EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia

Mogherini 2018_

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC. © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy today adopted a Joint Communication that sets out the EU’s vision for a new and comprehensive strategy to better connect Europe and Asia.

The Joint Communication builds on the European Union’s own experience of enhancing connections between its Member States, with and in other regions. With sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity at its core, the Communication will help to guide the EU’s external action in this field and is a part of the implementation of its Global Strategy.

The Joint Communication on elements for an EU strategy on connecting Europe and Asia is available online.

“Connectivity is the way to the future. The more connected we are, the more opportunities we have – to find common political solutions and to bring economic prosperity to citizens”, said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini. “Our approach is the European Union’s way: to establish stronger networks and strengthen partnerships for sustainable connectivity, across all sectors and based on a respect for common rules. This is the European way to tackle challenges and take opportunities, to the benefit of people in Europe and in Asia as well.”

Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen said: “We want to work with our Asian partners to improve connections between Europe and Asia, while bringing our values and approach in doing so. Infrastructure networks that will be built should be coherent, interoperable, as well as financially and environmentally sustainable. Calls for tender should be open and transparent to promote good governance and a level playing field. It is an approach that works, and one that we see a demand for among Asian countries, in our Eastern neighbourhood, the Western Balkans and beyond.”

The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica added: “The EU and Asia are important partners on sustainable development and delivering the UN 2030 Agenda. Our development cooperation is an essential element of our broader engagement and partnership with Asia, not least in promoting sustainable connectivity. We want to further strengthen our partnership and focus even more on providing technical assistance, improving regulatory environments and creating incentives to drive forward and scale-up much needed investments.”

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, said: “Transport infrastructure is the lifeblood of EU-Asia connections, carrying both people and goods between the continents, on the wings of digitalisation and decarbonisation. Europe is sharing and engaging through one of the most developed transport networks and infrastructure financing programmes in the world: the trans-European transport network. Connectivity matters!”

 Sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based: connectivity the EU’s way

The EU will combine a principled approach to connectivity and recognition that Asia encompasses different regions, which are home to very diverse countries in terms of economic models and level of development, with concrete action based on three strands:

  1. Creating transport links, energy and digital networks and human connections;
  2. Offering connectivity partnerships to countries in Asia and organisations;
  3. Promoting sustainable finance through utilising diverse financial tools.

Creating cross-border networks

Efficient infrastructure and connections create growth and jobs and enables people and goods to move. From transport links to energy networks, people-to-people contacts to digital webs, the EU will extend its own networks and to contribute to new ones beyond its borders.

The EU’s Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) are being extended to countries bordering Asia. The EU should now connect the TEN-T with networks in Asia. The EU’s digital single market provides a blueprint for enhancing trade in digital services, while its Digital4Development strategy fosters socio-economic development. We will share our experience of creating regional, liberalised energy markets with a focus on market-driven transformation towards clean energy. We will continue to promote human exchanges and mobility, for example in education, research, innovation, culture and tourism.

Developing strong bilateral and global connectivity partnerships

Our world depends on smooth and secure flows of goods, services and people. With a track record of a rules-based, fair and transparent internal market, the European Union is engaging with partners beyond its borders in order to promote similar approaches to sustainable connectivity.

The EU will pursue bilateral connectivity partnerships. The EU-China Connectivity Platform, for example, will help both parties to create synergies and address differing points of view. At a regional level, the EU is able to draw on its experience of contributing to the enhanced connectivity and integration of various regional cooperation structures, for example in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as with ASEAN and as part of the ASEM process. Fostering increased region-to-region cooperation in connectivity would enable the European Union to extend its sustainable and rules-based connectivity model. Finally, the EU will engage with international organisations in determining the legal frameworks and concrete forms of connectivity, for example to set international standards. The World Trade Organisation, the International Energy Agency, the International Maritime Organisation and United Nations bodies are just a few examples where the European Union is working and will continue to work for sustainable and fair global practices.

