The European Union will unveil next week its strategy for more than 40 billion euros ($45.9 billion) in technology and infrastructure spending that is a key part of the West’s response to China’s Belt and Road program.
The EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy will focus on digital, transport, energy and trade projects, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg. The plan is aimed at boosting Europe’s interests and competitiveness around the world, while also promoting sustainable environmental standards and values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The strategy follows a US-led agreement reached during July’s Group of Seven summit where leaders agreed to launch a global infrastructure initiative called Build Back Better World to help narrow the gaping infrastructure need in the developing world and provide a green rival to China’s ambitious initiatives.
The Global Gateway plan will “provide an umbrella brand for the already extensive EU investment in infrastructure worldwide,” the document says, to allow better coordination between member states, expand cooperation with international and regional partners and make funding go further.
The EU will offer 40 billion euros in guarantees from its European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus mechanism, in addition to several billion euros in grants, according to the draft. The document also notes that under the EU’s current budget cycle through 2027, investments in connectivity are expected to rise.