EU Establishes Anti-Corruption Body for Ukraine Aid

The new Audit Board will scrutinize the management of a €50 billion aid package allocated to Kiev

To ensure the proper use of billions of dollars in aid allocated to Ukraine as part of the EU’s plan to finance the country during its conflict with Russia, the European Commission has established a special oversight body.  

On Monday, the EU formally announced the creation of a Brussels-based Audit Board tasked with “preventing fraud, corruption, conflicts of interest, and irregularities” in funding provided to Ukraine by the bloc. This body, which will operate until mid-2028, will regularly report to the EU Commission and communicate any concerns.  

In February, EU members agreed to provide Kiev with up to €50 billion ($54 billion) in funding from 2024 to 2027 through the Ukraine Facility mechanism. These funds will support Ukraine’s modernization and reconstruction, ensure continued public services for its citizens, and facilitate the implementation of numerous reforms required for EU membership.  

Of this sum, €33 billion will be generated by issuing bonds, while €17 billion could come from “non-repayable support” potentially derived from proceeds of Russian assets frozen by the EU after the conflict began. Moscow has consistently condemned the asset freeze as “theft.”  

The program also includes conditions, requiring Kiev to significantly strengthen its rule of law and democratic institutions.  

Corruption has long been a major problem in Ukraine, and the country has been embroiled in several high-profile military procurement scandals in recent months.   

These concerns were echoed in a report released by the Pentagon Inspector General last month, which characterized corruption in Ukraine as “endemic” and its government as “one of the least accountable” in Europe.  

Meanwhile, a report published by the European External Action Service on Ukraine in 2023 acknowledged that the country had made some progress in strengthening its anti-corruption efforts but urged it to “continue building a credible track record of investigations, prosecutions, and final court decisions in high-level corruption cases.”