US Secretary of State George C. Marshall, speaking at Harvard University 75 years ago, laid out a plan that combined aid to war-ravaged European countries with the strategic goal of building an alliance against Soviet expansionism.
West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, speaking at Harvard University 50 years ago, presented the idea of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) as a gift to the American people, a sign of gratitude by the German people and a living memorial to the original Marshall Plan.
Today, the idea of another Marshall Plan is in the air. For the first time since 1947, a project for an expansive recovery effort on the European continent is needed and realistic. Russian President Vladimir Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine, with daily widespread devastation in the name of his neo-imperial plan, cries out for a strong, creative response by the global community of democracies. The vision of a free and democratic, modernized and European Ukraine is the answer to Putin's challenge.
For decades, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) has supported the idea of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. It has supported the strengthening of civil society across Central and Eastern Europe. It has helped to generate and circulate ideas that honor the concept of enlightened self-interest and promote a collaborative, rules-based international order. At the core of GMF's work has always been the belief that the transatlantic community is stronger together.
In July 2022, at an international conference in Lugano, Ukraine presented its National Recovery Plan. So far, its democratic partners have not responded in kind by agreeing on a plan to help the country rebuild after the war, leaving a void.
This paper is an effort by GMF to help fill this void and to stimulate the debate about a meaningful Western plan for Ukraine's recovery. It is not a full blueprint for such an effort but a structured collection of recommendations for donor governments and international institutions. It limits itself to the challenges of designing and implementing such a plan and does not comment on Ukraine's National Recovery Plan. GMF hopes to follow this up with a broader, more comprehensive publication later in 2022 that will cover areas that this paper only touches upon, such as the role of civil society in the recovery process.
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