Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development

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Global Europe
Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development


As the EU rolls out its Global Gateway and related investment plans, it is important to consider how the EU’s target regions, recipients and partners perceive and engage with the strategy, as well as other global development and investment frameworks. Between 2021 and 2027, the EU aims to mobilise up to €300bn of investment in digitalisation, climate and energy, transport, health, education and research – €150bn of which will be allocated in Africa alone. Successful investment and cooperation would not only lead to effectively addressing global challenges, such as climate change, but also to meaningful progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, in recent years, countries have increasingly questioned the excessive self-promotion of the EU as a role model of values. Does EU development policy focus on sustainable, inclusive economic growth that is oriented towards the realities of regions and individual countries, or does it focus on fulfilling well-intended, even if misguided, goals that benefit the EU’s image but fail to keep the interests of respective regions and countries in mind?

In addition to low- and middle-income countries’ decades-long challenges in advocating for investment in infrastructure, many other obstacles exist. Planning infrastructure for a low-emission and resilient future requires re-thinking at all levels of government to avoid exacerbating its negative effects. The implementation of effective infrastructure can strengthen resilience to withstand climate and economic shocks, as well as support climate mitigation targets.

This roundtable with representatives and experts from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia will feature unsalted opinions on what works and what does not within the EU Global Gateway strategy and the global development and investment framework.

This event will take place in Brussels and will also be available to a wider audience via livestream. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, and join the #FoEDebate!

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Registration and coffee
Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development
Expand Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development

Key questions that the debate will dive into include:

  • Given the current circumstances and known trends – particularly concerning climate change and digitalisation – that will influence global development in the 21st century or at least until 2050, is the current development policy approach still up to date?
  • What positive trends can be identified in international development and investment frameworks, and how can the EU and its partners push these trends forward?
  • Is the Global Gateway embedded in creating a more fair, just, inclusive and equitable world? Where is the Global Gateway strategy at risk of making missteps and how can its course be corrected to better contribute to the development of sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure?
  • How can the EU and other international institutions learn from the experience of development agencies operating worldwide to improve global standards?
Coffee break
Debate continued
End of roundtable


Photo of San Bilal
San Bilal

Senior Executive and Associate Director at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

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At ECDPM, San Bilal oversees the sustainable African economies and climate action portfolio. His current activities focus on financing for development and climate, sustainable investments, blended finance, the role of financial institutions for development, the EU Global Gateway and financial architecture, trade and development, particularly in Africa. He is also a member of the Knowledge Advisory Group of the Finance in Common Summit, the Coordination Groups of the OECD THK Blended Finance Platform, the European Think Tank Group and the Ukȧmȧ Africa-Europe platform for sustainable development.

Photo of Laure Blanchard-Brunac
Laure Blanchard-Brunac

Director of Policy & Partnerships at the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI)

Show more information on Laure Blanchard-Brunac

Laure Blanchard-Brunac has over 20 years of experience in sustainable investment, including in development finance and EU policy. Prior to her role as the Director of Policy & Partnerships at EDFI, she worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in various senior functions, the European Commission and the French Development Finance Institution PROPARCO. After spending more than ten years executing debt and equity transactions, Blanchard-Brunac has contributed to the implementation of key EU policy initiatives, especially involving EU financial instruments. She is also an Investment Committee Member of InvestEU, an EU flagship initiative to support sustainable investments in the Union.

Photo of Ilaria Caetani
Ilaria Caetani

Principal Partnerships Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Show more information on Ilaria Caetani

Ilaria Caetani works with the ADB’s multiple partners and serves as the focal point for its partnership with the European Union. Before assuming her role in partnerships and co-financing, she assessed the social and gender impact of energy projects in South Asia. Prior to joining the ADB, Caetani worked for the Italian Ministry of Finance in the bilateral aid unit of the treasury. She has also worked for NGOs in both Guinea and Palestine.

Josep Canals-Molina
Josep Canals-Molina

Secretary-General of MedCities

Show more information on Josep Canals-Molina

As the current Secretary-General of MedCities, Josep Canals-Molina oversees the network’s projects in 73 localities from all shores of the Mediterranean basin. Concurrently, he is an independent advisor of the Inter-American Development Bank and the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability. Formerly, Canals-Molina served as the advisor on public space and waste management of the Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, and as the advisor on public space of the Sabadell City Council. Before that, he also served as an elected councillor, metropolitan councillor and advisor on environmental and urbanistic policies in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

Photo of Michele Cervone d'Urso
Michele Cervone d'Urso

Head of Financing Instruments and International Cooperation (ECOFIIC) at the European External Action Service (EEAS)

Show more information on Michele Cervone d'Urso

As the Head of ECOFIIC at the EEAS, Michele Cervone d’Urso is in charge of creating an efficient interface for Commission services that deal with EU development policy, as well as ensuring the well-coordinated implementation of development-related instruments, allocation setting and, in particular, joint programming between the EU and member states. Previously, he served as the EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, as the EU special envoy and ambassador to Somalia and as the EU ambassador to Yemen. Altogether, Cervone has over 25 years of experience in international diplomacy, development and peacebuilding.

