PARIS (Sputnik) – Since both the European Union and China are working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they should harmonize their visions of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative, Stefano Manservisi, the director-general of the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development Department, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
“I think that this has reached a moment in which it will be useful that we sit and compare our notes in order that we can say if we all work for the Sustainable Development Goals, if we work to improve the life of people in the world, let’s say ‘I’ll do it this way, you’ll do it this way, but let’s also agree on some formal tracking or measurement of the impact’,” Manservisi said on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum when discussing the new silk road.
READ MORE: US Seeking to Ruin Syria’s Future as China’s Belt and Road Partner — Lawyer
He acknowledged that certain differences did exist between the European and Chinese partners, but, nevertheless, called for maintaining a “permanent dialogue” to ensure that the BRI projects are aimed at reaching the SDGs.
“Today probably our Chinese friends do not know, do not understand the way in which we are doing [things], and on our side very often we do not understand them. Therefore, it’s time to sit and to set some moment of permanent dialogue, of comparing notes, of setting some criteria to measure the impact, for example, in infrastructure,” Manservisi emphasized.
Prior to that, in September, the European Union put forward its alternative proposals for China’s Belt and Road initiative, with EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini saying she wanted a “European way” of connecting the two continents to make the project more mutually beneficial, calling for more opportunities for the European companies.
The Belt and Road Initiative was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It aims to strengthen the cooperation between the Eurasian countries and accelerating economic growth. The project is looking to promote investment in infrastructure projects that link dozens of countries across Africa, Asia and Europe.