Promoting sustainable financing of investment

With Asia requiring an estimated €1.3 trillion per year for infrastructure investment, there are significant opportunities for EU companies, provided that robust legal frameworks are in place. The EU will look to combine financial sources from international financial institutions, multilateral development banks and the private sector to ensure sustainable domestic and international finance for connectivity, while ensuring transparency and a level playing field for businesses. A comprehensive approach to investment financing, pioneered in Europe by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, as well as outside the EU through specific geographical investment facilities, has successfully leveraged investments for infrastructure and connectivity. Combined with the European Commission’s proposals for reinforced external action under the next EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (2021-2027), the potential for additional intelligent, innovative and multi-dimensional investment financing in and towards Asia is significant.

A better connected Europe and Asia through transport links, energy, human and digital networks will strengthen the resilience of societies and regions, facilitate trade, promote the rules-based international order, and create avenues for a more sustainable, low-carbon future. This Joint Communication will inform the EU’s engagement with its partners from the neighbourhood to the Pacific, bringing benefits for the people of Europe and those countries who see the value of our approach to connectivity. 

Background information

The Joint Communication adopted today by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy provides the elements for an EU strategy on connecting Europe and Asia.

The proposals made in the Joint Communication will now be discussed in the European Parliament and the Council, and will contribute to discussions on connectivity at the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, to be held in Brussels on 18-19 October.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

These Harvard scientists think we’ll have to socially distance until 2022

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

Direction Wakanda: finance methods to make Africa a superhero continent

Trade Committee MEPs give greenlight to landmark EU-Japan trade agreement

OECD Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

Team Europe contributes €500 million to COVAX initiative to provide one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for low and middle income countries

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

The 5 mistakes we’re making in the fight against global energy poverty

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Healthcare workers’ safety: a forgotten necessity

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

What is behind the wide reach of  fake news about Coronavirus?

Insecurity and violence turn Nigeria into a ‘pressure cooker’ that must be addressed, says UN rights expert

Business can be profitable AND drive progress on societal priorities

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

State aid: Commission approves €900 million Slovenian scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

Turning waste into wealth: World Habitat Day focus on cleaning up cities

Fighting Depression In the Isolation of COVID-19

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

Africa-Europe Alliance: two new financial guarantees under the EU External Investment Plan

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

More funding needed to combat locust swarms ‘unprecedented in modern times’

Five avoidable deaths per minute shows urgent need for action on patient safety

Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain receive €279m after natural disasters in 2019

Is it too soon to hope for a tobacco free Romania?

Security Union: A Counter-Terrorism Agenda and stronger Europol to boost the EU’s resilience

Energy: EU priority projects should be aligned with 2050 climate objectives

The children’s continent: keeping up with Africa’s growth

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

UN Afghan Mission ‘outraged’ by deadly Taliban attack in Kabul, as hardline group threatens election violence

Global health challenges require global medical students

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

This Chinese tech giant’s latest gadget is… a bus

Governments must take further action to boost job opportunities at an older age

Coronavirus update: UN addresses school disruptions, suspends public access to New York Headquarters

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

2021-2027 EU Budget: €378,1 billion to benefit all regions

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

Coronavirus Global Response: the Commission’s contribution to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX)

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

From zero to one: a realist’s guide to overcoming hopelessness

Why France, Italy and the US press Germany to accept a cheaper euro and pay for Greece

This country came up with 5 novel ideas to tackle the pandemic

This New York store is selling Christmas presents for refugees

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

Africa’s inspiring innovators show what the future could hold

Mental health and suicide prevention: why focus on primary care

Draghi’s negative interest rates help Eurozone’s cohesion

Coronavirus: Commission issues guidelines on testing

Scientists are growing meat on blades of grass

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

How dearly will Germany pay for the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

New labour laws in Qatar benefiting migrant workers a ‘momentous step forward’: ILO

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s