In 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the EU Global Gateway in her State of the Union speech. She claimed it was the EU’s new flagship strategy, investing in infrastructure to counter the influence of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
One year later, a new Eurodad and Counter Balance report reveals that the Global Gateway lacks a clear development mandate. The report, The Emperor’s New Clothes: What’s new about the EU’s Global Gateway?, shows how the strategy’s design and planning is shrouded in secrecy and lacks public scrutiny. This raises serious doubts on whether the Gateway is little more than a public relations exercise by the European Commission.
Our analysis shows that the Global Gateway is more about ‘de-risking’ private investments and favouring European economic interests abroad than offering long-term sustainable development for non-European countries. This is a dubious diversion of EU development funds that is particularly worrying at this moment of multiple energy, climate and social crises.