THE EU IN THE G8. Promoting Consensus and Concerted Actions for Global Public Good
The monograph reflects on the dynamics of the EU role in global governance processes, presents analysis of the methods and instruments the EU employs for achieving its objectives in the international arenas, models and options of multilateral partnerships. The EU’s evolving role and influence in the G7/G8 over the last ten years reflecting its growth in power and influence as well as the EU expanding community competencies and legal authority is specifically explored, as an area which so far has not been sufficiently investigated. The work is tracing the transformation of the EU identity as a global actor in the recent decade and looks into how these changes affect the EU – Russia relationship. The book adds value to the scholarly literature in the field of studying the EU as a global actor. The contributions aim to serve as a reference and analysis for academics and students in the fields of political science, economics, law and other disciplines. The work aspires to be helpful to government officials, financial institutions, research libraries, the news media, and to members of the interested public.
The monograph reflects on the dynamics of the EU role in global governance processes, presents analysis of the methods and instruments the EU employs for achieving its objectives in the international arenas, models and options of multilateral partnerships. The EU’s evolving role and influence in the G7/G8 over the last ten years reflecting its growth in power and influence as well as the EU expanding community competencies and legal authority are specifically explored, as an area which so far has not been sufficiently investigated. The work is tracing the transformation of the EU identity as a global actor in the recent decade and looks into how these changes affect the EU – Russia relationship.The authors hope that the book will be a worthwhile reading and will add value to the scholarly literature in the field of studying the EU as a global actor. The contributions aim to serve as a reference and analysis for academics and students in the fields of political science, economics, law and other disciplines. The work aspires to be helpful to government officials, financial institutions, research libraries, the news media, and to members of the interested public.
In order to explore the present and future role of the EU in the G8, it is important to invoke, develop and apply several key contemporary concepts from International Relations Theory. This chapter focuses in turn on soft power and soft law, concerts, vulnerability and shocks, globalization and complex adaptive systems and multilateral governance and networks.
The concept of “global governance” emerged as the focus of active scientific debates mainly after the studies of Willy Brandt and his colleagues from the UN Commission on global governance. This Commission was created to discuss possibilities for solution by joint efforts of such global problems as deterioration of environment, fight against poverty, infection diseases, etc. In 1995 the Commission prepared its Report “Our global neighborhood”. The Report justifies necessity of global governance by claiming that its development is an essential part of humans’ efforts towards rational organisation of life on Earth and this process will continue forever (Our Global Neighborhood...1995). The reason for creation of global governance arises from the conviction that humankind after the era of global wars and global confrontation has a unique opportunity for adoption of the “global civil ethics”, which should be founded on the package of fundamental values, uniting people of all cultural, political, religious and philosophic beliefs. Such governance should manifest democratic principles on every level and should be exercised according to the established legal norms, which should embrace everyone.
The research aimed to study EU as a global player. This included the instruments the EU relies on to express its priorities and achieve its objectives, EU methods to engage international partners, European ways to creating global public good through partnerships and multilateral institutions. The analysis focused especially on the EU’s evolving role in the G7/G8 over the last ten years reflecting its growth as soft power and the EU expanding community competencies and legal authority. The timeframe of the analysis spanned the period from 1998 to 2008 to account for the most important developments following signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, birth and development of the ESDP and ESS, enlargement of the EU enhancing its representative weight in the international institutions, further extension of the EU competencies; as well as changing international order, and not least of all the start of the G8 in 1998. It has to be noted that though the study focuses on the recent decade whereas the Amsterdam Treaty provisions on the CFSP entered into force in 1999 reinforcing the legal and institutional foundations of the MS political and security cooperation, the research could not ignore the historical role of the EC – EU in the G7/G8.
