The new European Global Gateway is a scheme by the European Union to with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese initiative has faced a lot of criticism from the West. Amongst the criticism is that they have created debt dependence through their multi-billion dollar infrastructure and investment scheme through their strategic reach.
As an alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative, the EU has unveiled a 300 billion Euros global infrastructure plan known as the “Global Gateway.” This is a roadmap for investment in the developing world, including Africa. According to the EU Think Tank, this is an alternative because the Chinese have created debt dependencies rather than creating links.
The EU aims to mobilize funds in the private and public sectors. Therefore, this roadmap is a global plan. It will address the needs and well thought out interests of different areas in the world. According to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der leyen, the European Global Gateway will stand out because of high quality, good governance, reliable standards, and transparency.
According to the EU Think Tanks, this strategy will increase clean energy and transport levels. Also, the health, education, and research sector will be strengthened worldwide. Therefore, it aims to become a trusted brand that connects people globally and tackle global problems such as climate change.
The EU is focused on connecting the people across the world because the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how the world we live in is interconnected. The template shows how the EU will build more connections with the world.
The continent is facing a lot of challenges in climate change. This is mainly caused by the energy used, which harms the environment and causes global warming. Thus the EU investments will ensure that the private and public sector uses clean energy, for example, renewable energy, which is good for the environment.
The European Global Gateway will deliver high-quality projects. However, the projects will differ according to the needs of each country. For example, countries with poor healthcare systems will gain from these investments. This ensures that the local communities enjoy the lasting benefits of the projects.
Therefore, European Global Gateway is all about increasing public and private sector investments. The EU Think Tanks will include; the EU, European Investment Banks (EIB), and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The private sector is mobilized to leverage investments, thus leading to transformational changes. Team Europe will work on the ground. This ensures that they identify and plan the Gateway projects in the partner countries.
The Global Gateway will increase its funds through new financial tools. For example, investments in infrastructure projects between 2021 and 2027 in the priority areas will be financed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). Also, the European financial and development finance institutions have budgeted 145 billion Euros for planned investments.
The EU can establish a European Export and Credit Facility to increase their overall investments in priority areas to increase their financial toolkit. The EU business must compete with foreign competitors who receive large support from their governments. The credit will ensure that the demand for their services and products increases in third-world countries. The demand will thus play a role in facilitating their Global Gateway plans.
For the initiative to succeed, the EU has provided solid financial conditions for their partners. The Global Gateway projects will be risk-free with an improved debt-sustainability compared to their competitors, including China. Also, the EU will ensure that management, social and environmental standards are high. This means that investments will be utilised effectively and efficiently to reduce mismanagement. Technical assistance will be provided to EU Think Tanks to ensure that economical and credible projects are prepared.
The European Global Gateway focuses on international stability, cooperation, and high democratic values. The EU will ensure that they do not cause any rift with their competitors while carrying out their infrastructure projects. Therefore, they will seek the country’s cooperation before starting an investment project. Also, the EU will demonstrate democratic values. The investors will be provided with certainty that the projects are risk-free. The projects initiated by the EU will be sustainable for the partners with long-term benefits for the people in the developing world.
The European Global Gateway also aims to narrow down the global investment gap. Due to limited financial power, developing countries are lacking behind in terms of investments. Compared to European countries, there is a high difference in infrastructure between G7 countries and developing countries. Therefore the G7 leader’s effort to reduce the investment gap is through the 2021 to 2027 Global Gateway. Therefore, the partnership consists of high values, standards, and transparency to meet the global infrastructure development needs.
The EU has committed to working with partners seeking to achieve the same investment plan by connecting the people globally. The European Global Gateway has collaborated with the US “Build Back Better World” initiative. Their commitment is aimed at addressing the climate crisis through infrastructure. The world is currently facing a climate change crisis. This has been brought about by using non-clean energy, which increases the emission of greenhouse gases which destroys the ozone layer. Therefore, this collaboration of like-minded partners will lead to developing and championing clean energy.
The roadmap of the Global Gateway has been guided by the achievements of the 2018 EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy which achieved its plans recently. The partnership aligned its initiative with the UN’s 2030 Agenda, it’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement.
Lastly, the Global Gateway Projects will be developed and coordinated using the Team Europe Approach. The EU Think Tank will collaborate with the government and private sector in the partner countries to ensure that the infrastructure projects are successful. Therefore, through the guidance of the EU leaders, including the Commission’s President, the European Global Gateway projects will be implemented and coordinated by all people involved.