Motion for a resolution - B9-0275/2023Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the sustainable reconstruction and integration of Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic community

12.6.2023 - (2023/2739(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Michael Gahler, Andrius Kubilius, Rasa Juknevičienė, Željana Zovko, David McAllister, Vangelis Meimarakis, Siegfried Mureşan, Jerzy Buzek, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Traian Băsescu, Vladimír Bilčík, Gheorghe Falcă, Tomasz Frankowski, Sunčana Glavak, Andrzej Halicki, Sandra Kalniete, Andrey Kovatchev, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Aušra Maldeikienė, Lukas Mandl, Liudas Mažylis, Dace Melbārde, Gheorghe‑Vlad Nistor, Janina Ochojska, Radosław Sikorski, Michaela Šojdrová, Eugen Tomac, Inese Vaidere, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Tomáš Zdechovský, Milan Zver,
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0270/2023

Procedure : 2023/2739(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the sustainable reconstruction and integration of Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic community


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Ukraine and on Russia, in particular since the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine in February 2022,

 having regard to the NATO Bucharest summit declaration of 3 April 2008,

 having regard to the Association Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part[1], signed in 2014, and to the accompanying Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Ukraine,

 having regard to Ukraine’s application for EU membership of 28 February 2022 and the European Council’s consequent granting of candidate status on 23 June 2022 based on a positive assessment by the Commission and in line with the views expressed by Parliament,

 having regard to the speech given by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy upon his visit to Parliament on 9 February 2023,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, in the NATO Bucharest summit declaration, the allies welcomed Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and agreed that it would become a NATO member;

B. whereas Russia has been carrying out an illegal, unprovoked and unjustified full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine since 24 February 2022; whereas this war of aggression constitutes a blatant and flagrant violation of the UN Charter and of the fundamental principles of international law; whereas Ukraine has suffered from Russian aggression ever since protests broke out in November 2013 against the decision by its then President to suspend the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement; whereas Russia’s actions in Ukraine over the past 16 months continue to threaten peace and security in Europe and worldwide;

C. whereas Ukraine is now a recognised candidate for membership of the EU and has received massive support in all areas from the EU, including unprecedented military support; whereas, since February 2022, the overall assistance pledged to Ukraine by the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions amounts to at least EUR 70 billion, including military assistance;

D. whereas the Russian war of aggression is the largest military conflict on the European continent since the end of the Second World War and reflects the growing conflict between authoritarianism and democracy;

E. whereas every round of NATO enlargement has followed the principle that it should bring security benefits to the existing members; whereas the Russian threat of a military response has previously discouraged serious discussion about Ukraine’s membership of NATO; whereas the Charter of Paris, the Budapest Memorandum, the 1997 Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and the non-decision on Ukraine’s membership at the NATO Bucharest summit in 2008 failed to prevent Russian aggression against Ukraine;

F. whereas a continued security grey zone of the size of Ukraine between Russia and the West would pose a constant temptation to an unreformed, revisionist Russia, similarly to the proposal for a united, neutral Germany between the members of NATO and the Eastern bloc that was put forward by Stalin in 1952;

G. whereas the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July will have to address the question of how to follow up on the statement of support for Ukraine’s membership issued in Bucharest in 2008, taking into account the ongoing Russian aggression and how best to prevent a repeat of such aggression after the end of the war;

H. whereas the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine was launched on 26 January 2023, bringing together high-level officials from Ukraine, the EU, G7 countries and international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; whereas the platform aims to serve as a catalyst, mobilising the international commitments required to respond to Ukraine’s needs and fostering closer coordination to help meet the needs on the ground;

I. whereas, according to the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment[2], as at the one-year anniversary of the start of the full-scale invasion, the cost of the direct damage to buildings and infrastructure in Ukraine had reached over USD 135 billion, with housing, transport, energy, and commerce and industry being the most affected areas; whereas this damage is concentrated in the frontline oblasts; whereas the cost of reconstruction and recovery is estimated at USD 411 billion;

