Maia Sandu: Moldova and Ukraine need a “Marshall Plan”

Moldovan President Maia Sandu advocated for the European Union to develop an updated version of the World War Two-era US Marshall Plan during the EU’s annual budget conference in Brussels on Monday (29 April). Sandu proposed that akin to the Marshall Plan’s post-war economic aid to Western Europe, Moldova, and Ukraine require a targeted 21st-century equivalent from the EU to support their development projects.

Enacted by former US President Harry Truman in 1948, the Marshall Plan, named after then-Secretary of State George Marshall, offered substantial economic assistance to European nations devastated by World War Two. Moldova, alongside Ukraine, which in 2023 received approval to commence accession talks with the EU, faces significant economic challenges, with Moldova ranking second-lowest in GDP per capita in Europe.

Sandu stressed that the original Marshall Plan aimed to demonstrate to a war-weary continent the benefits of capitalism and democracy over communism. She asserted that a contemporary version must instill similar optimism in EU aspirants. Sandu’s proposal aligns with previous calls for a “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine, voiced by President Volodymyr Zelensky and several EU member states.

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“The Marshall Plan was designed to show to an exhausted continent that capitalism and democracy were a better way forward than anything offered by communism. Today’s modern version will also need to offer similar hope to those of us working our way towards EU membership,” she said, Euroactive Reports.

Recent estimates by the United Nations indicate that Ukraine’s reconstruction will require $486 billion over the next decade, surpassing earlier projections. Sandu emphasized the necessity for the EU budget to finance critical green initiatives, digital advancements, infrastructure projects, and the protection of fundamental values threatened by adverse forces on the European continent.

Sandu underscored the significance of investing in life-saving measures, restoring peace, and defending liberty during pivotal historical moments. Despite acknowledging security challenges posed by Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, Sandu expressed confidence in Europe’s capacity to confront such threats, affirming the belief in halting evil’s expansion through the enlargement of goodness.

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