The European Commission says that EU countries should start accession negotiations with Ukraine. How expensive would the country’s potential accession to the association of states be?
According to a study, if Ukraine were to join the EU, up to 17 percent of the alliance’s common budget would flow into the country. Experts from the German Economic Institute (IW) estimate the financial impact of Ukraine’s full membership in the EU on the EU’s current multi-year budget at around 130 to 190 billion euros, according to a report published today. The EU’s multi-year common budget amounts to around 1.1 trillion euros from 2021 to 2027.
The exact amount depends on what assumptions are made about the arable land area and population for Ukraine, the scientists write. In their calculations, they assume 70 to 90 billion euros in agricultural subsidies for Ukraine. The so-called cohesion policy would account for 50 to 90 billion euros. These funds are intended to help structurally weak regions grow in order to compensate for economic and social differences in the European regions.
“Given this volume, the EU should be prepared to reform,” the experts continue. Only in this way can the political decision to bind Ukraine more closely to itself with the prospect of accession be credible. This applies to both the institutional and the fiscal level, i.e. regarding the budget. For example, they propose limiting cohesion spending to the poorer member states.
At the beginning of November, the EU Commission recommended starting accession negotiations with Ukraine. Before the first round of talks, however, the country will have to complete the reforms it has begun. Whether the talks will begin must be decided unanimously by the EU states. Ukraine hopes that the heads of state and government of the EU countries will give their general consent to start accession negotiations at their last regular summit of the year this Thursday and Friday.
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