On today´s EU Council Conclusions on connectivity, Reinhard Bütikofer, foreign policy coordinator of the Greens / EFA group and rapporteur on connectivity in the European Parliament, declares:
“Three years after the EU launched its connectivity strategy, it is now getting serious about it. The Council Conclusions signal a determination to finally get things done. After the European Parliament adopted its position in January, the Council now joins the call on the Commission to start implementing the strategic goals of the European connectivity policy at the highest level.
The new momentum must also be reflected in a new, significantly better communication strategy. The EU has to make clear what the difficult-to-understand word connectivity is all about: Europe offers partners worldwide increased cooperation in sustainable, fair and multilateral development. “Global Partner Europe” would be a label that clearly expresses this intention.
The demands that the Council and Parliament have formulated correspond in many ways. Above all, both institutions are convinced that the member states and the private sector should be actively involved. The Council underestimates, however, the role of civil society and of parliaments. They are indispensable for the popularization and visibility of the strategy.
The Council is not ambitious enough when it comes to the role of the connectivity strategy in Europe’s partnership with Africa. After the EU recently agreed on a connectivity partnership with India in a short time, this goal should be placed on the current agenda for our neighboring continent in order to come to a connectivity agreement there by the next EU-Africa summit in the first half of 2022 .”