How to re-energize the G20? – China's Presidency in 2016

Event: Regional and International Affairs

On April 23rd and 24th researchers and experts from China and abroad met at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) to discuss the G20 six years after the start of the Global Financial Crisis and against the background of China’s coming G20 presidency in 2016.

Photo: FES China

During the many talks and lively debates, the status quo was addressed as well as perceived deficits in the G20’s efficacy, efficiency and legitimacy. Further topics were the range of the G20’s agenda and the interplay with other institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the UN.

While a broad consensus position could not be reached, some agreement did emerge in key areas: Participants agreed that the G20 should further develop its character as an informal political body where high-level country representatives can engage in crisis management but also discuss broader issues. This relative informality was of particular importance given the heightened tension between the United States and China as well as the surge of regional and global crises.

Photo: FES China

Under the principle of adaptive subsidiarity, the G20 would thus function as a forum for making broader political decisions, while more technical aspects of implementation would be delegated to the respective international organisations such as the IMF etc. Regarding the topics on the G20’s agenda during China’s presidency in 2016, the participants recommended focussing negotiations to increase the amount of actionable decisions during meetings so that each summit significantly drives forward the adoption and implementation of concrete policies in member countries.

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