PanamaTimes

Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

EU to launch Global Gateway projects, “challenging” China’s Belt and Road

EU Officials finalize project details, amid reports that Beijing is slowing investment approvals. However, its not clear what Europe wants to build for others, while it failed to build it's own economy. It is not clear yet if it's a real project or yet just another channel to transfer EU money to EU officials, family and friends’ pockets.

The European Union's competition with China's Belt and Road will heat up early next year — with top officials convinced that the new flagship infrastructure projects would offer the developing countries a viable alternative.

EU officials responsible for the Global Gateway initiative are finalizing details for the selected projects, amid reports that Beijing is slowing investment approvals due to the sluggish global economy.

Over the last decade, Beijing has vastly developed networks of trade, transport hubs and energy routes under the Belt and Road initiative, while Huawei Technologies and other Chinese tech companies have invested heavily in the digital infrastructure of countries in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called at a recent meeting to bring visibility to the scheme, which aims at mobilizing up to €300 billion in public and private funds by 2027 to finance EU infrastructure projects abroad.

"We want to position Europe in a more competitive international environment. Global Gateway is therefore also about delivering visible results on the ground," she told officials in charge of the initiative, according to excerpts of her remarks seen by POLITICO.

"We suffer from a lack of visibility and recognition," she added. "We remain very fragmented between various Team Europe operators, and we still shy away from delivering visible hard infrastructure projects."

Citing a survey, von der Leyen said: "When asked in 2020 which partner had the most positive influence on their countries, only 10 percent of Africans mentioned the EU. Forty-seven percent said China."


Fragmented, slow


The remarks come on top of criticism that the West has repeatedly promised to challenge China's Belt and Road investments, but that the effort is too fragmented and slow.

In a joint interview with POLITICO, the EU's top civil servants in foreign policy and international development vowed that the EU would present a credible, competitive alternative to the Belt and Road.

"Once we will have rolled out much more substantially the concept of Global Gateway," it will prove to be an "attractive" option — "exactly as Belt and Road has been seen with all the negativity, if I may, with all the problems that it was creating," said Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European External Action Service.

Koen Doens, the European Commission's director general for international partnerships, echoed the optimism. "Precisely the idea of now choosing a number of Global Gateway projects that we can put in the shopping window is to show how to a certain extent, it's also different ... Quantity matters, but quality matters as well," he said.

A concrete example is the EU's partnership with Namibia, which is key to Brussels' search for more sources of renewable energy and raw materials. The partnership will develop infrastructure to produce green hydrogen for export via the port of Walvisbaai, as well as local training and cooperation on research and innovation. "It perfectly merges what Namibia considers as being its strategic interest with what Europe considers as being a very important strategic investment for us," Doens added.

For the EU — and especially Doens' department — Global Gateway marked a paradigm shift. Traditionally, the bloc has focused on aid in its partnerships with developing countries. Making strategic investments, on the other hand, involves identifying Europe's needs, involving the private sector and a mindset to actively compete with other powers like China. That required a shift, Doens said, "not just in Brussels, but also in the other capitals of Team Europe."

The EU's external action service is not in the lead for Global Gateway. But Doens and Sannino shrugged off rumors about intra-institutional competition on the project, and their joint interview sends that message both internally and externally. "It has always been my philosophy: we work together, we don't work against [each other]," Sannino said.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×