Source: Tanjug | Wednesday, 01.12.2021.| 15:20
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EU Wants to Match Chinese Investments in Western Balkans – EUR 30 Billion for Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education Within Global Gateway Strategy

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Illustration (Photo: Birute Vijeikiene/shutterstock.com)
The European Commission today announced a new European investment strategy, called Global Gateway, through which projects in the fields of a green and digital transition, energy and transport infrastructure, as well as the strengthening of healthcare, education and research, will be financed worldwide.

The plan is for Global Gateway to mobilize up to EUR 300 billion for European investments in the world by 2027.

The beginning of the EU investment strategy is also the Economic Investment Plan for the Western Balkans of EUR 30 billion, the European Commission announced.

– Global Gateway should change the difficult circumstances in our immediate neighborhood and it will start showing results still within the mandate of this Commission. People, goods and services will move faster and more cheaply – said the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi.

When it comes to the Western Balkans, Varhelyi emphasizes that this is a set of grants and loans of nearly EUR 30 billion, which is nearly a third of the overall GDP of the region.

He says that connecting this region and the EU is “a living infrastructure”, which will enable the further growth, but also the kind of security and stability that “only Europe can offer”.

– The plan encompasses road and rail projects to the end of connecting all the state capitals in the region, both among themselves and with the EU. One example is the Peace Highway, or the Adriatic-Ionian Corridor – Varhelyi says.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, adds that the countries of the region have already had experience with Chinese investments and that they need “different and better offers”.

– We are present and it is known that our work is transparent, well managed, that it will not lead to unsustainable debts, that the projects are planned together with the partner-countries, so that the local communities would have actual benefits from the infrastructure, but also to bring, through these projects, the private sector, which doesn’t exist in China. This is a true alternative – said Ursula von der Leyen.

The conclusion in Brussels is that the principles, priorities and standards that exist in the EU will also be implemented in investment projects worldwide.

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