In 2018, the European External Action Service and the European Commission presented a strategy for improving global connectivity: the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia. The objective of the strategy is to enhance connectivity in a rules-based and sustainable manner (smart, green and sustainable) by means of infrastructure upgrading. The EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy is to be supported by the NDICI (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument) financial instrument.
Connectivity within the meaning of the strategy is based on the definition of the ASEM and is to bring countries, people and societies closer together. Connectivity facilitates closer economic and personal relationships. It includes hard and soft factors, infrastructure as well as cultural relations.
In the transport sector, connectivity encompasses all modes of transport (aviation, shipping, rail and road transport) and in addition the responsible institutions, infrastructures, financial cooperation, information technology and digital connections, energy, education and research, tourism, cultural exchanges as well as customs, trade and investment facilitations.
A key element of the EU-Asia connectivity strategy is to guarantee internationally agreed standards, sustainability and transparency as well as sound financing. The economic and political sovereignty of the target countries is thus ensured at all times. On the basis of these principles and values, Europe is open to cooperate with third countries.
The signing of the EU-Japan Connectivity Partnership within the framework of the Europe Connectivity Forum in Brussels on 27 September 2019 served as a visible kick-off event for the strategy. Another important step was the establishment of the EU-India Connectivity Partnership within the framework of the India-EU Summit on 8 May 2021.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is collaborating closely with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Foreign Office to raise awareness of the EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy and strengthen rules-based infrastructure upgrading worldwide.
Further information on the EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy can be found here.