Infrastructure is a key driver for economic prosperity, inclusive growth and job creation. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and SDG 9 targets; delivering on quality infrastructure that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable is therefore fundamental across all domains of energy, transport, water and sanitation. Reaping the full potential of digitalisation and boosting climate compatible investment in response to the EU's Priorities 2020-2024 – in particular the Green Deal - are essential elements for this endeavour.
Poor infrastructure hampers a country’s growth and ability to trade in the global economy. In view of its geostrategic and growth dimension, connectivity becomes pivotal to reach from rural to continental levels. Building a road, a tunnel or a bridge to connect citizens to healthcare, markets, jobs and schools can radically improve the lives and livelihoods of rural communities. These connections will create new opportunities across entire regions.
Quality Infrastructure Delivery for Connectivity Enhancement
Quality and quantity has to go together if a difference is to be made in the future. Against this backdrop, the EU builds its infrastructure cooperation on the G20 principles of quality infrastructure delivery and investments and anchors economic, social and environmental aspects in its approach.
Those principles are applied throughout all phases of the project cycle both (i) for the provision of economic infrastructure and (ii) the required governance reforms to overcome sector inefficiencies that hamper investments to yield.
Sustainable Mobility and Transport
To ensure a sustainable connectivity, transport infrastructure forms the backbone of most economic and social processes and plays an important role under the Green Deals’ external dimension. The EU allocates a significant share of its cooperation budget to this sector through different modalities and builds on the work of the EU Transport Task Force under the 2019 Africa-EU Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs:
EU support for the transport sector encompasses a wide variety of aspects and is geared to:
- investments and asset management (roads, railways, urban infrastructure, ports, waterways, airports)
- transport facilitation (Connectivity, Corridor management, Platforms interface, Logistics, Legal and regulatory framework)
- mobility and transport services (road safety, urban mobility, rural mobility)
- crosscutting transport issues (air pollution, motorcycles, gender in transport, more green, resilient and inclusive investments, etc.).
Sustainable transport connections with Central Asia
The European Commission is conducting a study on sustainable transport corridors connecting Europe with Central Asia with two objectives:
- Identifying the most sustainable transport corridors connecting the five Central Asian republics with the EU’s extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)
- Proposing key actions for corridor development – in terms of both physical infrastructure (hard connectivity) and enabling environment (soft connectivity)
The study is led and funded by the European Commission and implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) over a period of 12 months.
The European External Investment Plan and its investment facilities (Africa Investment Platform, Caribbean Investment Facility, Investment Facility for the Pacific etc.) and guarantee schemes have and will further promote infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and other geographical regions by combining long-term investments from development finance institutions with grants and building a strong network of European and partner countries actors.
The Caribbean Investment Facility and the Investment Facility for the Pacific region also support regional infrastructure investments in transport, water, energy and ICTs.