Photo of Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba
Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba

Director and Representative at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Ghana Multi-Country Office

Show more information on Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba

At UNOPS, Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba is the Anglophone West Africa Director and Representative for Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In this role, she is in charge of implementing the agency’s large-scale infrastructure, procurement and project management projects. Ifeoma is a development specialist with more than 25 years of experience in public health, development communication, social marketing, advertising and project management. Previously, she held a variety of roles at ActionAid in Nigeria, Haiti and Senegal, where she was the country director. She has also served as the head of governance, policy and partnerships for WaterAid Nigeria and has worked for Nigeria’s public health NGO, the Society for Family Health (SFH).

Photo of Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva
Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva

Ambassador of Brazil to the European Union

Show more information on Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva

In his current role, Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva is Brazil’s chief representative to the European Union. A career diplomat, he has worked for Brazilian missions in Geneva, Santiago, La Paz, Madrid and Ottawa. In Brazil, he has also served at the Office of the Presidency as the director of the economics department and as secretary of bilateral and regional negotiations in the Americas at the Division for International Trade. In this role, he was also the national coordinator for MERCOSUR and coordinator for the National Commission of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization.

Photo of Roberta Dall’Olio
Roberta Dall’Olio

Director of the European Associaton of Development Agencies (EURADA)

Show more information on Roberta Dall’Olio

As the Director of EURADA, Dall’Olio’s assignments imply design, management and technical assistance in EU, international and territorial cooperation projects with international organisations, EU delegations and international implementers on institution and capacity building, regional and local development, social economy, social innovation and urban regeneration. She has held various other positions withing EURADA, including president and board director. Dall’Olio has also served as the head of ART-ER’s International and Territorial Cooperation, Social Innovation Unit, a member of various European Commission working groups and a member of the OECD Lead Programme Directing Committee.

Isabelle Durant
Isabelle Durant

Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Isabelle Durant

With a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics, Isabelle Durant has held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy, and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament, President of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport and as Deputy-Secretary General and Acting Secretary General of UNCTAD. With a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector, her time as European Parliament Vice-President included responsibility for relations with civil society. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Photo of Elena Flores
Elena Flores

Deputy Director-General for International and Investment at the European Commission Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN)

Show more information on Elena Flores

In her current role, Elena Flores oversees the international and investment portfolio of DG ECFIN. Since she joined the European Commission, Flores has held several senior management positions, including as director for international economic and financial relations, global governance; director for policy strategy and coordination; and director for economies and member states II. Previously, she also worked as the head of the ‘Public finance in the euro area and the EU’ and ‘Monetary union: technical and financial market questions’ units, and served as an advisor in the office of the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, responsible for economic policies, employment, taxation and financial issues.

Photo of Katherine Foster
Katherine Foster

Executive Director of the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA)

Show more information on Katherine Foster

The Executive Director of GDFA, Katherine Kastrop concurrently serves on several international boards and committees, including EIT-Food of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub, the Capitals Coalition, UNEP Digital Circular Economy and the European Securities Market Authority. A former diplomat, who specialises in climate and human security, Foster has spearheaded  impact innovation for 30 years as a leader within the EU Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community, as sherpa to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing, as an advisor to the World Bank and at several award-winning technology for impact start-ups.

Photo of Pilar Garrido
Pilar Garrido

Director for Development Co-operation at the OECD

Show more information on Pilar Garrido

Before joining the OECD as Director for Development Co-operation, Pilar Garrido was the minister of planning and economic policy in Costa Rica, responsible for the areas of climate-resilient development, sustainable public investment, public sector reform and development co-operation policy. In the ministry, she has also served as the deputy minister, on the Technical Secretariat of the 2030 Agenda, and as the chief of staff and a senior advisor. Additionally, Garrido has worked on locally led sustainable development cooperation projects in Costa Rica, Central America and the Caribbean, and the Latin American region for the UNDP, the European Union and the Diputació de Barcelona.

Photo of Rogelio Granguillhome
Rogelio Granguillhome

Ambassador of Mexico to the European Union, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Show more information on Rogelio Granguillhome

Rogelio Granguillhome serves as the Head of Mexico’s Mission to the European Union, as well its Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He has more than 40 years of experience in the public sector, primarily as a diplomat, specialising in economic affairs, investment promotion and international cooperation for development. He has previously served as the ambassador to Germany, Singapore, India, South Korea and Uruguay and as the permanent representative to the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). In Mexico, he was the first executive director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).

