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EU disburses €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic

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The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has disbursed €600 million in macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Ukraine. This is the second and final tranche under Ukraine's current MFA programme following the first €600m disbursement in December 2020. With this disbursement, the outstanding amount of loans to Ukraine under its multiple MFA programmes reaches €4.4 billion.

This disbursement is part of the €3bn emergency MFA package for ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners, which aims to help them limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme is a concrete demonstration of the EU's solidarity with its partners to help respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Economy that Works for the People Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “We are supporting Ukraine with an EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme of €1.2bn. Its second tranche of €600m disbursed today is a clear sign of EU support for Ukraine's reform agenda. Ukraine has made significant efforts towards implementing the MFA conditions and also made satisfactory progress with the International Monetary Fund. By providing financial and technical support, the EU is helping to improve living standards for the Ukrainian people; by providing strong political support, we are strengthening Ukraine's integration with the European Union.”

Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said: “Today's disbursement of €600m brings to €4.4bn the total amount that the EU has loaned to Ukraine in macro financial assistance. These payments are not only tangible proof of our solidarity with the Ukrainian people, but also a reflection of Ukraine having continued to meet the crucial reform commitments agreed with the IMF and the Commission.”

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The disbursement is based on the Commission's positive assessment of the Ukrainian authorities' progress with implementing agreed policy measures under the COVID-19 MFA programme. Ukraine has implemented all eight policy commitments relating to public finance management, governance and rule of law, improving the business climate, and sectoral reforms and state-owned enterprises.

Ukraine has also made progress implementing agreed policies under its associated programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This concerns, in particular the major legislative advances in the judicial area. The IMF successfully concluded its programme review mission on 18 October 2021.

With today's disbursement, the EU has completed seven out of the 10 MFA programmes in the €3bn COVID-19 MFA package, and disbursed the first tranches to all partners.

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The Commission continues to work closely with the rest of its MFA partners on the timely implementation of the agreed policy programmes.

Background

MFA is part of the EU's wider engagement with neighbouring and enlargement partners and is intended as an exceptional crisis response instrument. It is available to enlargement and EU neighbourhood partners experiencing severe balance-of-payments problems. It demonstrates the EU's solidarity with these partners and the support of effective policies at a time of unprecedented crisis.

The decision to provide MFA to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was proposed by the Commission on 22 April 2020 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 25 May 2020.

In addition to MFA, the EU supports the partners in its Neighbourhood policy and the Western Balkans through bilateral and regional assistance, thematic programmes, humanitarian aid, blending facilities and guarantees from the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD and EFSD+) to support investment in the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

EU-Ukraine relations

Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. The EU supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens and is unwavering in its support for Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders. The Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values.

Since 2014, Ukraine has embarked on an ambitious reform programme to accelerate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of its citizens. Priority reforms include the fight against corruption, reform of the judiciary, constitutional and electoral reforms, improvement of the business climate, energy efficiency, land reform, as well as reform of public administration, digital transformation and decentralisation. Since 2014, the EU and the Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €17bn in grants and loans to support reforms, while applying conditionality dependent on their progress. Visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports entered into force in June 2017. Since August 2021, digital COVID-19 certificates are mutually recognised between the EU and Ukraine.

The COVID-19 MFA programme for Ukraine is part of a comprehensive effort by the EU to help mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic and accelerate the recovery. This engagement is in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and with the overall Team Europe's support, which builds on joint efforts of EU member states. Among others, Ukraine was one of the first countries to benefit from the COVAX facility and the EU vaccine-sharing mechanism, which together have contributed over 7.6 million doses of vaccines to Ukraine.

More information

Macro-Financial Assistance 

Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

COVID-19: Commission proposes €3bn macro-financial assistance package to support ten neighbouring countries

Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on providing macro‐financial assistance to enlargement and neighbourhood partners in the context of the COVID‐19 pandemic

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Competition: EU and China meet during 22nd Competition Week to discuss competition policy priorities

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Officials and experts from the EU and China will meet online from 29 November to 2 December 2021 to discuss about their co-operation on competition law and enforcement. The discussions will focus on the green transition and how China's Fair Competition Review System and the EU's State Aid framework can contribute to it. Participants will also discuss mechanisms to control potentially anti-competitive acquisitions in the digital sector and the practical challenges of investigating digital markets. In addition, there will be updates on the proposed revisions to China's Anti-Monopoly Law and recent regulatory and competition policy developments in the EU.

The 22nd EU-China Competition Week follows the longstanding tradition of biannual competition dialogue between the EU and the anti-monopoly enforcement agencies in China. It is part of the Competition Co-operation project, a five-year EU funded programme offering technical co-operation to competition authorities in Asia. It also provides a platform for exchanges on competition policy between the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition (DG Competition) and the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). The objective is to exchange experiences and strengthen convergence in competition policy, to the benefit of citizens and businesses in both the EU and in Asia. More information about the European Commission's bilateral dialogue with China in the field of competition policy is available on the Commission's website.

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Commission hosts second matchmaking event to speed up the development and production of COVID-19 medicines

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Today (30 November), the Commission is hosting a pan-European matchmaking event to accelerate and upscale the development and production of COVID-19 medicines in Europe, as part of the actions under the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics. Following a first matchmaking event on COVID-19 medicines in July 2021 and a previous matchmaking event on COVID-19 vaccines in March 2021, this event aims at strengthening the participation of EU companies in value chains for COVID-19 therapeutics and speeding up connections among the participants. It also broadens the focus: from therapeutics specifically used to treat COVID-19, to also including those used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, as well the production of disposable materials, such as syringes, and ingredients needed for making such medicines.

The event gathers companies from the European Economic Area as well as other businesses and organisations included in the portfolio of 10 most promising treatments, presented by the Commission in the follow-up to the COVID-19 Therapeutics strategy. In order to facilitate matchmaking events, the Commission issued a comfort letter in March 2021 (based on the Antitrust Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 8 April 2020) providing guidance, relevant also for this event, on how the matchmaking and exchanges between participating companies, including direct competitors, can take place in compliance with EU competition rules. The matchmaking event is organised by the Commission's Task Force for industrial scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, in close co-operation with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. The event is also hosted in partnership with the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) and the European Cluster Alliance (ECA), which are supporting the Commission in running an EU survey to assess EU capacities for COVID-19 therapeutics production. More information about the event is available here.

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European Commission

President von der Leyen addresses the special session of the World Health Assembly of the WHO

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On 29 November, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) addressedthe World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), which gathers between 29 November and 1 December for its second-ever special session. The President welcomed the Assembly's decision to start negotiations towards an international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, President von der Leyen commended the leadership of South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, underlining that South Africa's analytical work and transparency have allowed a swift global response to save lives. She praised South Africa as an example of international cooperation in times of cross-border health threats.

Building on the Global Health Summit of May and on the G20 Summit last month, President von der Leyen reaffirmed the EU's commitment to uphold equity, good governance, multilateral cooperation and solidarity as the only ways out of the current health crisis. The European Union and its Member States will continue working to help achieve the global vaccination target of 70% in 2022 and will support capacity building for sequencing, testing, treatments and vaccination. In this sense, the President confirmed that the EU aims at sharing at least 700 million vaccine doses by mid-2022 with low and middle-income countries. That is on top of the €3 billion in financing that the EU provided to help create the ACT-Accelerator for global vaccination through COVAX and the ongoing efforts to develop vaccine manufacturing in Africa and in South America. The full speech is available here and can be re-watched here.

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