J. whereas several Ukraine Recovery Conferences took place in Lugano, Berlin and Paris in 2022, and another will be held in London in July 2023, bringing together the Ukrainian authorities, prospective donors, international organisations and countries that support Ukraine to work out the details of the assistance to be provided for its recovery; whereas the Ukrainian Government has presented a national recovery programme to serve as a blueprint for future reconstruction efforts; whereas the Ukraine Business Compact 2023 will be presented at the upcoming Recovery Conference in London and will give leading international businesses a platform to show their support for Ukraine’s recovery and its drive to modernise, build a resilient and agile economy and emerge from the war as a stronger and more prosperous state;

K. whereas the dam in Nova Kakhovka, located on the Dnipro river, in a Russian-occupied and -controlled area of the Kherson oblast in southern Ukraine, was deliberately blown up in an act of terrorism on 6 June 2023; whereas the dam was known to be mined; whereas the blast resulted in a massive breach in the dam, with water surging through it and flooding downstream in the direction of Kherson; whereas the breach in the dam forced the evacuation of thousands of local civilians, destroyed infrastructure, homes and wildlife, and led to water supplies being contaminated with industrial chemicals and oil leaked from the hydropower plant, as well as washing up landmines that threaten the lives of rescue workers and evacuees; whereas the draining of the dam’s reservoir will leave 584 000 hectares of land unirrigated, a productive area that yielded approximately 4 million tons of grain and oil crops prior to the war; whereas this vast reservoir supplies water to communities upstream and also provided cooling water for the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia;

1. Reiterates its unwavering solidarity with the people and leadership of Ukraine and its support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders;

2. Reiterates its condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as of the involvement of the regime in Belarus; demands that Russia and its proxy forces cease all military action, in particular their attacks against residential areas and civilian infrastructure, and that Russia withdraw all military forces, proxies and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine, end its forced deportations of Ukrainian civilians and release all detained Ukrainians;

3. Underlines that the main objective for Ukraine is to win the war against Russia, which entails driving all the forces of Russia and its proxies and allies out of the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine; considers that this objective can be met only through the continued, sustained and steadily increasing supply of all types of weapons to Ukraine, without exception;

4. Condemns the Russian Federation for the deliberate destruction of the dam at Nova Kakhovka, which has created an environmental catastrophe and a humanitarian disaster, and which also constitutes a violation of international law, particularly international humanitarian law; recalls that attacks on critical civilian infrastructure may amount to war crimes; reiterates that all those responsible for such war crimes, including the destruction of the dam, will be held accountable in line with international law; calls on the Commission and Ukraine’s international partners to provide all the essential assistance for which there is an immediate necessity in the flooded area, in particular equipment and machinery for relief efforts, drinking water and food; welcomes the rapid activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism; expresses alarm that the destruction of the dam at Nova Kakhovka may also jeopardise the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, posing a serious threat of a radiation accident in Europe;

5. Supports the establishment of a special international monitoring mission to record the environmental consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine with a view to establishing a basis upon which to obtain specific compensation from Russia;

6. Reaffirms its commitment to Ukraine’s membership of the EU; reiterates its call for innovative, complementary and flexible interaction between the ongoing work on the implementation of the Association Agreement in force and the accession negotiation process, thus allowing for Ukraine’s gradual integration into the EU single market and sectoral programmes, including access to EU funds in the respective areas, so that Ukrainians can reap the benefits of accession throughout the process and not only upon its completion;

7. Reiterates, in this context, its support for the European Council’s decision to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine; anticipates a positive recommendation from the Commission following the fulfilment of the seven steps set out in the Commission’s opinion on Ukraine’s EU membership application[3], which could lead to the start of accession negotiations this year and the holding of an intergovernmental conference within the same time frame; reaffirms the importance of opening the accession negotiations as guidance for Ukraine, as a guarantee that its integration with the EU remains steadily on track and as a way of sustaining the momentum of this process; believes that Ukraine’s EU membership represents a geostrategic investment in a united and strong Europe and that it equates to showing leadership, resolve and vision; recalls that Ukraine’s successful integration into the EU could also have a significant spillover effect in Russia, potentially paving the way for a democratic path of reform;

