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EU membership talks will accelerate Ukraine's rebuilding more than money, EBRD chief economist says

EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik (EBRD Photo)

Ukraine Rebuild Newswire Staff

The promise of European Union membership will accelerate the reconstruction of Ukraine more reliably than the money likely to be offered by international donors when the war with Russia ends, said Beata Javorcik, the chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

As Ukraine prepares to start negotiations to join the EU, which are likely to go on for years, the support of the union’s well-developed institutions will form a major pillar of support for the reconstruction of Ukraine, Javorcik toldReuters on the sidelines of a conference in Brussels.

"Money explains only about 10% of the variation of the speed of reconstruction," she said. "It is not money, or not only money, it is institutions. The perspective of EU accession is key for (Ukraine's) reconstruction."

She added that the path to EU membership would oblige Ukraine to carry out the reconstruction in such a way as to adhere to EU rules, ensuring the country would take the union’s perspective in areas such as judiciary, law enforcement, human rights, economy and competition.

"The biggest benefit of the EU accession process is that it removes the need for a national debate, whether you want reforms to go this way or that way, because where you need to get is predetermined," Javorchik said. "And it makes it difficult to derail the process, because it is a commitment that's done, it's made with high rates of approval in the society, a high rate of buy-in, and the fact that you limit the ability of derailing the process is enormously valuable.”

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