to Ukrinform, that the EU allocates €33 billion to develop Ukrainian transport infrastructure.
What is the problem?
The war brought large-scale destruction to Ukraine. Hundreds of roads and bridges have been destroyed where hostilities are taking place. In regions far from the front line, the Russian army carried out missile and drone attacks, destroying houses and public institutions. The transport structure also suffered from shelling.
What is the solution?
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, and the EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean solemnly signed the agreement for reconstruction.
"Ukraine signed this agreement today and became the first country not a member of the EU but will receive a package of aid under the program Mechanism Connecting Europe. Thanks to this, Ukraine becomes a part of Europe's infrastructure, and the budget we agreed on is quite large, with 33 billion," Vălean said.
How does it work?
Project financing involves half of the cost to be compensated by the applicant country at the expense of its sources or international financial organizations, and 50% of the funding is provided within the program.
According to Kubrakov, the signed agreement opens the possibility of attracting EU funding to support the development of highly productive, sustainable, and effectively interconnected trans-European networks in transport, energy, and digital services.
"This agreement, which we signed today, already allows us to develop our border infrastructure, checkpoints, and transport network together with the European Union," added the deputy prime Minister. "First, an emphasis on export logistics development on our western borders. We are already discussing implementing the first six project proposals with European partners. Applications have been submitted. We are expecting the results of the selection already in June. This is an important step on Ukraine's path to European integration."
Also, as part of the meeting with EU representatives, Kubrakov told European partners about Russia's terrorist act of blowing up the Kakhovka dam. Immediately after the signing, the vice-prime minister went to the Kherson region.
In turn, the European Commission reported that signing the documents would open up new opportunities in restoring Ukraine and the destroyed critical infrastructure. Association with the EU infrastructure fund will help Ukraine integrate into the EU Single Market, promote economic growth, create new jobs, and increase competitiveness.
Ukrainian state bodies and companies can submit applications for the implementation of projects during the project period of 2021-2027.
The next competition for their funding will be announced in September 2023. It will cover, in particular, projects within the framework of developing the Trans-European Transport Corridor (TEN-T), which will contribute to the development of communication between EU countries and partner countries.
Similar projects will be considered in the energy field within the Trans-European Energy Network (TEN-E) limits. In November, the European Commission will publish a list of so-called projects of common interest, which Ukraine can join.
Another financing direction will cover cross-border projects for developing "green" energy.
In the digital sphere, projects to strengthen digital communication within the EU and with third countries will be considered. This involves the development of a secure, sustainable, and highly efficient digital infrastructure, including the fifth generation (5G) telecommunications and mobile networks.
The "Connecting Europe Mechanism" program for 2021-2027 provides financing and grants for the implementation of projects in the transport field for 25.8 billion euros, in the area of energy, 5.8 billion euros, and in the field of digital development, 2 billion euros.
The representation of the European Union in Ukraine is already cooperating with Ukrainian and international partners to plan assistance after the Russian troops' destruction of the Kakhovka HPP.
The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam has profound military consequences. But also humanitarian, affecting directly tens, if not hundreds of thousands of civilians. @echo_Eu office in Ukraine already started working with Ukrainian and international partners to plan our help. https://t.co/y6k9FMBgiG
— Matti Maasikas (@MattiMaasikas) June 6, 2023