There are no ready-made mechanisms for Ukraine's recovery yet. However, funding is needed now, which will be helped by adhering to the principles of reconstruction shared by Ukrainian society, the donors, and those doing the reconstruction work.

Experts of the think tank consortium RRR4U (Resilience, Reconstruction and Relief for Ukraine), including the Centre for Economic Strategy, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, the Institute for Analytics and Advocacy, and DiXi Group, have outlined such principles and their application in the Ukrainian Recovery Cookbook.

First and foremost, transparency. Trust requires that one ensures the operation of a transparent ‘kitchen’, where everyone can see how the team works and what products are used to prepare dishes.

Second, capacity. If a restaurant or cafe lacks a head chef or trained assistants, just as much as it would without professional food purchasers or financial specialists, it will soon go bankrupt. Likewise, in reconstruction, capable institutions are needed both at the central level and locally.

A people-oriented approach: Just as diners at a table must find their own dish and not go hungry, recovery projects should prioritise meeting the needs of people and communities.

Private business engagement: Rather than relying on state-run canteens, we advocate for the cultivation of a vibrant restaurant and café culture, featuring diverse ‘menus’ that are not dictated by a centralised authority.

Trust: In a fine restaurant, as well as in reconstruction, the work is built on trust between the owner, chef, financier, client, and other stakeholders.

‘Build Back Better’: The client must not only be satisfied, but also healthy. That's why an increasing number of restaurant businesses are focusing on using eco-friendly products and equipment. The same rules – inclusiveness, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness – should be followed in the reconstruction.

And finally, compliance with EU standards: The credibility of a restaurant increases if it complies with international standards. Similarly, during reconstruction, the indicators set out in the EU ‘Green Deal’ should be followed.

Ukraine's reconstruction needs are huge, amounting up to USD 400 billion. It is impossible to cover this on our own.

At a meeting of the European parliament's budget committee, our partners most often asked whether Ukraine could be trusted, how the funds would be used, and who would control it. Therefore, adherence to the basic principles is in the interest of every Ukrainian.