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EU Council nod to conclusions on globally connected Europe

The Council of European Union. Photo: @EUCouncil/Twitter

Brussels, July 12 (MNN) The Council on Monday approved conclusions on a ‘Globally Connected Europe’ which, it said, highlight the need for European Union to pursue a geostrategic and global approach to connectivity so as to advance its economic, foreign and development policy and security interests and to ‘promote European values’.

The Council also said that it encouraged the operationalisation of existing partnerships with Japan and India.

The conclusions build on the 2018 Joint Communication and Council Conclusions, “Connecting Europe and Asia – building blocks for an EU Strategy”.

They reaffirm the same basic principle, namely that connectivity should be sustainable, comprehensive, and rules-based, the Council said.

“The conclusions highlight the importance of connectivity for economic growth, security and resilience. Better connectivity would contribute to the diversification of value chains, reduce strategic dependencies and boost competitiveness for the EU and its partners.

“The Council stresses the importance of investing in both physical infrastructure and regulatory frameworks. It calls on the Commission and High Representative to coordinate with member states and European businesses, as well as with financial and development institutions, in order to pursue the EU’s connectivity aims. It notes the need for predictable international norms and standards in order to maintain a level playing field and incentivise private investment.”

The Council said it also emphasised connectivity partnerships with like-minded countries and regions.

“Such partnerships can help promote compatibility and complementarity of connectivity actions and initiatives, in full cooperation with beneficiaries. The Council encourages the operationalisation of existing partnerships with Japan and India.”

In addition, it called for additional partnerships and cooperation, including with ASEAN and the US. “Cooperation within multilateral fora, including the G7 and G20, is also encouraged. The Council welcomes, in particular, G7 discussions to build back better for the world.”

To implement this ambitious connectivity agenda, the conclusions call for a new joint communication by spring 2022.

Additional actions are foreseen in the following domains:

• identifying and implementing a set of high impact and visible projects and actions globally

• presenting streamlined financing schemes to incentivise investments

• mobilising the private sector to finance and implement projects

• ensuring visibility of the EU’s global connectivity actions

• ensuring efficient cooperation and coordination between all stakeholders

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