G20 dogged by disunity

Security policy, the fight against terror, trade and climate protection: the G20 summit in Hamburg has an ambitious agenda. But in view of all the disagreements simmering just beneath the surface, many journalists believe the meeting can't be a success. Some even speculate that it could mark the end of the post-war order.

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El Mundo (ES) /

Isolationism more dangerous than terrorism

Can the G20 summit save the post-war world order? El Mundo has its doubts:

“According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the United Nations, the three greatest threats preventing a more stable and secure world are not North Korea, Syria, al-Qaeda or Islamic State but nationalism, protectionism and strategies based on 'my country first'. Owing to the divisions among key members the G20 summit in Hamburg won't go down in history for producing decisive agreements on any of these challenges, but it may come to symbolise the end of the United States' global leadership. One danger is that the compromises of the G20 could be eclipsed by sensitive bilateral agreements between the six big nations. … They're more preoccupied with their national interests and with securing big contracts for their multinationals than with advancing a global agenda.”

Público (PT) /

They'll all go back to doing their own thing

Historian Rui Tavares sees the world spinning out of control in Público:

“The world is simply a plaything in the hands of little boy Donald, who right now is a little distracted by the missiles that little Kim Jong-un is messing around with in North Korea. Today's world is no longer grappling with just one source of tension but with multiple hotspots. Every new crisis conceals another, and all together they conceal an even deeper crisis: namely the crisis of the international system which formed after the Second World War. … After acting as if they really have something to say to each other the leaders of the twenty most important industrial and emerging nations will go back home and do their homework. Some of them will strengthen the rules of international cooperation - while others will continue to make a show of their own power.”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Small countries need clear rules

Upsala Nya Tidning is worrried by the US's current weakness on the international stage:

“Rather than truly isolating the US, Trump's America first slogan aims at achieving a foreign policy that suits America's interests and disregards global institutions and international conventions. ... No replacement for the US as global leader is in sight, but the liberal world order must continue to be defended. ... The G20 meeting is an important forum, since no less than 75 percent of the world's population live in one of the G20 countries. Sweden is indirectly represented through the EU. For small countries it is particularly important to push for a global order based on clear rules and international cooperation.”

gazeta.ru (RU) /

Trump and Putin: no room for rapprochement

Gazeta.ru doesn't believe the meeting between Trump and Putin will result in a rapprochement between their two countries:

“On the one hand Trump's election promise that he would force Putin to respect him weighs heavily on him now. On the other there's the ever-present suspicion that Trump secretly cooperated with Moscow to come to power. In that regard it makes sense for him to compel the Russian president to make concessions, so as to prove his independence from 'Moscow's long arm'. The problem, however, is that Russia isn't willing to follow the US on one issue that is important for both sides. The conflicts between the two states are not shaped by the personal relations between these two politicians but by the objective problems of the global order that emerged after the Cold War. It's naive to think that a meeting could remedy such major symptoms as sanctions.”

Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Talks with the US not worth the trouble

The G20 summit is unlikely to produce any far-reaching agreements, the Frankfurter Rundschau fears:

“This is naturally, and mainly, because of Donald Trump. It's highly unlikely that he will approve the envisaged G20 'climate action plan' in Hamburg, even though key points such as an end to subsidies for fossil fuels in the near future have already been struck from the document at Washington's behest. … Any attempt to get Trump to make commitments on the climate isn't worth the trouble. There is practically zero chance that the fossil president, who already kicked the Paris agreement into the dustbin, will be persuaded to change his mind. It will be better if the 19 states pass a good document and 'Trump's own country' isn't part of it than if the 20 produce nothing but hot air.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Trump's escapades make new alliances a must

The US's withdrawal from its international political obligations means that the remaining G20 states must step in to pick up the slack, Der Standard writes:

“Will they continue to follow the rules for international cooperation or copy Trump's example and pursue only short-term national interests? The latter course is one with which politicians like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Theresa May are not unfamiliar. However, they know that the unpredictability of US politics makes every single provocation far more dangerous. If in addition to the Merkel-Macron axis further constructive alliances are formed among the G20 states, Trump's escapades will remain manageable. If not, the signs across the globe indicate that a storm lies ahead.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Britain must seek allies in Europe

Trump can expect to encounter very different reactions on his tour of Europe in the run-up to the G20 summit, the Guardian observes:

“ A German warning, a Polish embrace, and an ambiguous French show of friendship come at a time of US strategic confusion and signs of disregard for old allies. Britain's government should not make the mistake of thinking it will benefit. Britain's interest, as much as everyone else's in Europe, lies in making sure the toxic effects of Trump can be mitigated. That requires a united resolve - not pathetic pandering.”