16 Sep 2021

EU announces Global Gateway ahead of VDL’s Western Balkans trip

The European Union (“EU”) will launch a project called Global Gateway, European Commission (“EC”) President Ursula von der Leyen said during her latest State of the Union address.  The project will aim to bring the EU closer to its partners worldwide.  Besides revealing plans for the Global Gateway, the commissioner also announced her Western Balkans trip.

The fact that the two topics were brought to light in the annual EU policy speech may mean that the Global Gateway could bring more investments from the EU to the region.  Commenting on the project, Von der Leyen added that the bloc wants to create a global partnership and increase economic ties.  The commissioner stressed that it is the EU’s goal to connect goods, people and services through the Global Gateway.  Meanwhile, she noted that the initiative would also bring significant infrastructure investments.

“In a more contested world, protecting our interest is not only about defending ourselves. It is also about forging strong and reliable partnerships.  This is not a luxury.  It is essential for our future stability, security and prosperity.  And this work starts by deepening our partnership with our closest allies,” said Von der Leyen.

The head of the European Commission went on to say that investing in the future of the Western Balkans meant investing in the future of the EU and touched upon the EU’s relationship with the US.

“The European Union and the United States will always be stronger together.  And of course, the same goes for our neighbors in the Western Balkans.  Before the end of the month, I will travel to the region to send a strong signal of our commitment to the accession process.  We owe it to all those young people who believe in future in Europe,” she noted.

Global Gateway is expected to act as a counterbalance to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.


Author: Vanja Popović