- Vishnuviraj Dhir
The EU Strikes Back!
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
The title for our first commercial update is not just a playful parody of the Sci-Fi cult classic The Empire Strikes Back (1980) but rather it is an astute observation of the EU’s plans for the future.
The EU, along with other western nations, are finally getting serious about China’s plans for global dominance via its Belt Road Initiative (BRI): a colossal transport and infrastructure project that the CCP are using to connect China with European markets as well as expand its political influence.
This Wednesday during the Annual State and Union Address, the European Commission’s president Ursula Von der Leyen announced the EU’s new connectivity strategy the ‘Global Gateway’: a scheme that directly rivals China’s Belt Road Initiative by building and investing in “quality infrastructure and connecting goods and people around the world”.
Ursula was not shy to compare the scheme with China’s BRI, as she remarked that the ‘value based’ finances, which will help poor countries develop, are emphasised on creating ‘links and not dependencies’: in contrast, the investment schemes offered via China’s BRI – as demonstrated by China’s acquisition of Hambantota Port after the Sri Lanka failed to repay earlier loans – are predatory in nature.
Additionally, Ursula was keen to reinforce the EU’s vision of the future as she emphasised that the EU would become a more ‘active global player’ in a ‘new era of hyper-competitiveness’. Ursula’s enthusiasm coupled with the recent proposals for an EU army paints an intriguing glimpse of the future, one where the various rising and aging superpowers are tussling for economic dominance.
Putting the politics aside the announcement the EU’s Global Gateway means exciting prospects for the business and legal community (investments and infrastructure projects always require contracts - and when there is a contract there is always a lawyer in close proximity).