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The Global Gateway: A recipe for EU geopolitical relevance?


Chloe Teevan, San Bilal, Ennatu Domingo and Alfonso Medinilla, ECDPM discussion paper, 13 June 2022

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The Global Gateway is the EU’s new connectivity strategy that aims to create smart, sustainable and secure links with countries around the world in the thematic areas of digital, energy and transport. It also aims to strengthen health and education systems across the world. The paper argues that the Global Gateway strategy has the seeds of something new, but that it will need to overcome a number of challenges to be successful.

The Global Gateway strategy presents a clear European offer based on democratic values, equal partnerships, environmental sustainability, safe and secure infrastructure, and integrates the private sector. The EU wants to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative and other regional and global players and to re-establish the EU’s standing, notably in Africa where the EU promised €150 billion of a €300 billion pledged under the Global Gateway investments.

It will be essential for member states to fully buy into the Global Gateway brand, bringing both their political and financial offer to the table. It will take time, patience and genuine impact to develop the Global Gateway into a successful brand. Overcoming reputational issues, particularly in Africa, will require showing that this is genuinely a new approach. The Global Gateway will also require a change in the way development, foreign and economic policy areas work together, combining geopolitical steering and an understanding of private sector needs. Finally, there will be no Global Gateway unless the EU and its member states manage to scale up private sector investment.

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Photo courtesy of Christian Lue via Unsplash.

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