Comment: Ukraine needs help, not a dispute in the EU

EU candidate status for Ukraine is more than a symbolic step. The EU is threatened with a dispute over aid, our author fears.

It would be a misunderstanding to dismiss Ukraine’s EU candidate status as merely symbolic politics. The pressure on Europe to quickly act on the invitation to join the club will soon mount. The expectation in parts of the Union that the Ukrainian application for membership could be frittered away like Turkey’s is a misjudgment of the situation. Ukraine cannot be put off at all. It’s about their survival. Very quickly, Europe has to answer the question of how the country is to be given financial support.

Ukraine is entitled to accession aid from the EU coffers, but that is not enough. The war damage is estimated at around 700 billion to 1 trillion euros. With the candidate status for Ukraine, the EU is also indirectly confirming this: The united Europe will have to take on the bulk of the aid in the form of grants or loans, even if international partners are to be brought on board.

Ukraine crisis – all the news about the conflict

Ukraine, the neighbor in need, does not need a fundamental dispute

This, however, contains political explosives. Already want France President Macron and supporters in Brussels take the lifebelt for Ukraine as an opportunity to declare the joint debt financing of the EU states against all promises of permanent establishment. So far, joint debts should be the one-time exception to financing the Corona reconstruction fund. Now Macron is not the only one who sees a good opportunity in the Ukraine crisis to turn it into a permanent instrument.

That is neither fair nor appropriate. That’s why it doesn’t need a new one mega fund as for Corona aid, because the economic damage in Ukraine – despite all the human tragedy – will be less. Community loans would also send the wrong signal to the Union’s debt sinners. And a breach of word anyway. Germany rightly resists the request. The Ukraine, the neighbor in need, does not need a fundamental dispute among the helpers, but rather fast and generous support.

Ukraine war – background and explanations for the conflict

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