The unprovoked and unjustified military aggression by Russia against Ukraine, which violates international law, global security and stability, has forced millions of Ukrainians to leave their homes with just backpacks, arriving in host neighbouring countries, with their lives shattered, as everything they had was destroyed.
There is a lot that can be done at the humanitarian or military levels. The EU has deployed all the tools and resources that it has available to assist Ukraine while continuing to push for a diplomatic solution.
Yet, it is important to start thinking on how the EU and the international community can give hope to Ukrainians and reassure them that they will be able to rebuild their country and return to 'normal lives' once the Russian aggression is stopped.
According to Ukrainian officials, the damage from the war has already exceeded $500 billion. The open question for the Ukrainian government is where to find the resources required to rebuild the country and bring it back on its feet as fast as possible.
Ukraine desperately needs a new international plan of support, a sort of “Marshall plan”, an organised plan of assistance to recover from all the damage that has been inflicted upon it.
The EESC Employers' Group has invited:
- Mr. Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President
- Mr. Gennadiy Chyzhykov, President of Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Ms. Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association Ukraine
- Ms. Pauline Weil, Research analyst, Bruegel
to hold a discussion on the future of Ukraine. It might seem misplaced to talk about the economy of a country that is being pummelled by cluster bombs and cruise missiles, but a country of more than 40 million and several large cities needs help to rebuild stronger once the Russian aggression is stopped.
How and who should prepare a plan for the reconstruction of the battered Ukrainian economy? What should be in the plan? Is there an understanding of who can provide the funds for the implementation of this Plan, and how much is needed? What is the possible impact of stopping gas import from Russia? What is the impact of the war on the food value chain?
These are just some of the questions that we need to start addressing already today even if, at this moment, the winds of war continue to blow strongly.