EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform launched in Kyiv
WHO, EU and US donate ambulances to Ukraine to cover health needs during the war
The WHO Country Office in Ukraine, with support from the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated an additional 33 ambulances to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to enable the provision of emergency medical care to patients during the war. The handover of ambulances took place in Lviv, western Ukraine, on 27 March.
The donation includes 20 ambulances equipped with a stretcher and first aid equipment. They are intended for the non-critical transportation of patients. Another 13 ambulances, equipped with patient ventilators, oxygen supply, IV pumps, suction pumps, stretchers, medication bags, will allow for the transportation of seriously injured patients to health facilities.
The ambulances will be handed over to hospitals and emergency centres throughout the country, with a particular focus on eastern Ukraine.
“It is one of our top priorities to support the Ukrainian healthcare system, which has come under extreme pressure since the start of the war,” said Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. “We are working with partners like WHO to ensure that medical professionals have the means and equipment to reach people in urgent need of medical assistance. These ambulances will save lives across the country, including in hard-to-reach areas.”
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European Peace Facility: Council increases the financial ceiling to nearly €7.98 billion until 2027
The Council adopted a decision increasing the financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility (EPF) to €7.979 billion (in current prices) until 2027, ensuring that additional financial needs can be covered.
The European Peace Facility has now become an integral part of the EU’s support to promote peace and security globally. Today’s decision brings the financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility to over €7.9 billion. Ensuring the financial sustainability of this instrument is crucial for our support not only to Ukraine, but also for our partners in other parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as needs continue to arise.
This decision implements the political agreement reached on 12 December 2022, when the Council decided to increase the overall EPF financial ceiling by €2 billion (in 2018 prices) in 2023, and allow for the possibility of a further increase at a later stage (up to €5.5 billion in 2018 prices until 2027).
The Council also decided to set a financial reference amount for the common costs of the EU Crisis Management Military Exercise 2023 (MILEX 23) at €5 million and introduce more flexibility in the collection and use of financial contributions from member states and in their use by the facility.
In its conclusions of 15 December 2022, the European Council reiterated the global dimension of the Facility and welcomed the agreement in the Council on 12 December 2022 to ensure its financial sustainability.
Background and next steps
The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all common foreign and security policy (CFSP) actions relating to military and defence matters, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace, and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of non-EU countries and regional and international organisations in relation to military and defence matters.
The EPF is an off-budget instrument and originally had an overall financial ceiling of €5 billion in 2018 prices for the period 2021-2027, with annual ceilings that ranged from €420 million in 2021 to €1.132 billion in 2027.
Thanks to the EPF, the EU has been supporting the Ukrainian Armed Forces through seven successive support packages so far, as well as many other countries such as: Mozambique, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Mali, Somalia, Niger, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and Mauritania, as well as military components of African-led Peace Support Operations and multinational units such as the Balkan Medical Task Force.
- European Peace Facility: Council agrees €2 billion increase of the financial ceiling in 2023 (press release, 12 December 2022)
- European Peace Facility (background information)
EU disburses another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the European Union has disbursed another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.
“Our support helps keep Ukraine running, while defending itself,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter. “And puts Ukraine firmly on its EU path by supporting reforms – good governance and financial stability, for example.”
On 17 January, the European Union disbursed the first €3 billion of the €18 billion of promised macro-financial assistance agreed in December 2022.
This emergency assistance aims to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosts dinner in honor of EU delegation members
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosted a formal dinner in honor of the EU delegation members currently visiting Georgia.
The official dinner honoring the diplomats was held at Mtatsminda. The Head of Government and the European diplomats discussed Georgia’s European integration in an informal setting.A high-level regional ambassadorial organized by the EU Delegation is about to be held in Tbilisi. Senior officials for the EU’s External Action Service and the European Commission—including the Heads of the EU Delegations to the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, also to Turkey and Austria—will participate in the regional ambassadorial.
The high-level regional ambassadorial of the EU is held periodically and represents an important forum for discussing the EU’s policy toward concrete countries.As it was noted at the official dinner, holding the ambassadorial in Georgia demonstrates Georgia’s importance in the region for the EU, including as a strong ally in cementing the cooperation among European and Central Asian countries.Press Service of the Government Administration
Georgia: EU welcomes withdrawal of draft legislation on “foreign influence”
The EU Delegation to Georgia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Georgian ruling party ‘Georgian Dream” that it would withdraw the draft legislation on the “Transparency of foreign influence”.
“We encourage all political leaders in Georgia to resume pro-EU reforms, in an inclusive and constructive way and in line with the 12 priorities for Georgia to achieve candidate status,” the Delegation said on Twitter.
On 7 March, the bill passed its first reading in the Georgian parliament, despite widespread protests.
The EU said the law was incompatible with EU values and standards and goes against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union, adding that this is “a very bad development for Georgia and its people”.
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