Download publication

Policy Contribution

The G20 turns ten: what’s past is prologue

This Policy Contribution assesses the performance of the G20 since its first summit held in November 2008 to understand what could lie ahead for the institution.

By: Date: November 15, 2018 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

The first G20 leaders’ summit was held in Washington DC in November 2008. This Policy Contribution assesses the performance of this informal but influential institution since then to understand what could lie ahead. We focus on the coordination of national economic policies as this has been at the core of the G20 leaders’ agenda throughout the decade.

The G20 leaders created a supportive political environment for strong national and global actions soon after they first met. This prevented a global depression but was followed by an uneven recovery. The leaders early on called for enhanced coordination of macroeconomic policies. This was clearly an ambitious undertaking given the limited success of earlier coordination efforts within the more homogeneous G7. Even after ten years such coordination remains a work in progress. The G20’s emerging and developing economy members, with the exception of China, have remained cautious in their engagement on macro policies. This caution could reflect emerging and developing economies’ discomfort at the obligations that could arise if they come to be considered systemically important despite lower levels of income, wealth and institutional capacity. Habits of cooperation among the newcomers are also less developed than within the G7. Coordination between the G7 members is reinforced by the G7 continuing to hold its own leaders’ meetings separate from the G20.

While emerging and developing economies are catching up with advanced economies in their contribution to real output and merchandise trade, the picture is very different where cross-border finance is concerned. Transactions on capital account are dominated by the advanced economies. Despite a shared concern for global financial stability, this asymmetry makes for different priorities in the reform of global finance. The G20’s emerging and developing economy members seek to insulate their less open and more vulnerable financial systems from shocks arising from policy measures taken by the advanced economies, and to make global liquidity less dependent on the US dollar. The leaders’ summit from 30 November to 1 December 2018 in Buenos Aires (concluding the Argentine G20 Presidency) and the summit to follow in Osaka in June 2019 (hosted by Japan) both provide opportunities for European G20 members to provide political leadership on this financial reform agenda, and on the important but hitherto neglected area of trade.

View comments
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

Can emerging markets be a source of global troubles again?

According to popular perception, emerging-market economies have not experienced serious macroeconomic and financial turbulence since the beginning of this century. This perception was not entirely correct because it disregarded spill-over effects of the global financial crises of 2008–2009, the consequences of the decline of oil and other commodity prices in 2014–2016, economic and financial troubles caused by violent conflicts and regional political instability.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 9, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

When facts change, change the pact

“When facts change, I change my mind,” John Maynard Keynes famously said. With long-term interest rates currently near zero, the European Union should reform its fiscal framework to allow member states to increase their debt-financed public investments.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 1, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Can the emerging economic powers govern the globe?

Can a G7 dominated by developing nations provide the impulse to global governance as did the old G7? The answer is no.

By: Uri Dadush Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 4, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Why facts and think tanks matter

How can Think Tanks help address today's policy challenges by providing fact-based policy recommendations. What is the importance of international cooperation for Think Tanks?

Speakers: Tommaso Canetta, Giuseppe Porcaro, Sophie Gaston and Stefani Weiss Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: January 31, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

China’s view of the trade war has changed—and so has its strategy

The truce agreed on by China and the United States at the sidelines of the recent G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires doesn’t really change the picture of the U.S.’s ultimate goal of containing China. The reason is straightforward: The U.S. and China have become strategic competitors and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, which leaves little room for any long-term settlement of disputes.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: December 19, 2018
Read article More by this author

Opinion

The world deserves a more effective G20

As the presidency shifts from Argentina to Japan at Buenos Aires (and then to Saudi Arabia) it is worth asking why the G20 has endured this long and what it needs to remain relevant in a dramatically changed world.

By: Suman Bery Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: November 29, 2018
Read article

Opinion

Buenos Aires summit is a good place to start fighting back against destructive unilateralism

Ten years after the G20 proved its effectiveness in dealing with the global financial crisis, it needs to step up its efforts to overcome a political crisis, fuelled by destructive unilateralism, that threatens international governance on trade, investment and tax.

By: Uri Dadush, Axel Berger, Andreas Freytag, Simon J Evenett, Christian von Haldenwang, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Raul Ochoa, Agustin Redonda and Karl P Sauvant Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: November 28, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Deep Focus: The G20 in a changing world order

In this episode of Deep Focus, Bruegel fellow Suman Bery joins Sean Gibson to elaborate on his recent Policy Contribution on the G20's performance over the past decade, and the forum's future prospects.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 20, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Is this time different? Reflections on recent emerging-market turbulence

Since the beginning of 2018, currencies of two large emerging-market economies – Argentina and Turkey – suffered from substantial depreciation. Other currencies also recorded losses. Which factors are determining macroeconomic and financial stability in emerging-market economies? And what can be done to prevent a crisis and avoid its economic, social and political costs?

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 14, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director’s Cut: How to reform and fortify the global financial system

Bruegel director Guntram Wolff is joined by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy prime minister of Singapore and chair of the G20 Eminent Persons Group, and Jean Pisani-Ferry, mercator senior fellow at Bruegel, for a conversation about the growth and stability challenges facing the global financial system, and how the system can be better equipped to deal with the significant and novel problems of the future.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 23, 2018
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Policy Contribution

Should we give up on global governance?

The pervasive gridlock affecting the traditional global governance approach calls into question the idea of broadening its scope beyond its core remit, and it calls for alternatives, either as substitutes for obsolete arrangements or to address emerging collective action problems in new, inadequately covered fields.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 23, 2018
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

Policy responses for an EU-MENA shared future

In the third edition of the "Platform for Advanced & Emerging Economies Policy Dialogue" we will discuss trade flows and trade policy between Europe and MENA, integration of developing economies into global value chains, and regional energy relations.

Speakers: Karim El Aynaoui, Marek Dabrowski, Uri Dadush, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Ettore Greco, Giuseppe Grimaldi, Badr Ikken, Joanna Konings, Said Moufti, Pier Carlo Padoan, Lia Quartapelle, Visar Sala, Nicolò Russo Perez, Nicolò Sartori, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Location: LUISS Business School Viale Pola, 12, 00198 Roma RM, Italy Date: October 11, 2018
Load more posts