Po­lit­i­cal changes in the West a chal­lenge for Ger­many at G20 helm

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - VIEWS - The au­thor is deputy chief of China Daily Euro­pean Bureau. fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ger­many, the Euro­pean Union’s largest econ­omy, took over the pres­i­dency of the G20 on Thurs­day and is pre­par­ing to host the group’s 12th sum­mit in Ham­burg next sum­mer, build­ing on the re­sults of the sum­mit in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince, in Septem­ber.

Ger­many has al­ready sig­naled it will ex­pand the G20 agenda by fo­cus­ing more on African de­vel­op­ment, cli­mate change, the United Na­tions 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, health­care and dig­i­tal­iza­tion. This is an en­cour­ag­ing trend.

How­ever, look­ing care­fully at the po­lit­i­cal land­scape in the West it seems the rich coun­tries may once again play a dis­rup­tive role in the G20 pro­cess.

At the G20 sum­mit in 2008, the lead­ing rich and emerg­ing economies began a pro­cess of Western-in­spired cri­sis management to achieve eco­nomic sta­bil­ity af­ter the col­lapse of US fi­nan­cial gi­ant Lehman Broth­ers. With those goals ba­si­cally achieved, the G20 be­came a global plat­form where other is­sues such as de­vel­op­ment, cli­mate change, sus­tain­abil­ity, la­bor and even women’s rights are now de­bated.

The wide sweep of the G20 agenda can be seen in the con­struc­tive out­come reached and the com­mit­ments con­tained in the com­mu­niqué is­sued by G20 sum­mit in Hangzhou. In terms of global gover­nance, it is a pos­i­tive sign when the South and North sit down to co­or­di­nate poli­cies for growth, de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity. Ger­many can learn from these out­comes as it be­gins its one-year G20 pres­i­dency.

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