Press Release: Friends of Europe launch new programme aimed at diplomatic development


Global Europe

Picture of Seán Flynn
Seán Flynn

Press and Communications Officer at Friends of Europe

30 March 2023, Brussels – Friends of Europe has launched a new programme called Global Europe aimed at strengthening multilateralism, new localism and multi-level, region-to-region cooperation between the EU and its partners. The launch took place today as part of a high-level roundtable entitled “Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development”.

The roundtable included commentary from Ms Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, the Anglophone West Africa Director and Representative for Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone for UNOPS. In her comments, Ms Charles-Monwuba highlighted the importance of shared language and coherence in working towards the same impact, and the need to bring voices together from different angles to address the global infrastructure gap.

“When you sit where I sit, working across five countries, interfacing with development partners, and the governments of those five countries, you begin to hear the divergence in the voices and the ideas. And so it’s important first of all that we find that shared language of trust…that enables us to be working towards the same impact that we want to achieve. Because if we don’t have that coherence in terms of the language, and what we hope to achieve, we’ll be coming at this from different angles,” said Ms Charles-Monwuba.

She also emphasised the importance of platforms like COP and the General Assembly in bringing together different priorities and voices, especially as Europe aims to mobilise up to €300bn of investment between 2021 and 2027 in digitalisation, climate and energy, transport, health, education and research, with €150bn of this allocated to Africa alone.

“What we’re talking about at UNOPS when we look at infrastructure is a huge gap. The Global Infrastructure Outlook puts it at $94 trillion by 2040. Graciously, Europe has put $300 billion on the table. But that is a far cry from what is needed. Some of those resources are there in the assets that are in the Global South…Other countries are nervous…Global Gateway’s website says: ‘Europe’s vision’. We can’t be talking in that language that seems to exclude. We need to have a voice that recognises that those who you want to put this investment towards also have a say,” she added.

Ms Charles-Monwuba emphasised the crucial role of infrastructure in today’s world, stating that it must be “sustainable, resilient, and inclusive” in order to truly make a lasting impact. She underscored the fact that infrastructure serves as the foundation for various essential sectors, ranging from agroecology and SDG1 to pandemic response, cities, and energy.

Reprioritising perceptions

During the roundtable, another panellist, Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the World Trade Organisation and Trustee of Friends of Europe, echoed the idea of perceptions highlighted by Ms. Charles-Monwuba. Mr Lamy stressed that the Global Gateway should not solely be ‘Europe’s vision,’ but should prioritise the perceptions of the Global South. He emphasised that the Global Gateway could be the means to “reinsert the development dimension into this trade and climate nexus,” but that it has not done so yet.

Mr Lamy called for the Global Gateway to focus not only on initiatives that are important to Europe, but also on issues that are important to coping with the challenges of climate change, including global warming and its consequences, further emphasising that the priorities of the Global South must be taken into account in order to successfully address the challenges of sustainable development.

Decades of globalisation have eroded borders, and today’s digital and climate challenges only emphasise an increasingly borderless global environment in which multilateralism and cooperation are paramount to the positive development of Europe and the world. In line with this, Friends of Europe has expanded and transformed its former Asia programme into a new and improved Global Europe programme in 2023.

The new programme’s focus will be on reframing Europe’s role in the world, strengthening multilateralism, and developing multi-level, region-to-region cooperation between the EU and its partners. It will build on Friends of Europe’s other areas of expertise in Peace, Security & Defence, Climate, Energy & Sustainability, Health, and Digital & Data Governance.

The launch took place as part of a high-level roundtable entitled “Global Europe: bridging investment and sustainable development”, held in partnership with UNOPS, the United Nations Office for Project Services. The roundtable brought together representatives and experts from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia to discuss the EU’s Global Gateway strategy and other global development and investment frameworks.

The successful implementation of the Global Gateway investment and cooperation would lead to meaningful progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

However, there are concerns about whether the EU development policy focuses on sustainable, inclusive economic growth that is oriented towards the realities of regions and individual countries, or whether it is focused on fulfilling well-intended goals that fail to keep the interests of respective regions and countries in mind. The roundtable provided an opportunity for experts to share their opinions on what works and what does not within the EU Global Gateway strategy and the global development and investment framework.

Friends of Europe’s new Global Europe programme represents a programme-based approach to addressing these challenges and working towards a more cooperative and sustainable future for Europe and the world.

For more information about Friends of Europe’s Global Europe programme, please visit our website here.




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For more information please contact Seán Flynn, Press Officer at Friends of Europe below:

Seán Flynn | Press Officer

Friends of Europe

+353 86 064 4317


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