Scholz and Von der Leyen want ‘Marshall plan’ for Ukraine

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen want “a 21st century Marshall Plan” for Ukraine, they write an opinion piece in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to them, the reconstruction road is also “a road to the European Union” for Ukraine attacked by Russia. Scholz and von der Leyen realize that “one must be careful with historical comparisons”, but are convinced that rebuilding Ukraine requires a strategy “of the same level as the Marshall Plan for Europe after the Second World War.”

    The piece by the chancellor and the committee chair appeared online on Sunday evening, a day before a meeting between German and Ukrainian business begins in Berlin on the future reconstruction of Ukraine. According to Scholz and von der Leyen, supporting Ukraine is in the EU’s interest. “Ukraine also defends the international rule-based order, the basis of our peaceful coexistence and well-being worldwide,” they write. “So if we support Ukraine, we are building our future and that of our common Europe.” In the eyes of Scholz and von der Leyen, reconstruction is “a lengthy task that must begin now”.

    With the Marshall Plan, the Netherlands and other European countries received money, goods, raw materials and foodstuffs from the United States between 1948 and 1952, partly in the form of loans and partly as gifts. The extensive aid was an initiative of the then US Secretary of State George C. Marshall.

    The European Union has already pledged EUR 18 billion in financial aid to Ukraine for next year. That money will be transferred in monthly installments of 1.5 billion euros so that the government in Kiev can count on “a predictable and stable flow of money,” von der Leyen announced on Friday afternoon.

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission during a European summit in Brussels. Photo Olivier Hoslet/EPA