What is the EU doing for Ukraine?

Aid for Ukraine What is the EU doing for Ukraine?

The European Union has demonstrated a resolute, swift and united response to the war in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the invasion, it has imposed massive sanctions, initiated comprehensive relief measures and put together aid packages worth billions. The EU is also committed to reconstruction. A summary.


The EU stands firmly alongside Ukraine and has launched comprehensive aid measures and put together aid packages worth billions.

Photo: EU/Lukasz Kobus

The EU has imposed sanctions

The European Union, together with its international partners, has imposed massive sanctions on Russia. In particular, these aim to severely weaken the Russian economy and the political elite. The sanctions are already having an effect. These are the areas affected:

  • Financial sector
  • Energy sector
  • Transport sector
  • Industrial sector
  • Granting of visas
  • Individual restrictions on persons and institutions

For further information on the sanctions against Russia, see the Council of the EU and the European Council website: EU sanctions imposed on Russia.

The EU finances arms supplies

The EU finances the supply of weapons and equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces: it is providing a total of 3.1 billion euros for such items as armoured vehicles, tanks, heavy artillery and ammunition. See here for more about military aid.

EU launches training mission

In the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU member states agreed to launch the Military Assistance Mission in support of the Ukrainian armed forces (EUMAM Ukraine). Ukraine has made it clear that it still requires considerable support in training its armed forces to defend the country against Russia. EUMAM will initially last for 24 months and is open to participation by third countries. Ukrainian soldiers are trained exclusively on the territory of EU member states.

The EU has approved fast, uncomplicated admission of war refugees.

The EU interior ministers unanimously adopted the Directive on the temporary protection of war refugees. This protected status grants the following benefits:

  • Residence rights for up to three years, no asylum procedure required
  • Access to the labour market in accordance with the labour market policies of the member states
  • Access to housing
  • Social benefits
  • Medical assistance and other forms of support
  • Schooling for children and young people

See on the European Commission website for full details of implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive.

On 27 April 2022, the EU Commission approved more than 3.5 billion euros in advance financing to member states to help them provide for Ukrainian war refugees. Payments for the Cohesion Action for Refugees in Europe (REACT-EU) were made under the Cohesion Action for Refugees in Europe/CARE initiative.

The EU is providing support for border management

The EU Commission is making every effort to take specific operational action to ensure efficiency and security in border management. In addition, EU agencies support member states with staff and expertise to reduce waiting times and maintain a high level of security.

The EU is supporting EU countries’ admission capacity 

By means of various extensive measures, the EU is supporting member states in receiving war refugees. For example:

  • The EU Commission has created a solidarity platform through which member states can exchange information on reception capacity.
  • Various EU websites provide information for war refugees from Ukraine, e.g. on issues such as admission procedures, social benefits, etc.
  • EU member states can also receive significant additional funding from EU funds for the period 2021 to 2027 so as to ensure adequate reception facilities.
  • The EU has also supported Ukraine financially in the past.

The EU is providing humanitarian aid

The EU is making 523 million euros available to address the tragic humanitarian consequences of this war, both inside and outside Ukraine. Of this, 485 million euros will go to Ukraine and 38 million to Moldova. 

These funds will finance a wide range of aid, including food, water, essential household items, healthcare, psychosocial support, emergency shelter, protection and cash assistance to meet basic needs. 

More than ten million people in Ukraine have received humanitarian aid to date. Almost nine million people have received food aid, almost three million benefited from health interventions or supplies, and two million from cash assistance.

In the global fundraising campaign Stand Up for Ukraine co-organised by the EU on 9 April, a total of 9.1 billion euros was raised to support war refugees in Ukraine and other countries.

Since the beginning of the Russian attack, the EU and its financial institutions have pledged around 5.4 billion euros in macro-financial assistance, budget support, emergency aid, crisis response and humanitarian aid to enhance Ukraine’s overall economic, social and financial resilience.

In the past, the EU has provided Ukraine with extensive financial support in the form of affordable loans and subsidies. Since 2014, the EU and European financial institutions have provided over 17 billion euros in subsidies and loans to Ukraine.

The following were also provided during the period 2014 to 2021:

  • 350 million euros in humanitarian aid provided by EU member states,
  • over one billion euros in EU emergency aid and early recovery assistance, and
  • 193 million euros in humanitarian aid provided by the EU Commission.

The EU is committed to the reconstruction of Ukraine

The EU is committed to effective instruments for the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine. The war has already destroyed a lot of infrastructure in Ukraine, including schools, hospitals, power stations, railway stations and a third of the energy infrastructure.

Together with the assistance of the international community of states, a donor platform is to be established to coordinate the reconstruction process in Ukraine. In addition, according to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, one third of Ukraine’s financial needs will be covered by the EU next year – a total sum of 18 billion euros. Find out more about the background to the Conference on the Reconstruction of Ukraine.

EU accession of Ukraine
The EU has granted candidate country status to Ukraine – and also to the Republic of Moldova. This sends out a crucial signal that the future of these countries and their citizens lies in the European Union.

The EU has activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The EU Commission is coordinating the medical supplies and civil protection resources provided by EU member states.

In concrete terms, this means that those in need in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries of Poland, Slovakia and Moldova are being provided with millions of aid items including vehicles, medical equipment, tents, blankets and sleeping bags.

One key source of these aid supplies is the stocks of rescEU – an emergency stockpile of relief items set up by the EU. For more information about EU civil protection, see the European Council website.

What is the EU Civil Protection Mechanism?
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is a European Union agreement that regulates enhanced collaboration between member states in the event of disasters. The most comprehensive activation of this procedure to date is currently underway in response to the war of aggression on Ukraine.