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G7 summit: there’s a big agenda, but the group’s world-beating influence is much diminished

1 6 0
09.06.2021

The G7 meeting of world leaders hosted by the UK in Cornwall will have a very different feel than recent summits. The 2020 summit was cancelled because of COVID, but Donald Trump’s “America first” agenda caused much acrimony at previous outings. At Biarritz, France in 2019 and La Malbaie, Canada in 2018, there were high-profile rows over issues like trade and the possibility of readmitting the Russians.

With President Joe Biden now setting out to revive American multilateralism as a way of reasserting his nation’s hegemony, the summit will be a test of whether the world can still work together in the shadow of the pandemic. It has an ambitious agenda aimed at tackling the world’s most pressing problems:

So what will it all add up to? In the past, G7 summits have played an important role in reshaping the world economy towards greater globalisation. The inaugural meeting at Rambouillet, France, in 1975 was called during a deep recession caused by the oil crisis and turmoil in the currency markets, and led to coordinated action on exchange rates and ultimately to the creation of the euro. The 2005 G8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland focused on African poverty and debt, and helped spur rich countries towards meeting the UN aid target of 0.7% of their GDP.

But as the economic power of the G7 has declined – from making up 80% of the world economy in 1975 to around 40% today – its role has........

© The Conversation


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