8. Underlines that accession to the EU must take place in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, based on respect for the relevant procedures and conditional upon the fulfilment of the established criteria, in particular the so-called Copenhagen criteria for EU membership, and remains a merit-based process that requires the adoption and implementation of relevant reforms, in particular in the areas of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, a market economy and the implementation of the EU acquis;

9. Highlights that demining and the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) are prerequisites for Ukraine’s reconstruction, including the revival of its agricultural production, which is vital for the country’s economy and for regional and global food security; stresses that this requires the identification of contaminated land via effective surveys; recalls that a third of Ukrainian territory is currently contaminated by mines and UXO; highlights that, as a result of the ongoing conflict, the current demining and clearance efforts do not cover the demand for these activities; stresses that demining and the clearance of UXO need to be sped up in order to be able to provide assistance of the requisite magnitude to the parts of the country that have been most affected by the Russian aggression; underlines the need to address understaffing by investing in the recruitment and training of demining staff; highlights that these efforts will require comprehensive, long-term funding that also covers the immediate needs for both combat and humanitarian demining;

10. Underscores the need to prioritise a comprehensive EU recovery package for Ukraine, which should be focused on the country’s immediate, medium- and long-term relief, reconstruction and recovery and further help to strengthen the growth of the economy once the war is over; calls for the recovery package to be supported by credible and adequate EU funding in line with the needs and looks forward to the Commission’s proposals on the midterm revision of the current multiannual financial framework and on the financing of Ukrainian reconstruction efforts in the coming years through the rebuild Ukraine facility, once it has been established; recalls that one of the immediate needs is the reconstruction of critical infrastructure such as water and electricity networks, schools and hospitals in the most affected regions;

11. Highlights the importance of linking the recovery package for Ukraine with the country’s EU accession preparations and ongoing domestic reforms; reiterates that damaged infrastructure and industrial capacity should be rebuilt in accordance with the ‘build back better’ principle, aimed at promoting a carbon-free and digital economy;

12. States the importance of a proper implementation set-up on the ground, with the ability to administer large-scale and long-term reconstruction projects; highlights the need for sufficient Ukrainian administrative capacity and for international experts, particularly from the EU, to be present on the ground to administer reconstruction projects;

13. Highlights the unprecedented scale of the future reconstruction effort and the amount of financing that it will require; recalls the need for strict conditionality and clear decision-making, tendering and contract award procedures; underscores the importance of a transparent governance architecture, accountability, sound financial management and an effective monitoring mechanism; advises taking inspiration from the success stories of dedicated reconstruction agencies that have streamlined and coordinated reconstruction efforts, as in the case of the European Agency for Reconstruction in the Western Balkans;

14. Recalls that the recovery package should be jointly led by the EU, international financial institutions and like-minded partners, with the substantial involvement of the G7; welcomes the establishment of the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine as a tool for international cooperation and coordination to support reconstruction efforts; underscores the need for the European Parliament to be involved as an observer; highlights the importance of good coordination and labour division between donors and Ukraine; underscores the need to ensure full Ukrainian ownership of the reconstruction process, with the close involvement of civil society organisations and local authorities;

15. Strongly recommends that Ukrainian local self-government representatives have a major say in the design of recovery measures; recommends the establishment of a clear and transparent mechanism for involving Ukrainian civil society in key decision-making processes, and calls for continued support for civil society;

16. Calls on the Ukrainian Government to continue to strengthen local self-government, a reform that has received significant national and international acclaim, and to embed the success of the decentralisation reform in the overall architecture of Ukraine’s repair, recovery and reconstruction processes;

