The European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the launch of the Global Gateway initiative, as it is convinced that the investments and cooperation projects of EU and non-state actors in the EU need to be better known and promoted around the world.
The EESC firmly believes that it is in the EU's interest to coordinate investment and development cooperation through the Global Gateway with similar programmes of countries with which we share values and common strategic interests. Synergies with the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region must be also achieved.
The EESC believes that the relevant European institutions, in cooperation with the Member States and partner countries, will have to carry out an analysis of the priority needs for global infrastructure investments, taking into account the EU's strategic and economic interests, but also having regard to the social, climate and ecological commitments of the EU.
The EESC believes it is important for the EU to focus on maintaining the functioning and development of physical connections between Europe and other parts of the world. Infrastructure that provides access to water, food and energy for the population is essential, and the entire ecosystem that makes it possible to achieve food security at global level must be given priority in the actions of the EU institutions and the Member States.
The EESC notes with concern that the dramatic situation of the war in Ukraine requires us to adapt the EU's financial instruments so that they are flexible and comprehensive enough to be used much more quickly when global crises arise, especially in the EU's neighbourhood.
The EESC urges that investments in priority corridors for transport, energy and electronic communications infrastructure be based on impact assessments that assess not only strategic considerations, including lessons learned from armed conflicts in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, Ossetia, Libya, etc., but also other issues relating to climate change, environment protection, human rights and social responsibility.
The EESC calls on the European institutions and the governments of the Member States to ensure that European values are respected and promoted through the implementation of projects registered under the Global Gateway brand. The respect for fundamental human rights, social and environmental impact assessment and compliance with transparency and due diligence procedures must be found in the sine qua non conditionalities for launching any project funded by EU state and non-state actors.