In the G7 round table, there are actually nine seats. At the three-day G7 summit in Cornwall last week, European Council President Charles Michel and Commission Chair Ursula von der Leyen attended two of them. Meeting (both successfully grabbed seats this time).
But in fact, at the G7 meeting, what are they doing?
G7 is the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
It is composed of the world’s most advanced economy and the richest free democracies, dating back to 1973, when Spain was still a dictatorship.
Spain’s membership was later proposed, but the forum is not based on a treaty, and there is no permanent secretariat or office. It turns out that this kind of openness is too conservative.
However, the group did expand in 1998, when Russia formally joined under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, and the group was renamed the Group of Eight (G8). Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia suspended its membership due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and announced its permanent withdrawal in 2017.
In 1977, representatives of the then European Community participated in the G7 summit for the first time. Over time, its role has continued to expand, and the EU has gradually been included in all political discussions on the summit’s agenda. Since 1981, the European Union has been participating in all working meetings.
The EU is in a unique position as a “non-enumerated” member.
It does not assume the responsibilities of the rotating chairman of the G7, but as a unique supranational organization, the heads of the board and committees represent the G7, because the Lisbon Treaty basically does not produce a single figure that can reflect the European Union alone.
But the question remains: What did Michel and Von der Lein do in Cornwall, except for the annoying summit host Boris Johnson, who is proud of taking Britain out of the European Union?
The EU has no intelligence services and no military. Haven’t the EU representatives at the seven-nation negotiating table been reduced?
In addition, von der Lein and Michele need to keep a low profile on G7, speak softly, and be careful not to eclipse French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel who appointed them the real political heavyweights.
Michelle Explanation The EU spent three days in the G7 coordinating the positions of the world’s major democracies, persuading them to join the EU’s leadership in accelerating global vaccine delivery, uniting as a free democracy and an open society, and raising funds for Africa.
Von der Lein also chose to emphasize the EU’s dual priorities, namely green and digital transformation. In terms of climate, goals include achieving net zero emissions by 2050, phasing out coal, and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Digital priorities include the protection of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and freedom of speech — offline and online — and the fight against cybercrime, especially ransomware.
Some of these words of wisdom finally entered G7 Final Communiqué, Some do not.
Reporters are accustomed to seeing Michel and Von der Lein split their communication after the EU summit, each focusing on different topics. However, the common impression that the European Union does not speak in a single voice, and the level of its priorities is vague.
For EU citizens, the participation of EU institutional leaders in the G7 model is almost a kept secret. This also means that the vast majority of Europeans do not really feel the representation there.
Protesters and cartoonists didn’t even bother to use their G7-related satire to target EU representatives. Before they do this, it is clear that we are not the only ones who want to know what the EU is doing there.
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President Biden’s visit to Brussels is an opportunity to deepen important European-American relations.Read the recommendations of the ITI (Information Technology Industry Council) at itic.org.
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Views are author’s
[Edited by Josie Le Blond]