This development was announced by EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn during a briefing on November 30, as reported by Sky News. "The main focus is supporting Ukraine, and this commitment, including the amount, is undisputed," he stated.
In a noteworthy turn of events, Hungary, which had earlier that day threatened to obstruct the financial aid to Ukraine, did not oppose the allocation of these funds from the EU budget. This decision came despite earlier concerns about Hungary's potential veto.
The European Parliament had previously approved this substantial financing for Ukraine. However, the final go-ahead required a unanimous resolution from the Council of the EU. Although no official document has been published yet, the consensus among all EU member states has been reached.
NOS reports that the Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orbán, is seeking over 20 billion euros in subsidies from the European Commission, a sum it claims entitlement to. This demand is seen as a tactic to influence decisions regarding Ukraine. Brussels, however, has withheld these funds due to Hungary's issues with corruption and adherence to the rule of law.
Details about the 50 billion euros aid program for Ukraine reveal that the European Commission plans to provide this record financial assistance over four years, up to 2027. The aid will be a mix of loans and non-repayable grants, contingent on Ukraine implementing certain reforms.
The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers has already submitted a preliminary draft of the Ukraine Facility program to the European Commission. The final plan, expected in December 2023, encompasses macroeconomic scenarios for quality recovery institutions, basic reforms in public administration, anti-corruption measures, judicial reforms, and economic reforms aimed at improving the business climate and managing state assets. It also focuses on key economic sectors like energy, agriculture, logistics, IT, and manufacturing.
The European Commission will review compliance with this plan every three months. Successful implementation will result in the release of aid tranches to Ukraine, while failure to comply will lead to withholding of funds.
Proponents of the plan believe it will stabilize and predictably structure financial support for Ukraine, addressing criticisms of the haphazard funding approach in 2022. In 2023, the EU had already approved a separate annual financing plan for Ukraine totaling 18 billion euros.
Furthermore, as reported by OBOZ.UA, the European Union is also formulating a strategy to use frozen assets for Ukraine's benefit. This plan does not currently involve confiscating and directly transferring funds to Kyiv, but rather redirecting profits from Russian financial instruments in Europe to Ukraine.