The EU’s legislative body has revealed plans for a cross-continental infrastructure network to strengthen transport links between Europe and Asia, Reuters reports. The strategy in some ways mirrors China’s highly-marketed Belt and Road Initiative, which has drawn suspicion from some European leaders.
The European Commission laid out the strategy in a 13-page document released on Wednesday, in which it mentioned proposals for 60 billion euros ($70 billion) of investment from a mixture of private sector and development bank loans to insure infrastructure projects.
The document estimated that between 2021 and 2027 the fund could raise over 300 billion euros. Once the proposals are agreed upon by EU governments, the spending plans would then become official EU policy.
On being asked whether the plan was a deliberate counter to Beijing’s Belt and Road project, Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said: “Our proposals, our policies and our calendar are not determined elsewhere.”
“It is not a reaction … to another initiative … be it in Beijing, Washington, Moscow or Timbuktu.”