Ukraine could be entitled to EUR 186B after accession to EU - Financial Times

Ukraine could be entitled to EUR 186B after accession to EU - Financial Times

Ukraine's accession to the EU would entitle Kyiv to about EUR 186 billion over seven years, according to internal estimates of the union's common budget.

That's according to the Financial Times, Ukrinform reports.

According to the paper, EU officials this summer estimated the potential financial ramifications in a study seen by the Financial Times, which used existing rules for the union's 2021-27 budget. These were applied to an enlarged union including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and six western Balkan states.

The financial tally of adding all nine members to the existing budget, known as the multiannual financial framework, would be EUR 256.8 billion, the paper estimates. The knock-on effects for existing member states would include a cut in farm subsidies of about a fifth.

With nine new member states, the current budget would increase by 21% to EUR 1.47 trillion, the paper estimates.

Applying current rules to an expanded union, Ukraine would be eligible for EUR 96.5 billion from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy over seven years. That financial shift would force cuts in farm subsidies to existing member states of about 20%.

Ukraine would also qualify for EUR 61 billion in payments from the EU's cohesion funds, which aim to improve infrastructure in poorer member states. With nine additional member states, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta would no longer be eligible for cohesion funding.

Ukraine would be the bloc's largest recipient, with 41.1 million hectares of utilized agricultural area, pushing France into second place. That would mean payments for existing recipients would fall by 20.3% per hectare of qualifying farmland.

Aside from Ukraine, adding the other eight countries would cost a total of EUR 29.9 billion in CAP payments.

"These numbers aren't going to work for anyone. They make clear that root and branch reform of the EU budget and its major policies will be needed if Ukraine is to ever join, or that the entire Ukraine question will have to be dealt with innovatively and outside of existing EU budget structures," said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at the Eurasia Group.

Earlier reports said that the European Union is preparing to start negotiations with Ukraine on its future accession to the EU, with an official announcement expected as early as December.

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