EIC on the new EU Global Gateway Initiative
EIC welcomes the new EU Global Gateway Strategy as positive political signal to EU partner countries
EIC recommendations with a view towards Transport infrastructure finance
‘EIC welcomes the new Global Gateway initiative as it provides an excellent opportunity to formulate Europe’s value proposition to addressing the significant infrastructure gap in the EU’s neighbouring and partner countries overseas and, at the same time, to modernising the EU’s investment and delivery model for external infrastructure activities’ wrote EIC President Chauvin to the EU Commissioners for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, and for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis.
EIC appreciates that the EU will provide additional € 4.6 billion to enhance sustainable transport connections in Africa and in the Southern Neighbourhood. ‘This is good news for European international contractors, and we stand ready to deliver high-quality, sustainable and resource-efficient transport infrastructure that enables partner countries to accelerate social and economic development and facilitates their integration into global supply chains’.
At the same time, President Chauvin called upon the European Commission that it should consider additional strategic measures in order to further enhance the Global Gateway strategy, such as involving European Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in the Global Gateway’s investment and delivery model, strengthening the financing mandate for the EIB, setting-up a partially untied aid facility, and linking Global Gateway with sustainable procurement practices.
The EIC recommendations are the following:
- Recommendation 1: EIC calls upon the European Commission to utilise Global Gateway as a catalyst for a better alignment of the various sources of EU development finance and export finance, to overcome ‘silo thinking’ and to institutionalise the collaboration between all relevant European infrastructure financiers.
- Recommendation 2: EIC calls upon the European Commission to invite European ECAs to develop into an integral part of Global Gateway by becoming “eligible counterparts” in accordance with Article 35 of the NDICI Regulation (EU) 2021/947 and Article 208 of the Financial Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046.
- Recommendation 3: EIC calls upon the EU Commission to increase Europe’s competitiveness in financing large-scale infrastructure projects by promoting an expansion of the EIB mandate towards export finance, arguably in the form of an EXIM role of the EIB.
- Recommendation 4: EIC recommends that the European Commission and EU Member States consider the development of an EU concessional facility for infrastructure projects with a partially untied character in line with the rationale of Article 28 para. 1 of the NDICI Regulation.
- Recommendations 5 and 6: EIC calls upon the European Commission to embed the ‘Team Europe’ approach into its indirect management operations by restricting ‘blending’ operations to pillar-assessed financial entities from within the EU. In addition, the disbursement of EU funds should be linked to financing only those projects involving a ‘European content’ and/ or ‘European interest’.
- Recommendations 7 and 8: Under the ‘Team Europe’ approach, the European Commission should agree with European DFIs to restrict procurement opportunities to the natural and legal persons who are effectively established in the countries listed in Article 28 para. 1 of the NDICI Regulation. In any case, EIC calls upon the EU to follow in the context of the EU Global Gateway initiative the example of the U.S. Development Finance Institutions, such as MCC, which exclude ‘government-owned enterprises’ from tender procedures for projects that are financed by US development finance.
- Recommendation 9: EIC calls upon the European Commission to ensure policy coherence with the EU Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU, in particular its Article 67, which requires contracting authorities to base the award of public contracts on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT).
European International Contractors (EIC) is a European industry federation with the mandate to promote the interests of the European construction industry in relation to its international business activities. EIC has as its members national construction associations from fifteen European countries, to which the internationally active European contractors are affiliated, as well as several associated member companies from construction-related industries and professions. The annual turnover of internationally active European contractors associated with EIC’s Member Federations outside their respective home countries amounts to around €170 billion.
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