How to dovetail Ukraine’s reconstruction with EU integration and accession

Client/Funding Institution

Bertelsmann Stiftung


The reconstruction of Ukraine and its accession to the EU constitute one of the biggest challenges for the international community, the EU and the country itself for many decades. Ukraine received candidate status from the EU in 2022 and could open negotiations even this year. Meeting the Copenhagen Criteria for EU accession, however, will be a monumental task. A joint assessment released in March 2023 by the Government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and the United Nations, estimates that the cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has grown to US $411 billion (€383 billion). The costs are expected to be spread out over 10 years, and to use a mixture of private and public money. This research team argues that these two historic processes—reconstruction and EU integration—and how to further develop Ukraine as a functioning market economy capable of meeting the demands of EU internal market competition must be thought together to achieve the best possible outcomes – for the EU and Ukraine alike. Shedding light on what exactly the main challenges are, how Ukraine compares with previous joiners, and what can be learned from the successful EU accession of EU-CEE countries, is the ultimate ambition of this report. Within a series of research reports and policy briefs a group of economists from wiiw, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Kiev-based Growford Institute and the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting analyse in detail five key and complementary areas of economic reconstruction: trade and FDI, regional policy, infrastructure, demographics, finance. They also investigate how these reconstruction areas can be structured as part of the EU accession process, and provide policy proposals for Ukraine and the EU.


January 2023 - December 2023

wiiw team Leader

Richard Grieveson

wiiw Staff

Vasily Astrov, Beata Borosak, Branimir Jovanović, Artem Kochnev, Michael Landesmann, Ambre Maucorps, Olga Pindyuk, Maryna Tverdostup

Project Partners

Tetiana Bogdan, Iryna Kosse, Veronika Movchan, Stefani Weiss, Miriam Kosmehl


External Publications

Ausreißer oder nicht? Die Wirtschaft der Ukraine und der EU-Beitritt (
Outlier or not? The Ukrainian economy’s preparedness for EU accession (

Countries covered: EU, Ukraine

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy, Labour, Migration and Income Distribution, International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Regional Development