"Europe has a special responsibility and a strategic interest to be at Ukraine's side every step of the way. Ukraine wants to be part of our European Union. And we want Ukraine to become a member," said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said during her speech at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, APA reports.
"Ukraine is highly motivated to work with us in this direction and we will do our utmost to support these efforts.
Because the path towards a stronger Ukraine and the path of European integration are one and the same. Through the reconstruction platform, the European Commission can offer its extensive expertise in running programs that combine reform and investments.
In addition, we have been working closely with Ukraine for a long time. And this work will only intensify now that Ukraine has formally become a candidate to join our Union.
But besides our own expertise, we would like to bring in external advice. Thus, Chancellor Scholz and I – in close cooperation with international partners –, will organize a high-level international conference after the summer. We want to bring together the brightest minds and leading global experts on reconstruction to ensure that this generational undertaking is done in the right way. This will give additional confidence to all investors: Your money not only serves a good cause, but it will also be, first and foremost, spent efficiently and effectively, with maximum impact for the people of Ukraine."