G20 Summit in Brisbane: Low Expectations, Limited Progress?

21-11-2014

The recent Group of 20 (G20) summit in Brisbane aimed to coordinate global action to support a transition from containing the financial crisis to supporting economic recovery. The Australian presidency’s agenda privileged discussions on concrete steps to facilitate growth and build resilience by completing financial reforms and taking action on tax issues and corruption. The programme also sought to strengthen the G20 partners' cooperation on trade and energy. While the meeting, held on 15-16 November 2014, did deliver some concrete economic commitments, the accomplishments were overshadowed by underlying geopolitical concerns. In bilateral discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, some G20 leaders – including from the EU, a full member of the Group – criticised Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine and its failure to ensure a proper investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. With other areas of focus including climate change (thanks in part to the efforts of the EU), energy cooperation and fighting Ebola, the summit's middling score sheet – with modest progress at best – looked rather similar to those of recent G20 summits.

The recent Group of 20 (G20) summit in Brisbane aimed to coordinate global action to support a transition from containing the financial crisis to supporting economic recovery. The Australian presidency’s agenda privileged discussions on concrete steps to facilitate growth and build resilience by completing financial reforms and taking action on tax issues and corruption. The programme also sought to strengthen the G20 partners' cooperation on trade and energy. While the meeting, held on 15-16 November 2014, did deliver some concrete economic commitments, the accomplishments were overshadowed by underlying geopolitical concerns. In bilateral discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, some G20 leaders – including from the EU, a full member of the Group – criticised Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine and its failure to ensure a proper investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. With other areas of focus including climate change (thanks in part to the efforts of the EU), energy cooperation and fighting Ebola, the summit's middling score sheet – with modest progress at best – looked rather similar to those of recent G20 summits.