An assessment of the G8’s relevance to, and relationship with, the EU requires a careful charting of the G8 system’s development as an international institution since its 1975 start, in the context of the many recent moves toward and proposals for often far reaching G8 reform. Such calls are currently driven by an emerging consensus that the G8 is rapidly losing its relevance in a world, where power is shifting to the many emerging economies outside the established club (Ikenberry 2008; Payne 2008; Fues 2007). The central claim is that the G8 as a centre of global governance is declining in effectiveness, responsiveness, representativeness and legitimacy largely because it no longer commands the globally predominant capability it once did. The primary prescription is that the G8 must reach out to include as full members the rapidly rising powers of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and perhaps others or soon be replaced by broader bodies such as a G20 finance ministers’ forum now elevated to a summit level club (Cooper, Jackson 2007; Lesage 2007; Martin 2006; Gnath 2007). Countering this consensus stand the G8 governors themselves, who have largely resisted this analysis and advice. But in the scholarly world, defenders of the current G8 configuration and the global governance status quo are very few indeed (Uda 2008; Payne 2008).
There is widespread and growing recognition of structural, procedural and other shortcomings of the present G8, and the need to reform or replace it. This sentiment has been expressed by the news media, academia and civil so- society, and, increasingly and significantly, by several present and former lead-, lead- leaders and other high officials of G8 countries. They have called for transforma- countries. transforma-.transformation into a different institution so that all significant players could play their full role in addressing global challenges. These voices include, among others, those of former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and even former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who was one of the founding fathers of the original G5/G7 – predecessor of the G8 (Martin 2007; Schmidt 2007; France 2008; Parker 2009). Despite its proven flexibility and significant achievements over its 35-year history, the G8 remains rooted in an earlier era, and it has not adequately responded to changing political and economic realities over its lifespan. The most pressing issue has been the emergence of crucial new actors outside the G8 framework and their significance in global governance. Without the full participation of major emerging-economy countries that are systemically im-important players, satisfactory initiatives and action in response to global prob- problems cannot be taken. And even wider participation is necessary to address global challenges of climate change, poverty, health and financial architecture.
The European Union is a new and unique player on the international scene. There is not and has never been anything like this in the history of mankind. Applying ordinary or traditional approaches to it does not make sense, nor does it really help to understand its role in international affairs and its conduct in the international arena. However, until recently, most politicians and international experts were doing just that. And the results are well known. A number of catch phrases and bywords have enriched world folklore and serious studies, reflecting an utter lack of understanding of the essence of the phenomenon and unwillingness to sort things out.
If you build the present in the image of the past you will miss out entirely on challenges of the future. The first meeting of the G20 leaders originally set up as the finance ministers’ forum at the initiative of the G8 leaders2 more than a decade ago in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis, launched a new phase of development both of the international financial architecture and the global governance system. The EU participation in the G20 has been full scale from its birth, unlike gradual inclusion of the EU into the G7 processes. The reasons are clear. The internal factor defining the EU influence in the G20 was the beginning of the third stage of EMU and adoption of the single currency. Success of the euro as the single and a second reserve currency, its establishment as a factor of the global economic and monetary system, defined the EU role in the G20.
The issue of energy has been one of the reasons behind the creation of the G7 mechanism and with later added climate change problem, it remains high on the G8 agenda. The major powers of the West needed to coordinate their efforts in order to confront the new challenges: the need to ensure security of energy supply, introduce energy saving and energy efficient technologies and make sure that leading industrial countries can afford proper economic development with the adequate and unhampered energy supply. The global energy system has come through three major stages, with the last system structure still being in the making – with all the stakeholders, namely producer, consumer and transit states, big transnational energy corporations and national energy companies, still going through grand reshuffle and redistribution of “decision-making vs. accepting the rules of the games” roles. The G8 in general follows the suit along the lines of changes introduced within the global energy architecture fluctuations. As for the club’s activities, there is a way to provisionally single out five phases in the G7/G8 energy activities. During the times of the two energy crises – 1970s – early 1980s energy security issues took a prominent place on the G7 agenda. Further on during the period of much lower prices and sustainable excess of supply over demand this issue became second rate and was mentioned only within the environmental context. End of 1980s – early 1990s, after the demise of the Soviet Union and the socialist block falling apart the main focus of the G7 lead178 Part III. Critical cCase sStudies ers was shifted to the problems of nuclear security (not only as an environmental issue, especially after Chernobyl AES accident of 1986, but also in the light of growing risks of proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies. After 2000 energy security in its own right recaptured the attention of the G8 countries, with the so popular climate change issue being not only ecological, economic and political issue, but also intensified to a certain extent a PR and market-oriented reaction of the hydrocarbon consuming actors to the sky-rocketed oil prices. The fifth phase is still to be introduced and developed by the G8+ participants, since the current global financial and economic crisis has brought its own differentials into the process.
