EU Signs Ukraine Aid Deal, New Partnerships on Green, Digital World Ambitions

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Reporter
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
September 6, 2022 Updated: September 6, 2022

The executive arm of the European Union on Monday announced a 500 million euro (US$497 million) support budget to help Ukraine’s housing, education, and agricultural sectors.

The agreement was made in the wings of an EU-Ukraine Association Council meeting in Brussels with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal. It comes more than six months after Ukraine was invaded by Russia.

The European Commission said in a statement that the deal is one of four agreements being signed at the Association Council meeting aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s ties to the EU.

“This EU grant funding will help ensure housing and education for internally displaced persons and returnees and support Ukraine’s agriculture sector,” said spokesman Eric Mamer.

One of the agreements brings Ukraine into the fold of the Digital Europe Programme, which provides strategic funding as part of an overall agenda to make Europe “greener” and more digital.

The Digital Europe Programme will move Europe “towards a more digital world,” according to the Commission’s website.

“From now on, Ukrainian businesses, organisations, and public administrations will be able to access the calls from the Digital Europe Programme, which has an overall budget of €7.5 billion for the 2021-2027 period,” according to a news release.

The Digital Europe Programme provides funding in the five key areas of supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across member economies and societies.

European Green Deal

A key element of the Digital Europe Programme is its Green Deal initiative.

“The European Commission has begun to look at a greener Europe through the lens of the European Green Deal. At the same time, it is opening up discussions about the move to a more digital world: the digital transition,” the website states.

According to the European Commission, the continent’s Green Deal aims to transform the EU’s economy. Its stated goals are to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, “decouple” economic growth from resource use, and promises that “no person and no place [is] left behind.”

“The European Green Deal is also our lifeline out of the COVID-19 pandemic. One third of the 1.8 trillion euro investments from the NextGenerationEU Recovery Plan, and the EU’s seven-year budget will finance the European Green Deal,” the commission states.

One critic of Green New Deal frameworks has said that the climate change-fighting policies they propose are part of a broader effort to tilt free-market economies off their axis and control “every aspect of your life.”

Marc Morano, author of the book “Green Fraud: Why the Green New Deal is Even Worse Than You Think,” told The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads” program last year that it is essentially a “domestic copy” of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 initiative, which has been superseded by Agenda 2030 (pdf).

“This is the idea that the United Nations came up with—and the progressive left—that the earth can’t be left with capitalism. Essentially, that capitalism and climate and environment are incompatible,” Morano said.

“Therefore, you need a host of centrally-planned bureaucrats empowered not just in environmental and climate decisions, but in every aspect of your life, to the size of your home to what appliances you use, to what cars you drive,” he said.

Proponents of the Green New Deal have discussed abolishing private car ownership and even shifting away from natural meat to eating plant-based meat grown in labs, Morano said.

Groundwork Laid for EU-Ukraine Customs and Tax Cooperation

The two other deals struck at the European Commission meeting laid the groundwork for Ukraine to participate in the EU’s Customs and Fiscalis programs, boosting cooperation between Ukraine and the EU on customs and tax matters.

“This means that Ukraine will be able to take part in the activities of both programmes with EU Member States and other participating countries. It is a major boost for cooperation between the EU and Ukraine on customs and tax matters,” according to a news release.

The Fiscalis program, among other things, allows the tax administrations of EU countries to work together in fighting tax fraud, evasion, and aggressive tax planning. The customs program will allow authorities to work together in dealing with increasing trade flows, emerging trends, and technologies, while providing a better response to security threats.

“Ukraine’s participation in the Customs programme will also include connection to the common secure customs network (CCN/CSI), necessary for Ukraine to apply the New Computerised Transit System,” according to the European Commission.

Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au