Posted on 12 Jun, 2024 by Christoph Rasch

In the middle of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the German capital this week hosted the highly regarded Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2024). Here, actors from governments, organisations and the private sector connected and discussed how the damage of war can be repaired and what the future of Ukraine might look like. In several side events, participants from GFA Consulting Group were also able to make contacts with important players, learn about the current status at numerous panels and inform participants about GFA initiatives.

One of the main eve-of-conference events was the “All Reconstruction is Local” forum organised by the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. Here, the US special representative for the economic reconstruction of Ukraine, Penny Pritzker, presented the vision of a modern Marshall Plan to shape Ukraine's economic recovery. “The event asked exactly the questions that we as GFA want to actively contribute answers to,” says Victoria Jennett, portfolio manager in the governance department: “How can we support the reconstruction and how can we create a political and legal framework to facilitate this? And how do we strengthen local leadership in implementing reforms?”

Another side event, where GFA representatives participated, took place under the title "Resilience, Reconstruction, Prosperity: Perspectives for Ukraine’s Economy". This day-long conference was jointly organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the Kyiv School of Economics, the London School of Economics and the Clingendael Institute. The prominent panels featured top officials of the Ukrainian Cabinet, DG NEAR and IFIs. Together with researchers and private sector representatives, they dived deep into the most urgent public investment needs, macroeconomic risks, and ways of mobilising private investment in times of war. “De-risking measures to unlock foreign direct investment (FDI) rank high on the priority list”, says Sascha Kuhn, who participated for GFA. “Ongoing governance reform efforts are an important pre-condition and must be sustained to provide adequate framework conditions for recovery efforts to be effective on the ground.”

The same day, Ievgenii Cherviachenko, Senior Consultant in GFA’s Energy Department, attended the Deloitte Green House Pre-Conference Event, where especially discussions on the energy panel about Ukraine’s obligation towards carbon pricing mechanisms and promotion of renewables caught his eye. Cherviachenko, who talked to important stakeholders and discussed ideas for possible project support in the renewable sector, concluded: “On a negative note, the risks of war are high in Ukraine. Many people with valuable skills have fled Ukraine and the issue of an effective rule of law remains, but on the other hand when the international community unites to bring capital into the country for reconstruction and reform, there is a real chance to align and strengthen Ukraine’s legal and corporate standards and bring transparency to the system.”

The reconstruction of the energy supply infrastructure and the mobilization of private capital were two of the core tasks formulated by the Ukraine Recovery Conference with its more than 2,000 participants. In addition, the international community must ensure that the economic and political system in Ukraine does not collapse, emphasized senior officials. Victoria Jennett concludes: “GFA is ready to help and strengthen the structures for a functioning post-war democracy including and importantly at the local level in Ukraine.”


On the top: GFA | Panel with Volodymyr Kuzyo (left), Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine, at the FES event on the day before the Ukraine Recovery Conference

On the bottom: Penny Pritzker, Special Representative for Ukraine Recovery and Reconstruction (left) with Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff from GMF'S Berlin Office.
Oleksii Dorogan, Head of BRDO (left) with Sascha Kuhn from GFA.