Think20 Dialogue Forum

Prosperity through globalisation

For two days research institutes and international think tanks have discussed their recommendations for the G20. Discussions focused on identifying solutions to global challenges. The Chancellor sees one main approach - multilateralism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel stands at the lectern at the Global Solutions Summit.

Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin

Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

About 1,000 participants from the realms of politics, science and research, and the private sector came together at the Global Solutions Summit to discuss the major challenges of our time. The overarching theme of the summit was "Recoupling social and economic progress – towards a new international paradigm". The summit looked, for instance, at ways of making globalisation more socially equitable, strengthening the global trading system, and effectively addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. The sustainable development goals were also on the agenda.

The dialogue forum aims to elaborate policy recommendations for the G20 process, with a special focus on socioeconomic issues.

Community of responsibility and multilateralism

"We need shared responsibility for the world," declared Chancellor Angela Merkel in her speech at the Global Solutions Summit. That means keeping open the channels for discussion and identifying solutions together. Working for multilateralism means the ability to compromise, because no multilateral agreement will ever precisely mirror the solution of any one party, she stressed.

Multilateralism is currently coming under pressure, because in recent years we have seen an incipient revival of the belief that it is possible to achieve more for one’s own interest group by acting alone as a nation. "We must accept this systemic competition – because that’s what it is – two competing schools of thought – and we must go through with it," declared Angela Merkel.

Supporting Africa as partners

"I personally believe it is particularly important to support development on the African continent," continued Chancellor Angela Merkel. We must also "encourage the states of Africa to develop confidence in their civil societies." 

Africa is a young continent that is home to many young people. We must tap into their creativity and say, "Yes, that can be an inspiration for us, that can be a driver for us." Europe is not yet sufficiently ready to do so, said the Chancellor.

Climate cabinet for climate action targets

With a view to Germany’s climate action targets for 2030, Angela Merkel announced that a climate cabinet would be set up and a climate action law "or several laws" adopted. 

In the transport sector Germany, as a transit country, faces huge challenges. In spite of all that has been achieved in terms of reducing emissions per vehicle since 1990, Germany has not managed to reduce overall emissions in the transport sector, because the increasing number of vehicles on the road simply negates this progress, declared Angela Merkel. A future reduction in CO2 emissions can only be achieved through electric mobility and new engine technology, she said. 

Creating a common perspective

In their recommendations for the G20, the experts said back in 2017 that it was time to develop a common perspective, based on three simple ideas. Firstly, the future of humanity depends on stabilising and managing global public goods including the world economy and the biosphere. They are the preconditions for peace, security and human prosperity in future. Secondly, managing these public goods will require investment in a comprehensive culture of global action. And thirdly, global top-down governance will not work unless people are put at the heart of the globalisation process.

The Think20 (T20) is a politically independent network of think tanks from the G20 states. Since 2012 it has organised a dialogue among its members and proposed solutions to global challenges. The German government asked the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German Development Institute (GDI) to take charge of the T20 process during Germany’s G20 presidency in 2017.