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Brussels, 7 March 2007

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner announces substantial increase in financial assistance to Ukraine

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero Waldner, will announce on the occasion of her meeting with President Viktor Yushchenko on 8 March, that the European Commission will provide a substantial increase in financial assistance to Ukraine over the next four years. An amount of €494 million should be available 2007-2010 to support the reform process and the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan. This represents a substantial increase compared to funding provided in the past. In addition, Ukraine will benefit from increased lending by the European Investment Bank.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “Ukraine has made remarkable progress in democratic and economic reforms since the Orange Revolution. With our enhanced financial assistance we will support the country to continue with its reform efforts. Our assistance will focus in particular on strengthening good governance and democratic institutions, bringing Ukrainian legislation and standards closer to those of the EU and supporting cooperation in key sectors such as energy, transport and the environment.”

Key EU assistance activities over the period 2007-2010 will include:

  • Support for the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Memorandum of Understanding on Energy to promote the progressive integration of the Ukrainian energy market with that of the EU, the development of gas and oil infrastructure and progress on energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy resources.
  • Support to strengthen Ukraine’s capacities in the areas of border and migration management against the background of the forthcoming entry into force of a Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.
  • Support to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary and to ensure the impartiality and independence of prosecution.
  • Support to address environmental challenges, notably in the areas of climate change and improved water quality.

In addition to this assistance, Ukraine will be eligible to draw on the proposed Neighbourhood Investment Fund. This Fund will be used to leverage additional lending from financial institutions including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A Governance Facility is being created to provide additional support on top of normal country allocations to acknowledge and support the work of ENP partner countries that have made most progress in implementing their Action Plans.

EU Assistance to Ukraine

The EU is the largest donor to Ukraine and has since 1991 provided assistance worth well over €2 billion, mainly under its Tacis programme. During the last programming period 2004-2006 planned EU assistance amounted to €212 million. The yearly average was €70.7 million per year in 2004-06 and is €123.5 million per year in 2007-10. EU assistance over the last programming period focused on three priority areas: i) Support for institutional, legal and administrative reform, ii) support for private sector and economic development and iii) support in addressing the social consequences of transition. EU assistance is also provided to strengthen nuclear safety and for the destruction of anti-personnel landmines.

European Investment Bank (EIB) lending

Under its new external mandate 2007-2013, a lending mandate of up to €12.4 billion will be available for European Neighbourhood and Partnership countries including €3.7 billion for Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and Russia.

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