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English Section

EU in bid to rival China with Global Gateway drive

02.12.2021 15:00
The European Union has launched a new connectivity strategy that aims to mobilize billions of euros in an attempt to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative, a Polish newspaper has reported.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveils the new Global Gateway initiative at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveils the new Global Gateway initiative at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Called the Global Gateway, the new strategy seeks to mobilize EUR 300 billion (USD 339 billion) in infrastructure outlays by 2027 to support green and digital transitions globally, Poland's Rzeczpospolita daily reported.

The Global Gateway initiative follows up on a 2018 EU-Asia connectivity strategy, according to an announcement.

The EU will use its European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus, the financing arm of its external investment plan, to make available "up to EUR 135 billion in guaranteed investments for infrastructure projects between 2021 and 2027," in addition to generating up to EUR 18 billion in grants from the EU budget, the bloc announced on Wednesday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “the European model is based on investing both in hard and soft infrastructure, implementing projects of sustainable investments in the sectors of digital technology, climate and energy and research, but also fostering climate protection guaranteeing equal conditions for all."

Under the strategy, EU countries will themselves pick projects they are interested in while acting as Team Europe, encompassing not only the European Union and member states, but also the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank, national investment banks and private businesses, the Polish newspaper reported.

Selected projects are expected to be financed with subsidies, but mostly loans will be used, as in the case of Belt and Road Initiative projects, according to Rzeczpospolita.