December 4, 2021 - 11:33 am

EU To Unveil Massive Worldwide Infrastructure Plan 

The European Union (EU) on Wednesday launched a new connectivity initiative called the Global Gateway, aiming to mobilize 300 billion Euros ( $339 billion) in infrastructure outlays, digital and climate projects by 2027, in another attempt to counter the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The scheme, is to strengthen Europe's supply chains, boost EU trade and help fight climate change, focusing on digitalization, health, climate and energy and transport sectors, as well as education and research.

                                The EU's Global Gateway is essentially a new case of the West's endless moves - right on the heels of the US-led G7 initiative known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) - to seize the ground in more terms as such BRI counter-initiatives that tout higher standards and values-based cooperation are de facto rubber checks. The EU's feeble governing credentials and economic slowdown as undercutting the credibility of its new infrastructure strategy.

                                Beijing has invested $139.8 billion  in the BRI which is the center-piece of Chinese foreign policy. China aims to develop land and sea infrastructure to better connect China to Asia, Europe and Africa for trade and development, and it has found many partners around the world. However, the West believes it it is a tool for China to influence poorer countries. The criticize Beijing for inciting emerging economies to take on too much debt and allege the secretive tender process is prone to corruptions.

                               While the B3W expects to be global in scope, ranging from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and the Indo-pacific, the Global Gateway strategy has plans to back projects spanning Eastern and Southern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the indo-pacific. The EU is a loosely-bound grouping, with the distribution of national interests within a 27- member bloc fairly divided and the continuity of policies often in doubt. For the new connectivity strategy to not once again fade into obscurity, the EU will have to prove its prowess in funding various projects under the Global Gateway, largely beyond the bloc's financing capabilities.