Photo of Christian Kastrop
Christian Kastrop

Chair of the Socio-Economic-Transformation Program at THE NEW INSTITUTE

Show more information on Christian Kastrop

In his role as the Chair of the Socio-Economic-Transformation Program, Christian Kastrop leads THE NEW INSTITUTE’s research on how our current economic system can be transformed in a way that meets human social needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the environment. Concurrently, he is a Professor for Public Finance at the Free University Berlin. Prior to this, Kastrop was federal state secretary for digital society and consumer policy at the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Affairs. He has also previously served as the director general for European affairs at the Bertelsmann Foundation, director general at the Economics Department of the OECD and chairman of the Economic Policy Committee.

David Korpela
David Korpela

Head of Cabinet of the European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa

Show more information on David Korpela

Prior to assuming his current position, David Korpela worked in the Office of European Union Special Representative (EUSR) to the Horn of African as a regional political advisor, in which role he primarily focused on Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Red Sea. Before joining the team of the EUSR, Korpela served as a senior policy advisor for conflict affected and fragile states at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has also worked as a political advisor for the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia) based in Mogadishu, and as an East Africa regional representative and Haiti country representative at Finn Church Aid.

John Makoha
John Makoha

Regional Manager at the AVSI Foundation in Uganda

Show more information on John Makoha

As Regional Manager, John Makoha oversees the AVSI Foundation’s programme portfolio in all of Uganda’s 80 districts, covering all sectors, including education, health and nutrition, agriculture and food security, child protection, energy, environment, economic inclusion and livelihood, water, and sanitation and hygiene. Makoha previously also served the AVSI Foundation in Nairobi, as well as in Brussels as the foundation’s policy and advocacy liaison officer. Over the course of his various appointments, he has undertaken a number of short missions to other countries in Africa and eastern Europe where the AVSI Foundation is present.

Photo of Fleur Monasso
Fleur Monasso

Europe Climate Lead at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Show more information on Fleur Monasso

Fleur Monasso is part of the management team at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and advances its mission to reduce the impacts of climate change and extreme-weather events on vulnerable people. Concurrently, she is the Deputy Leader of Communication for the ENBEL Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to connect health and climate research. Monasso has over 15 years of experience as a technical climate advisor and manager of adaptation and resilience programming.

Photo of Ana Novik
Ana Novik

Head of the Investment Division of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs at the OECD

Show more information on Ana Novik

As the Head of the Investment Division, Ana Novik supports and contributes to the strategic orientations of the OECD Secretary General, with a focus on improving the international investment climate, promoting good domestic policies to support investment and responsible business conduct. She establishes strategies for the OECD to secure a leadership role in the international investment debate and to advance a more structured economic analysis of investment flows and impact. Novik also contributes to OECD-wide initiatives, including horizontal work streams on competitive neutrality, global value chains and OECD contributions to the G20. Prior to joining the OECD, Novik was the ambassador director of multilateral economic affairs in the Economics Directorate of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Photo of Rosmarie Schlup
Rosmarie Schlup

Board Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Show more information on Rosmarie Schlup

Rosmarie Schlup represents Switzerland, Ukraine, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein, Montenegro and Turkmenistan on the EBRD Board of Directors. She is responsible for the bank’s country strategies, policies and operations for and in the seven countries. Prior to her current position, she was head of the macroeconomic support division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and worked at the International Monetary Fund’s Institute for Capacity Development. She has previously served as a board member of the Extractive Initiative Transparency Initiative and as head of the Swiss Delegation to the Paris Club. Schlup has also represented Switzerland in numerous international fora on public financial management and financial sector development.

Photo of Jean Van Wetter
Jean Van Wetter

Managing Director of the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel)

Show more information on Jean Van Wetter

In his current role as Managing Director of Enabel, Van Wetter leads on the implementation of Belgium’s bilateral cooperation policies. Together with its Belgian and international partners, Enabel provides solutions to urgent global challenges, such as climate change, peace and security, social and economic inequality, and human mobility, and promotes global citizenship. Under his leadership, Enabel manages some 170 projects in 20 countries across Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Belgium itself. Van Wetter started his career as a strategy consultant for Arthur Andersen before moving into the international cooperation sector.

Photo of Wennie Waeijen
Wennie Waeijen

Coordinator - European Institutions at the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO)

Show more information on Wennie Waeijen

As Coordinator European Institutions within FMO’s public investment and blended finance department, Wennie Waeijen is responsible for the bank’s partnership with the European Commission and driving the strategic development, coordination and delivery of FMO’s European Fund for Sustainable Development programmes. Previously, she has served as a senior corporate communications officer at FMO, a communications advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and as an editor at the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS).



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