Germany’s G20 Presidency begins
Making globalisation benefit everybody
Germany would like to use its G20 Presidency to intensify international cooperation. It is the G20’s job to ensure that globalisation benefits everyone. The aim is to strengthen the benefits of globalisation and worldwide interconnectedness, and to ensure that more people reap benefits. The German government is thus setting a course diametrically opposed to isolationism and any return to nationalism.
Stability of the global economy is a "top issue" says Chancellor
Germany is happy to assume the G20 Presidency as of 1 December, and to host the G20 summit in July, declared Chancellor Angela Merkel in a video podcast on the German G20 Presidency. She cited the stability of the global economy as the "top issue". The G20 finance ministers will be focusing on achieving progress on the stricter regulation of financial markets, especially in the field of shadow banking.
Germany attaches a great deal of importance to continuing with the major issues of its G7 Presidency, Angela Merkel continued. And a number of issues "related to development" will be given a very high profile, in particular fighting pandemics.
Agenda of Germany’s G20 Presidency with three main focuses
The German G20 agenda rests on three main pillars:
- Ensuring stability
- Improving viability for the future
- Accepting responsibility.
The G20 is the main forum for international cooperation among the 20 leading industrialised nations and emerging economies in the fields of finance and economics. The G20 nations are together home to almost two thirds of the world’s population, as well as generating more than four fifths of global GDP, and accounting for three quarters of global trade.
Ensuring stable and resilient national economies
The first pillar involves strengthening stable environments for the global economy and the financial system, but also promoting dynamic economic growth. Structural reforms are the lynchpin here.
Over and above this, Germany’s G20 Presidency will continue cooperation on international financial and fiscal issues, employment, and trade and investment. The aim is to strengthen free and fair trade around the globe. The German government will also be working for sustainable global supply chains.
Fit for the future
During its G20 Presidency, Germany not only aims to ensure the stability of the global economy, but also, and this is the second pillar, to make it more fit for the future. One main concern is to make progress on realising the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
It is every bit as important to discuss viable energy and climate strategies for the future. And the growing importance of digitalisation for the global economy will play a prominent part in the discussions of the G20. To be fit for the future will also mean improving health care. The worldwide fight against antimicrobial resistance is part of this, as are efforts to put in place the mechanisms to prevent the outbreak of pandemics.
And last but not least, empowering women in the economy, in particular improving the quality of women’s jobs, is on the agenda. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be working to give women in developing countries easier access to information and communication technologies.
Accepting responsibility – especially for Africa
Germany also intends to strengthen the G20 as a community of responsibility – and that is the third pillar. A priority concern is to achieve sustainable economic progress in Africa.
The German G20 Presidency aims to take concrete steps to improve people’s living conditions in the long term and to put in place a stable environment for investment. And it aims to promote infrastructure development on the African continent. In June a separate conference entitled "Partnership with Africa" will be held in Berlin.
But the G20 also aims to accept responsibility in other fields. Migration and refugee movements, the fight against terrorism, money laundering and corruption will also be addressed during Germany’s G20 Presidency.
Meetings of G20 ministers and dialogue with civil society
In the run up to the G20 summit, numerous line minister meetings will be held, in order to explore individual G20 issues in greater depth. Between January and May 2017, ministers responsible for finance, foreign affairs, labour affairs, health, agriculture and digital policy will be meeting.
As was the case during the G7 Presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel will again be meeting with representatives of civil society. Between March and June 2017, several dialogues are to take place, including events for the business community (Business20), non-governmental organisations (Civil20), trade unions (Labour20), the science and research community (Science20), think tanks (Think20), women (Women20) and youth (Youth20).
The civil society organisations themselves are responsible for these meetings, which will pick up on relevant G20 issues. With international partners they will be producing recommendations for the German G20 Presidency.