In response to the urgency of mobilising assistance contributing to the stabilisation and development of Ukraine, the European Commission has today adopted a special support package worth €365 million. //
This package will help the country's transition and boost the role of civil society, promoting and monitoring democratic reforms and inclusive socio-economic development in Ukraine.
The programme is conditional, subject to progress in reforms in the following areas: the fight against corruption, public administration, constitutional reform, electoral legislation and justice reform. First disbursements are expected to take place after the signature of the Financing Agreement by the European Commission and the Ukrainian government.
Štefan Füle, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, stated: “The EU is not only closely watching events in Ukraine and expressing its readiness to support it, but is also delivering in deeds. With today’s assistance package we are encouraging and supporting the Ukrainian authorities to continue with reforms and in the process of inclusive national development. This package will also support the European Agenda for Reform, recently discussed with the Ukrainian authorities.”
The Special Measures 2014 for Ukraine is part of the support package announced by President Barroso on 5th March (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-159_en.htm), and include two actions:
1. State Building Contract (€355 million)
The State Building Contract in the form of budget support will provide financial support in the short term to support the process of transition. The general objective is to support the government of Ukraine in addressing short-term economic problems and preparing for in-depth reform in the context of political association and economic integration with the EU on the basis of the Association Agreement/Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Areas through support to improved governance, the fight against corruption, judiciary reform and public administration reform.
The first disbursements (€250 million) are expected to take place shortly after the signature of the Financing Agreement by the Ukrainian government.
2. Support to Civil Society (€10 million)
The Civil Society Support Programme will accompany and complement the support provided to Ukraine under the State Building Contract, to enhance the role of civil society; promoting and monitoring democratic reforms and inclusive socio-economic development in Ukraine. The action will be implemented through calls for proposals for funding actions implemented by civil society organisations and through technical assistance providing training and advice on support to structured dialogue between the authorities and the civil society.
The European Agenda for Reform
Commissioner Füle travelled to Kyiv on 24 March, leading a high-level Commission delegation, in order to work with the Ukrainian authorities on a number of reforms that are necessary both in the area of democratic institutions and the economy.
Following discussions with the Ukrainian authorities, a "European Agenda for Reform" is being established to match the EU's short- and mid-term support with Ukraine needs.
The European Commission has also decided to create a Support Group for Ukraine to provide a focal point, structure, overview and guidance for the Commission's work to support Ukraine.