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: Date: November 20, 2018 Topic: Global Economics & Governance


In November 2008, the first G20 summit at the leaders’ level took place amid the global financial crisis. The admittedly ambitious undertaking has since played its role in stabilising the global economy throughout the aftershocks of the crash. Today, the global order looks much different to the one in which the G20 found itself 10 years ago. How has the institution evolved and is it still equipped to create a supportive political environment for strong national and global actions?

In this episode of Bruegel’s Deep Focus series on ‘The Sound of Economics’, Suman Bery reviews the G20’s performance over the past decade to identify the challenges for the future. After the initial success, he identifies a sense of complacency that has seemingly crept into the global forum. Moreover, the emerging and developing economy members have remained observably passive, which may reflect their discomfort at their perceived systemic importance despite lower levels of income.

A further challenge for the G20 arises from Donald Trump assuming the US presidency in 2016, and the following tendency to drift away from multilateralism in favour of bilateral trade. The upcoming summit in Buenos Aires may be revealing in terms of just how much the G20 depends on American leadership. Another question remains about what potential the EU has as a future leader within the institution. One thing is certain: to champion a comprehensive approach, the G20 must conceive a set of rules that closer reflects the changing world.

For further reading we suggest not only the Policy Contribution written by Suman Bery – ‘The G20 turns ten: what’s past is prologue‘ – but also the blog post of Jim O’Neill and Alessio Terzi, outlining a proposal for a reformation of the G7.

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