The Group of Eight (G8) has had extensive and even existential experience with financial crises (Kirton 2007). The groups creation was driven by financial crises created by and in the US, in the form of the Nixon Administration’s unilateral destruction of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates on August 15, 1971 and the imminent bankruptcy of New York City at the time of the first summit at Rambouillet in November 1975. Then came a succession of real and potential crises, notably Britain’s need for support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the mid 1970s and Italy’s need in 1976, the developing countries debt crisis of the early 1980s, the American stock market plunge of October 1987, the attack on the European Monetary System (EMS), the Mexican peso crisis starting on December 20, 1994, the Asian-turned-global financial crisis of 1997–1999, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, the Enron–dot.com bust and the America-turned-global financial crisis from 2008 to now. Since the G8’s 1975 start, such crises have been created by others to afflict a vulnerable America, and been created by America to attack the rest of the world. In both cases such crisis have been conscious, calculated controlled and targeted, as on August 15, 1971 and September 11, 2001, and unco.nscious, uncalculated, uncontrolled and untargeted events characterized by contagion, complexity and uncertainty that no one can fully comprehend, as in the global crisis from 2008 until now.
The European Consensus on Development states the primary goal of the European development policy is the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development and universal achievement of Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The EU implements this objective through a multidimensional approach, which combines increasing volumes of aid, aid effectiveness and policy coherence for development. EU is the largest provider of ODA1 in the world. In 2008 EU provided nearly €50 bn for development financing, which is 60% of global ODA and which represents 0.40% of EU GNI. Although EU reconfirmed its role as the world leader in terms of ODA the prospects for reaching the EU collective commitment of providing 0.56% of EU GNI by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015 remain distant. Reaching these targets would require additional disbursements of approximately €20 bn by 2010 from the current levels.
The world’s financial crisis made worth an effort to rethink the existing model of global economic governance. One of the striking things among the others – is the insufficient level of global financial regulation. Experts do not share a common view on the functioning of the system. Some of them consider the system of global governance was not ready to react to the new challenges and to sustain the pressure of critical events. Others will defend the system, admitting that only some slight changes into it would make possible to cope with the current problems. The truth, as very often, is probably somewhere in between. The necessity to modify the pattern of functioning of the global financial institutions is clear. The institutions themselves should be made more viable and efficient and their competences to manage different aspects of global economy should be substantially enlarged. How useful could an EU experience be in achieving the new global governance goals?
The study aimed to analyze the EU contribution towards defining the G8 priorities and values as well as implementation within the G8 the main global governance functions: domestic political governance, deliberation, direction setting, decision making, delivery and global governance development. A specialized data base was formed, comprised of documents of both institutions. The programme allowed to undertake a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the evidence base. The content analysis of the documents focused on priorities, values and commitments shared by the G8 and the EU and specific to each institution, on the basis of search, accounting and comparison of the number of documents, references and symbols and their distribution by priorities and functions in accordance with functional analysis methodology.
The chapter explores the growing role of knowledge as a factor for development of modern societies. It examines the problems of international cooperation in the field, paying particular attention to initiatives of both the G8 and the EU.
The chapter analyzes the concept of global public goods and elaborates on recommendations on the international cooperation aimed at their production and preservation.
The chapter explores international peace and security as the most important global public goods, given their role in creating conditions for sustainable development. The authors take stock of the key problems and contradictions of safeguarding international peace and security and examines the history and future prospects of the EU’s CFSP.