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Overall Grade: B
Objective: National Missile Defense (NMD)
The European Union (EU) position on NMD was unclear prior to the Genoa Summit. However, the EU was still active in the discussions regarding the implications of NMD on the Anti-Ballistic Missle Treaty (ABM).
The issue of NMD was not formally discussed at the G8 Leaders Meeting. However, NMD was broached at the Foreign Ministers meeting in Rome. The status quo between the US and Russia remains the same. The US maintains that they will respect the provisions of the ABM until the point at which the treaty constrains their plans for the development of the NMD.
A grade of D was assigned because no formal agreement was reached and the issue was not mentioned specifically in the Foreign Ministers Conclusion paper.
Objective: Rapid Reaction Force (RRF)
The EU and the US were expected to engage in dialogue to clarify and define the roles of NATO and the RRF.
A grade of F was assigned because the issue of RRF was not discussed at the G8 Leaders Meeting or at the Foreign Ministers meeting in Rome.
Objective: Kyoto Protocol
The EU's objective leading into the Summit was to take a firm line against the US regarding the Kyoto Protocol and persuade the US to adopt the Protocol.
The EU clearly failed to change the position of the US although during the final briefing, the EU stated that all G8 countries agreed on the underlying objectives of the Kyoto Protocol and are determined to cooperate to reach a solution.
However, a large gap remains between the EU and US with the EU wishing to move forward immediately with recommendations while the US wants to pursue further research.
A grade C was assigned because the EU did not reach an agreement with the US but did manage to bridge the gap slightly between the two positions.
The EU was likely to pursue a favourable Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) policy towards Least-Developed Countries (LDCs). In addition, the EU was expected to support and promote initiatives involving the alleviation of communicable diseases (especially HIV/AIDS).
The EU welcomed the continued discussion in the WTO on the use of relevant provisions in the TRIPs agreement. They also recognized the need for drugs to be available to people who require free basic medical care while at the same time reaffirming their commitment for strong intellectual property protection in order to foster R&D.
A grade of B was assigned because the EU did not achieve a concrete TRIPs policy although it acknowledged its importance. However, the EU did support the Global Health Fund (GHF) within the context of the work to eliminate communicable diseases. The GHF is an initiative created at last year's Okinawa Summit and its presentation and support by the G8 countries is a matter of compliance to that commitment. The EU did not promote any further initiatives at this year's Summit, so its support of last year's initiative bears little weight on the grading of its performance this year.
Objective: 'Everything but Arms' Initiative
The EU was expected to expand the 'Everything but Arms' initiative to include other countries at the G8 Summit as well as pursue the initiative at the new round of WTO negotiations.
The EU's initiative was endorsed by all the G8 countries in the context of opening markets in order to provide economic benefits to developing countries.
A grade of B- was assigned because although the 'Everything but Arms' initiative was recognized by the other G8 countries, no specific policy emerged.
Objective: World Trade Organization (WTO) Negotiations
The EU's focus regarding the WTO Negotiations was the creation of a conflict resolution mechanism to resolve future trade related disputes.
The EU along with the other G8 countries agreed to support the launch of a new round of global trade negotiations in Qatar as per the previous EU-US initiative.
A grade of B+ was assigned because the EU agreed to a new round of WTO negotiations. This achievement moved the process of negotiating a conflict resolution mechanism a step forward, as the development of a new mechanism is expected to emerge from the new round of talks.
Objective: Debt Reduction
Debt reduction for LDCs combined with the EU's commitment to integrate LDCs into the world economy was likely to be an expected agenda item for the EU.
The EU along with other G8 countries agreed to retire over $53 billion in debt out of an initial stock of debt of $74 billion (an increase from last year). The number of countries eligible for debt relief was also increased to 48 least-developed countries.
In addition, the EU participated in formal discussions on ways of increasing participation by developing countries in the global trading system.
A grade of B+ was assigned because the EU and G8 agreed to forgive debt. Furthermore, the EU agreed to offer trade-related assistance in a number of areas including encouraging the international financial institutions to help remove obstacles to trade and investment and establish the institutions and policies essential for trade to flourish. However, the EU acknowledged the process was slow and that a solution to offer debt relief to countries in conflict had not been developed.
Objective: Digital Divide
The EU was involved in the DOT Force and was expected to fully endorse any recommendations by the Task Force.
The EU along with other G8 countries endorsed the report of the Digital Opportunity Task Force and the Genoa Plan of Action. The G8 will review the implementation of the Genoa Plan of Action at the next Summit on the basis of a report by the G8 Presidency.
A Grade of A was assigned because the DOT Report and the Genoa Plan of Action were fully adopted.
Objective: World Economy
The EU was likely to focus on the discussions and reaching agreements with the other G8 members on common policies for coping with the economic slowdown of the global market.
The final communique did not mention any issues related to the global slowdown. However, during the G7 meeting at the Summit, the leaders discussed the global economic slowdown and acknowledge the need to remain vigilant to ensure a sustained pattern of growth. In addition, the leaders pledged to pursue policies that will enhance productivity growth, such as structural reform, free trade and greater international economic cooperation.
The G7 agreed to co-operate on three elements to strengthen the global economy:
However, the recommendations are medium-term solutions and do not address the short-term slowdown in the global economy. The G7 view existing fiscal and structure policy as sufficient to support short-term economic growth.
Objective: Transnational Crime, Drugs, and Terrorism
The EU was expected to introduce human trafficking as a pressing international issue and possibly ask for discussion on a formal international agreement on how to implement previous international treaties condemning this practice.
The G8 communique reaffirmed the commitment to combat transnational crime. In addition, the EU and the rest of the G8 endorsed the outcome of the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers Conference held in Milano.
A grade of B was assigned because no new policy initiatives were forthcoming.
Objective: Conflict Prevention and Human Rights
The EU was likely to focus on promising the achievement of human rights and democratization in places such as the FYR Macedonia and the Middle East.
The EU called for a solution in the Middle East and endorsed the Mitchell Report. It expressed concern about the ethnic conflict in Macedonia and called for negotiations to reach a solution.
A grade of B+ was assigned to the EU because it issued specific policy recommendations for the two conflicts. However, the both statements were issued during the foreign ministers meeting in Rome.
Objective: Illegal Migration
The EU was expected to raise the issue of illegal migration.
A grade of F was assigned because the G8 Communique did not mention nor advance the illegal migration issue.
Prepared by: Jason Wong and Oana Dolea. G8 Research Group, University of Toronto
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