17. Underlines the importance of environmental and transparency conditions for the reconstruction effort; insists on the implementation of the most relevant environmental reforms, as well as the establishment of effective safeguards for the protection of the environment during the reconstruction of Ukraine; underscores the need to use environmental impact assessments for future reconstruction projects; recalls the controversial Svydovets ski resort project, which would destroy approximately 1 500 hectares of primeval and old-growth forest in the Carpathian mountain range;

18. Warns against using the upcoming reconstruction effort to amend legislation in a way that benefits certain vested interests at the expense of a level playing field and transparency, such as in the case of Draft Law No 5655 on urban development activity;

19. Asks the Commission for an impact assessment on how effectively the sanctions have hindered the Russian war effort and on the circumvention of sanctions; recalls that the violation of restrictive measures has been added to the EU list of criminal offences;

20. Calls for the EU, the Member States and their allies to strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions already imposed, to take urgent steps to block any attempt to circumvent these sanctions and to work on a secondary sanctions mechanism that would close any loopholes; condemns those countries that are helping Russia to avoid the effects of the sanctions imposed and calls for the EU to rigorously prosecute companies, associations and individuals that participate in the circumvention of sanctions;

21. Calls on the Commission to work with the Council and Parliament, in their capacity as the co-legislators, to complete the legal regime allowing for the confiscation of Russian assets frozen by the EU, including those of the Russian Central Bank, and for their use to address the various consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including the reconstruction of the country and compensation for the victims; underlines its conviction that once the war ends, Russia must be obliged to pay the reparations imposed on it to ensure that it makes a substantial contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine;

22. Recalls the risks entailed in leaving Ukraine languishing in a security grey zone that would invite Russia to sustain hostilities in the long run; strongly believes that Ukraine’s membership of NATO would not only avoid a security vacuum, but would also offer several opportunities, including to strengthen NATO’s military capabilities, with the battle-tested and Western-equipped Ukrainian armed forces providing significant military added value to NATO; believes also that this would unite the collective West around a broader agenda of guaranteeing sustainable peace on the European continent, as the zone of stable, non-aggressive democracies would be further extended eastwards; considers that this could serve to prevent any possible aggressive acts of revenge by Russia in the future and stop Russian neo-imperial expansionism, thereby facilitating discussion about fundamental policy change inside Russia;

23. Believes that an invitation for Ukraine to become a NATO member would send the most powerful signal possible, forcing Putin and the most hard-core imperial hawks in Russia to finally realise that Ukraine is no longer within their reach; highlights that long-term stability is crucial for achieving sustainable peace and avoiding future wars in Europe, and that this depends on Putin’s imperial dream being defeated on the battlefield and prevented from resurfacing in the future and on the restoration of democracy in a post-Putin Russia; underscores that Ukraine’s future NATO membership is not only about increasing and ensuring Ukraine’s security but also about helping Russians not to succumb to imperial nostalgia again, and that, for this very reason, the Russian opposition supports Ukraine choosing its own path;

24. Expects that the upcoming summits in Vilnius and Washington will pave the way for extending an invitation to Ukraine to join NATO and that the accession process will start after the war is over and be finalised as soon as possible, which would strengthen NATO and be a further step towards sustainable peace in Europe;

25. Recalls the looming challenge of addressing the suffering of Ukrainian war veterans and the other victims of Russia’s full-scale invasion, many of whom will have difficulty in fully integrating back into social life after the war is over; reiterates that many of them will require long-term psychological and medical rehabilitation and reintegration assistance; calls on the Council and the Commission to build on the solidarity shown by EU citizens, residents and Member States alike when welcoming Ukrainian refugees and to explore ways to assist Ukraine in dealing with the human suffering of veterans and other victims;

26. Advises Ukraine against accelerating the election cycle, combining elections or introducing any hasty changes to its election legislation; believes that, given the backdrop of the war and the current disruptions to normal political life in Ukraine, any decisions that could be seen as favouring a particular political force in the country would prove counterproductive;

27. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the President, Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Last updated: 13 June 2023
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