Reconstructing Ukraine

Yes We Can Help Ukraine and The Western Balkans

East and Central European successes stand as a model for the continent’s new aspiring candidates. 

Werner Hoyer, former president of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Werner Hoyer, former president of the European Investment Bank (EIB).Caroline Martin

I have experienced several revolutions in my life, but none of them were as powerful as the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Today, when we look at the transformation of the EU countries in Central and Eastern Europe that were once under Soviet rule, the result is breathtaking. These countries have evolved from unproductive, autocratic regimes into some of the most innovative and agile economies in the world. Think of the Baltics, think of Poland, think of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia!

I have no doubt that Ukraine and Moldova have embarked on a similar path towards EU accession, as Romania and Bulgaria have before. Hopefully, all Western Balkan countries will follow soon. The door must be open for Georgia as well. For countries on our continent, there are many reasons to join the European Union: democracy, economic prosperity, freedom, and the rule of law. Since February 2022, the half-forgotten main arguments of the EU’s founders for a strong Union on our continent have resurfaced again: peace and security.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens democracy and peace throughout Europe. Russia is not only waging war against Ukraine. This war affects Europe as a whole, as well as the free democratic world. Energy shortages and hunger are being used as weapons with the aim of sowing chaos and political instability. If Vladimir Putin can claim success, however small, this would serve as encouragement to all autocrats worldwide. Today, Ukrainians are fighting for all of us.

„We are convinced that the reconstruction of Ukraine cannot wait. It must begin now, not 
sometime after the war is over.“

Werner Hoyer

And there is hope. Europe has come together. Europe stands united against the aggressor. Europe is acting as a Union in this second year of the war, even when discussing the details of support. But Europe should not only be united in the face of authoritarian aggression. As a continent of small and medium-sized countries in a world where giants vie for power, unity is the cornerstone of our strength.

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