Brussels, 5 May 2022
Today, the Commission is announcing a new aid package of €200 million to support displaced people in Ukraine, in the context of theInternational Donor’s Conferenceconvened jointly by Poland and Sweden.
President Ursula von der Leyen said:
“Today we came together with a clear purpose: to support the brave people of Ukraine, who fight the aggressor and stand up for their freedom. We are now in the 10th week of Russia’s brutal invasion. 10 weeks during which the European Union stood firmly by Ukraine. Today, the European Union answered the call, once more, to support Ukraine. On behalf of the European Commission, I pledged 200 million euros for Ukraine. And last month, during a pledging event, raised 9.1 billion euros for Ukrainians inside and outside Ukraine. We know that more will be needed. And we will continue to stand up for Ukraine.”
Close to 8 million people, two-third of whom are children, have been internally displaced since the beginning of Putin’s war in Ukraine. More than 5.3 million have left Ukraine to seek shelter in the EU and neighbouring countries.
The European Union has been supporting the Ukrainian people from the very beginning of Russia’s brutal invasion.
We are mobilising the EU’s economic power, with series of sanctions designed to drain the resources used by Putin to finance his war.
On the other hand, we have already channelled around €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid and support to Member States welcoming refugees from Ukraine.
Last month, the European Commission convened with Canada a global pledging event, which raised €9.1 billion in support for people fleeing the bombs inside and outside Ukraine.
Now, the European Commission stands ready to help rebuild the country after the war. Yesterday, President von der Leyenproposed to start working on an ambitious recovery package. It should bring the massive investment needed to rebuild, implement reforms and make Ukraine an attractive place for investments
President von der Leyen’s remarks at the International Donors’ Conference
First of all, I really want to thank you, Magdalena, you, Mateusz, for organising this. And it is wonderful, Denys, to have you here with us.
Dear fellow leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The brutality of Russia’s aggression is shocking the world. And I have seen it, indeed, with my own eyes when I was visiting Kyiv. And I went with you, Denys, to Bucha to see the mass graves; to see the body bags; to see the scars and wounds in the houses and hospitals that have been shelled, the kindergartens, the schools. It is atrocious. It is a war crime on an everyday basis that Russia is committing. And therefore, we stand by your side. We cannot match the bravery and the sacrifice of the Ukrainian people, but we can back you; we can help you; we can stand by your side.
We can help you with our economic power. On one hand, with the sanctions. Yesterday, we unleashed the sixth package of sanctions, and these sanctions are biting deep into the Russian economy. And this is the purpose of it. Putin has to pay a price for this aggression.
But second, also with economic power to support you. Over these ten weeks, since the beginning of the war, we have supported with EUR 4 billion in economic support, financial support. We have mobilised EUR 3.5 billion for the refugees in the European Union. But more importantly, three weeks ago, here in Warsaw, EUR 1.8 billion were already pledged for Ukraine. But for sure, this is not enough. And therefore, many thanks again for this pledging conference.
I have the privilege and the honour to start with the pledging. And we are happy to pledge EUR 200 million for the internally displaced people in Ukraine. And I hope that many, many more will follow us.
I have one last comment on what I heard from President Zelenskyy and you, dear Denys, as you were asking for practical steps. You are so right. Concerning reconstruction, you have our full support. We need, indeed, a reconstruction, as you said, to build a competitive, prosperous, you said ‘country of dream’. You have us on your side. I think that, if we manage to have the investment – hundreds of billions of euros – and the reforms, this will not only build your country anew, but this will also pave your way to the European Union.
Remarks by President Charles Michel at the High-level international donors’ conference for Ukraine
5 May 2022, 14:00
I would like to thank both Magdalena (Andersson) and Mateusz (Morawiecki) for organising this event.
Here in Poland you have built a massive solidarity operation hosting more than 3 million Ukrainian refugees and acting as a hub to support Ukrainians within Ukraine.
And Sweden, dear Magdalena, Sweden has always done more than its share in supporting refugees and being a steady friend to Ukraine.
I would like to personally thank you, and your citizens, for that.
Several weeks ago, with President Zelenskyy we discussed the idea of a Solidarity Trust Fund to support Ukraine. At our last European Council meeting in March, we decided to create this Solidarity Fund. This is a concrete expression of our commitment to Ukraine together with the help and support of external donors.
Our solidarity efforts will focus on three key areas: humanitarian support, short-term liquidity needs, and reconstruction.
We must act now to help address the immediate suffering of the Ukrainian people both in and outside Ukraine.
That’s why priority number one is to raise money for this humanitarian action.
There is another urgent need: liquidity. Ukraine needs significant funding to keep the state running. Roughly 5 billion euro per month, according to the IMF.
We have mobilised and disbursed macro-financial assistance together with our friends and partners.
But we must not be complacent. We must do much more to deliver practical support now. Immediately. To make sure that nurses, doctors, and teachers can be paid on time and Ukraine can continue to function.
And finally, I would like to send a personal message of hope and encouragement to all Ukrainians, to the soldiers on the ground, to all the Ukrainians supporting the war effort, and to the millions who have fled the war and long for their homes. We will help to rebuild your country and your economy. Your homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses. The future of a safe and prosperous Ukraine. Combining reconstruction funding with the necessary reforms. This is not just a long-term theoretical vision. Reconstruction starts today.
The cornerstone of our Solidarity Trust Fund is precisely the word “trust”. We trust Ukraine. And our efforts here today reflect this trust. Together we will rebuild a modern, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine, a country full of confidence and ready to embrace its European future and its place in our common European family.
We must also make sure that we get the most out of every euro. The EU is best-placed to support your efforts to link reconstruction with the reforms that will transform Ukraine. And we support Ukraine in its choice of the European path.
The people of Ukraine, talented, capable, and hard-working, you know best what your citizens need in your towns and regions. And we will be right by your side to offer practical, concrete, and operational expertise and our full support.
That’s why we fully embrace President Zelenskyy’s ambitious vision for a modern, forward-looking Ukraine that engages grassroots leaders and citizens alike. His concept to partner EU cities and regions with Ukrainian cities and regions is an excellent idea. Because it will breathe new life into areas traumatised by war.
As we approach Europe Day, on 9 May, a day to remember peace and unity after the horrors of World War Two, we are also reminded of the Marshall Plan that helped to revive Europe and get economies back on their feet after the devastation of war.
Today as we again see the ravages of war on European soil, in Ukraine. I firmly believe this Solidarity Trust Fund can be, and must be, the starting point of a European “Marshall Plan” for this century. An engine of solidarity for the renewal and reconstruction of Ukraine for the prosperity of Europe and for the Transatlantic Alliance.
Allow me to end on a more personal note. During my last visit to Ukraine, in Borodyanka, I visited a small park with a statue of the famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.
Russian soldiers put bullets in the head of this statue. They tried to “execute” the Ukrainian poet. Just like they are trying to “execute” Ukraine. But they have not succeeded and they will not succeed. The statue is still there, standing proudly. A defiant symbol. Just as Ukraine continues to stand proudly. Defiant. Indestructible. Unbreakable. And we, the European Union, along with our friends, we are with you. You are not alone. Thank you.