Growth and jobs, fairer taxation, financial regulation, trade and Syria were the main themes at the G20 summit held in St Petersburg on 5-6 September 2013.
“The G20 has proven its worth, in the face of the major challenges the global economy has experienced over the last 5 years, as the world’s premier forum for economic cooperation: all G20 members remain determined to implement our ambitious commitments and take further steps on the way to strong and sustainable growth. We are pleased that the European Union’s objectives for this summit have been broadly achieved“, said the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who represented the EU at the summit.
The EU came to the G20 with a message of confidence, as the positive effects of its comprehensive crisis response are starting to show. Other G20 members acknowledged the EU’s efforts and commended it on delivering the commitments it had made at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, last year.
Global economy and growth and jobs
With global recovery remaining fragile, all leaders agreed that the G20’s urgent priority is to promote growth and jobs. They adopted the Saint Petersburg Action Plan for Growth and Jobs and significant contributions were made by all participants.
The EU’s contribution to the global economic recovery is based on its own economic policy strategy, which is already bearing fruit. This strategy comprises:
- measures designed to ensure financial stability and restore normal lending to the economy
- structural reforms and gradual fiscal consolidation to restore competiveness and sound public finances
- initiatives, such as the Compact for Growth and Jobs and the Youth Employment initiative
- measures to strengthen the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union
Fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion
Stepping up the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion worldwide was one of the EU’s priorities at the summit. In line with the EU’s wishes, the G20 endorsed the establishment of the automatic exchange of tax information, which G20 members will implement as of 2015.
They also endorsed the OECD’s action plan on base-erosion and profit-shifting, which aims to tackle corporate tax avoidance worldwide.
Financial regulatory reform
G20 leaders committed themselves to a timely and effective implementation of the financial regulatory reform, which entailed addressing the risks of shadow banking. So as to build a resilient banking sector, one key focus must be on the consistent implementation of the Basel III capital rules.
Open, fair and free trade is essential for economic recovery and growth. The G20 reconfirmed its anti-protectionism commitment by extending the Toronto standstill clause to 2016 and stepping up efforts to roll back trade-restrictive measures.
Even though it was not on the agenda, G20 leaders also discussed the situation in Syria. “The 21 August chemical attack was a blatant violation of international law and a crime against humanity,” said president Van Rompuy before the summit.
While respecting the recent calls for action, he stressed that the Syrian crisis should be addressed through the UN process. “There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and far-reaching destruction of Syria”.
The G20 also discussed development, anti-corruption, energy and climate issues.
The 2014 summit will take place in Brisbane under Australian presidency from 15 to 16 November 2014.
- Joint statement by presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso on results of the summit (pdf)
- G20 leaders’ declaration (pdf)
- G20 2013 section on President Van Rompuy’s website
- G20/G8 section on President Barroso’s website
- More information on the EU at the G20 Summit
- Website of the Russian presidency of the G20 2013