What's on the G7 agenda?
The G7 summit kicks off in Cornwall today. The last time the representatives of the seven major industrialised countries met was in August 2019; the 2020 summit that was to take place in the US was cancelled due to the pandemic. Europe's commentators have clear expectations for the meeting in the otherwise tranquil coastal town of Carbis Bay.
Set priorities and focus on goals
That the US finally has a president with whom one can do business doesn't guarantee a successful summit, warns The Times:
“The breadth of the agenda may itself be evidence of the limited prospects for tangible results from this meeting. The leaders should instead aim to identify a number of specific initiatives that they can work on together to agree common solutions and reach common positions on global challenges, as G7 finance ministers did last week on corporation tax reform. If expectations are running high, it is because the opportunity for the G7 to provide global leadership has rarely been greater.”
Help the whole world get the jab
Upsala Nya Tidning explains where the US president is clearly pointing the way forward for the EU:
“One of Joe Biden's first messages on his trip to Europe was that the US wants to donate 500 million doses of vaccine to low- and middle-income countries through the UN Covac programme. Getting the world back on track after the pandemic will be high on the agenda at the G7 summit in Cornwall. ... The EU should immediately respond in kind . ... When your neighbour's house is burning, you don't just sit around watching once you've put out the fire in your own home.”
Clarify the origin of the pandemic
According to media reports the G7 want to push for a new WHO investigation into the origins of the virus, backing a similar initiative by Biden. El Periódico de Catalunya approves:
“The dynamics of concealment, evasion of responsibilities and control of information that are at play in a one-party system of government which is not subject to democratic controls have already caused catastrophic mistakes in the past. The only solution for clarifying the origins of the pandemic without leaving any room for doubt - and even more importantly, for making sure that there is no possibility of a recurrence - lies in a transparency which so far has not been unconditionally and convincingly guaranteed by China.”
Extend alliances in the Indo-Pacific
The G7 must win over new partners, geopolitical analyst Jean-Sylvestre Mongrenier urges in Le Figaro:
“In these decisive years the West must understand the need to expand its alliances, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, where China's Belt and Road initiative threatens the freedom of navigation and security of major sea routes which are vital to Europe's prosperity. ... If the US and its European allies do not want to accept the idea of an inevitable decline, they would do well to support the axis between Israel and the Arab states. ... This is an essential prerequisite for stabilising the Middle East. ... The struggle for a free and open Indo-Pacific region will also be decided in the Middle East. We must not forget this.”