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European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, at the G20 Summit in Osaka

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, accompanied by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, and European Council President Donald Tusk attend the 14th G20 Leaders’ summit hosted by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in Osaka (Japan).

At the Summit, President Juncker made three points during his intervention at the Session on “Global Economy, Trade and Investment”.

President Juncker said that the EU is growing and continues to be open for fair business and underlined that “the European economy is forecast to grow by 1.4% this year – our seventh consecutive year of growth. 13.4 million jobs have been created in the EU since I took office in November 2014. This is in part thanks to the opportunities created by global trade. Today, Europeans benefit from open trade with 72 countries around the world. In my mandate alone, we have finalised trade agreements with 15 countries, including Canada, Singapore, Vietnam – the agreement is to be signed on Sunday 30 June, as well as the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan“.

President Juncker stressed that we need the G20 to improve economic cooperation between us and made clear that the reform of the World Trade Organization that we all supported in Buenos Aires last December is the key to doing that.

On Digital Economy, European Commission President commented Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s important Data Free Flow with Trust initiative, which should facilitate the flow of data among countries with high levels of privacy protection and said that “electronic commerce does not stop at borders and so requires a global response”.

Leaders adopted the Osaka Declaration on Digital Economy where they affirmed “the importance of promoting national and international policy discussions for harnessing the full potential of data and digital economy to foster innovation, so that we can keep pace with the fast-growing digital economy and maximize the benefits of digitalization and emerging technologies.”

At the press conference, ahead of the leaders’ summit, President Juncker said: “We believe in trade, because it works for us and for others. 36 million jobs in the European Union are supported by exports and almost 700,000 small businesses benefit from international trade.

But we are not naïve free traders. In the last five years, we have adopted 42 new anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures. And we have introduced an investment screening mechanism and I hope that the Commission’s proposal for an Investment Procurement Instrument will also be adopted swiftly.

This shows that we will stand up for ourselves if others do not play by the rules. But it also reveals the loopholes in the global trading system which have created the trade tensions we see across the world. We have to tackle this issue head on.

In this spirit, I believe that the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity should have its mandate extended so that it can deliver on existing commitments. […] Our message to the world is clear and simple: Europe is committed to upholding – and where necessary updating – the rules-based global system. And we are ready to work with everyone to make that happen.”

On climate change, European Commission President underlined: “I do think that we need a strong statement on climate change. We agreed on a couple of sentences when we were in Buenos Aires last year, and I could not accept a watering-down of what has been said in Buenos Aires.”

Ahead of the Summit, Presidents Juncker and Tusk set out in a letter to EU leaders the Union’s joint priorities at this year’s summit.

These range from championing multilateralism, boosting confidence in the global economy and the reform of the World Trade Organization, to harnessing the digital transformation, addressing inequalities and tackling global challenges such as climate change, migration and the fight against terrorism.

The joint letter is accompanied by a brochure with the key facts and figures about the EU at the G20.

In the margins of the G20, President Juncker held a number of bilateral meetings, with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, as well as with Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. Presidents Juncker and Tusk coordinated a meeting of all EU leaders which was followed by a meeting of EU leaders with Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Compliments of the European Commission