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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

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

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

Technology is delivering better access to financial services. Here’s how

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Draghi indirectly accuses Germany of using double standards in financial issues

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

A Sting Exclusive live from Brussels: Solheim’s consequential visit leading the world and the UN

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Eurozone recession subsides

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

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

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Who can compel Wallonia to unlock CETA, the EU-Canada free trade pack?

Cryptocurrency mining could become the new face of energy storage. Here’s how

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

This is what you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

More Stings?

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