Global Gateway, launched by President von der Leyen in December 2021, is the EU’s contribution to narrowing the global investment gap, supporting global economic recovery and accompanying the twin green and digital transitions beyond European borders. It is a value-based strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.
Discussing Global Gateway during the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in February, Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen stated that “connectivity investment will not only help us to collectively overcome the negative effects of the COVID crisis, it will also contribute to establish a shared vision for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific” and pledged long-term, trust-based and sustainability-driven partnerships with the region.
This session examined how such partnerships are being implemented between the EU and the Indo-Pacific, discussing lessons learnt as well as existing successes from the EU Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia (2018) to build on.
The discussion highlighted the size and diversity of the Indo-Pacific: a vast region ranging from land-locked countries to remote islands. The panellists agreed that the Global Gateway needs to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach and really tailor investment to countries’ specific needs. Priorities include addressing the consequences of climate change; digitalisation and cyber security; and guarding against inequality as the region grows over the coming decades. The panel also emphasised the importance of expanding cooperation beyond development aid to create positive, reliable and inclusive partnerships.