ua en ru

EU should develop modern version of Marshall Plan for Ukraine and Moldova - President Sandu

EU should develop modern version of Marshall Plan for Ukraine and Moldova - President Sandu Photo: President of Moldova Maia Sandu (Getty Images)

The European Union needs to develop a modern version of the Marshall Plan of the United States during World War II, but this time the efforts should be directed towards the recovery of Ukraine and Moldova, stated President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, at the annual EU budget conference in Brussels.

"Just as Western Europe was offered an economic lifeline after the Second World War by the American Marshall Plan, Moldova and Ukraine need a tightly focused 21st-century equivalent from the European Union," Sandu stated.

Signed by former US President Harry Truman in 1948, the Marshall Plan - named after then-Secretary of State George Marshall - provided billions of dollars in economic aid to European countries devastated by World War II.

"The Marshall Plan was designed to show to an exhausted continent that capitalism and democracy were a better way forward than anything offered by Communism. Today’s modern version will also need to offer similar hope to those of us working our way towards EU membership," noted the President of Moldova.

In her view, the EU budget should not only finance critical green, digital, and infrastructure projects but also be directed towards "protecting values" that are under threat from "forces with a dark vision" of the European continent.

"We still need to do all of that – but we also need to invest in saving lives, bringing back peace, and defending liberty at key moments in history," Sandu added.

At the same time, she expressed optimism about Europe's ability to confront security challenges posed by Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Moldova's accession to the EU

On December 14, 2023, the European Council, during its summit in Brussels, supported the commencement of negotiations regarding the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the EU.

On December 24, 2023, Maia Sandu proposed to the parliament to organize a referendum in Moldova on joining the European Union. She stated that it could take place in the autumn of 2024, coinciding with the presidential elections.

During the session on December 28, the parliament allowed for republican referendums to be held on the same day as parliamentary, presidential, and local elections.

According to Moldova's President Maia Sandu, the referendum on Moldova's accession to the European Union is constitutional and could take place on October 20.

Ukraine's accession to the EU

Negotiations for Ukraine's accession to the EU have not yet begun in practice - currently, there is a screening of Ukrainian legislation for compliance with EU requirements, and the formation of a negotiating framework is ongoing.

Earlier in March, the European Commission approved the negotiating framework for Ukraine's accession to the EU.

In mid-April, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna stated that the decision to approve the negotiating framework and the first intergovernmental conference, which will kick-start the negotiation process for Ukraine's accession to the EU, is expected in the second half of June.