At the EU summit today, 1 February, EU leaders decided to provide €50 billion in financial support for Ukraine over the next four years. ‘All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine. EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake,’ Charles Michel, President of the European Council, wrote in a post on social media platform X.
Hungary was the only one of the 27 member states that had refused to go along with the €50 billion financial support. The government was concerned that the EU funds, rightfully due to the country but currently frozen, might eventually be redirected to Ukraine. Additionally, Budapest found the 4-year timeframe too extended, a sentiment Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had repeatedly voiced. Following today’s decision, the PM posted a video on platform X.
He pointed out that negotiations had already commenced on Wednesday, the day before the EU summit, and continued on Thursday morning. Thanks to these negotiations,
Hungary managed to safeguard its interests, and received an offer that the Prime Minister could accept.
‘Finally, we negotiated a control mechanism that guarantees the reasonable use of the money, and we received assurance that Hungary’s funds will not be transferred to Ukraine,’ Orbán said.
For Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine, the EU’s financial support represents a significant success. The country’s room for manoeuvre has become increasingly limited recently, as US lawmakers in Washington have been unable to agree on further military and financial support. With the presidential elections approaching, this situation is unlikely to change,
leaving Ukraine with the EU as its primary source of support.
The Ukrainian President also responded to the decision on X. ‘Grateful to Charles Michel and EU leaders for establishing the €50 billion Ukraine Facility for 2024-2027. It is crucial that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, once again demonstrating strong EU unity,’ Zelensky wrote. He added that sustained financial support for Ukraine will enhance long-term economic and financial stability, which is nearly as important as military assistance and the pressure of sanctions on Russia.
Before the summit, the Hungarian Prime Minister engaged in discussions with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning, he held meeting with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Emmanuel Macron, and Giorgia Meloni. According to press reports, the details of the Ukraine agreement were discussed during these meetings.