The EU is about to launch a global infrastructure plan

Seetao 2021.09.22
  • In the second half of the year, the overall macroeconomic environment is improving, and investment continues to improve steadily

With the continuous recovery of the economy after the epidemic, governments from all over the world have gradually exerted their investment. In July 2021, the European Union launched an ambitious global infrastructure plan that attempts to connect Europe and the world. The strategic plan did not mention China, but EU diplomats who participated in the drafting of the plan said that it was "full of China."

After more than two months, on September 15, local time, the President of the European Commission Von der Lein gave the program a name in his annual address-"Global Gateway", saying that the EU hopes to use it to interact with other countries in the world. Establish a "Global Portal Partnership". She also announced that the EU will discuss this plan with African countries at the regional summit in February next year.

At the beginning, Von der Lein boasted the EU’s achievements in fighting the epidemic, including 70% of adults completed vaccination, 700 million doses of vaccines were provided to other regions, and economic recovery was being achieved. In his speech, Von Delane proposed a number of development plans such as the European Chip Act, health care strategy, education and training, and climate protection. She told the representatives of the member states present that the EU is facing a new era full of hyper-competitive transition to a new international order. Von der Lein believes that it is important to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation, but what the EU needs is the European Defense Alliance. She said that on the issue of establishing the EU crisis response force, there is not only a lack of resources, but more importantly, a "lack of political will." "Even if there is the most advanced military in the world, what use is it if it is not ready to be used?"

Prior to this, Borelli, the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, publicly stated that the chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan has sounded the alarm that Europe needs to develop military capabilities independent of the United States. To this end, he suggested that the EU form a deployable joint military response force of 50,000.

Later, Von der Lein talked about the EU version of the global infrastructure plan. In this speech, she referred to it as the "Global Gateway". "We (European Union) hope to turn the global portal into a trusted brand all over the world." Von der Lein said that the European Union will establish a "global portal partnership" with countries around the world, hoping to invest in high-quality infrastructure and transform the world Goods, people and services everywhere are connected.

The "Global Gateway" plan was first proposed to the public in July 2021, and the European Union stated that the plan will be formally implemented in 2022. In the strategic plan announced at that time, China was not mentioned, but an EU diplomat who participated in the drafting of the plan said that the document was "full of China." Reuters also said that this is the latest move by the EU to counter China after the EU reached a global infrastructure agreement with Japan and India in April 2021, and a similar call made at the G7 summit a month ago.

In his annual address on the 15th, von Delane did not shy away from China. She said: "We are good at financing roads. But for Europe, it doesn't make sense to build a perfect road between China-owned copper mines and China-owned ports. In this type of investment, we must become more Smart." Von der Lein also mentioned that the European Union will discuss the "Global Gateway" plan with African countries at the regional summit in February 2022.

The European version of the US Political News Network commented that the EU's "Global Gateway" program will compete with China's One Belt One Road initiative. In July 2021, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met with the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Borelli.

In response, Wang Yi said that China welcomes the EU's global connectivity initiative. Some people claim that the European side's initiative is intended to hedge China's Belt and Road Initiative. I don't think the European side has such a narrow mindset.

Borelli said that the interconnection initiative proposed by the European side is by no means a rivalry with the Belt and Road Initiative. We are willing to strengthen coordination with China to align Europe’s connectivity initiative with the Belt and Road Initiative. We are also willing to strengthen cooperation with China in addressing climate change. Editor/Xu Shengpeng