Ursula von der Leyen at the Global Gateway launch

INTERNATIONAL: The European Commission has unveiled its Global Gateway international investment programme, which aims to offer countries around the world a ‘values driven’ alternative to China’s Belt & Road Initiative when they are deciding how to meet their infrastructure development needs.

Global Gateway aims to provide up to €300bn of investment between 2021 and 2027.

Support will be targeted at sustainable and high quality projects in the areas of:

  • digital networks & infrastructure,
  • climate & green energy;
  • transport infrastructure;
  • health;
  • education & research.

Transport infrastructure investments will aim to create ‘sustainable, smart, resilient, inclusive, and safe’ railways, roads, ports, airports, multimodal logistics networks and border crossings, fostering sustainable development, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying supply chains and building on Europe’s position as a global transport hub.

Having extended its Trans-European Transport Network to the Western Balkans, Turkey and the Eastern Partnership region, the EU will engage actively with partners on the adoption of the Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network in the Southern Neighbourhood, and promote the strengthening of connections with adjacent strategic corridors in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia, advancing the regulatory environment and promoting EU and international standards.


Announcing Global Gateway on December 1, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said countries’ current options for investment ‘too often come with a lot of small print which includes big consequences, be it financially, politically or socially’.

In contrast Global Gateway would have a ‘values-driven’ approach, and would be a ‘trusted brand’ for good governance, demonstrating how democratic values can deliver certainty and transparency for investors, sustainability for partners and long-term benefits for people around the world.

The key principles will be:

  • democratic values and high standards, with investments being in line with the rule of law, human rights and international norms;
  • good governance and transparency;
  • equal partnerships, metting the local needs as well as the EU’s strategic interests;
  • ‘green and clean’, supporting a green transition and a move to a circular economy;
  • security focused, with projects being safe and resilient to natural or man-made disasters, cyber and hybrid threats;
  • catalysing the involvement of Europe’s private sector industrial, knowledge and investment capacity.

Financing would be offered under ‘fair and favourable’ terms in order to limit the risk of debt distress. There would be adherence to the rule of law, open public procurement, high standards of human, social and workers’ rights, and respect for international rules and intellectual property.

Team Europe

Global Gateway will be implemented through a ‘Team Europe’ approach, bringing together funding by the EU, member states and financial and development institutions including the European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction & Development. It will actively seek to mobilise private sector finance and expertise and support access to sustainable finance.

The EU is exploring the possibility of establishing a European Export Credit Facility to provide a more level playing field for EU businesses in third-country markets where they have to compete with state-supported foreign competitors.

‘Our world depends on people, economies and countries being connected to one another’, explained von der Leyen. ‘Global Gateway is Europe’s strategy to better connect the world. We will support smart, sustainable investments in quality infrastructure, in line with the EU’s values and standards.’