G20 summit in St Petersburg on 5 and 6 September
The Foreign Minister and the Economy and Finance Minister made a statement on the G20 summit of 5 and 6 September in St Petersburg.
Held against the background of the Syria crisis, the summit provided the opportunity for France to focus its partners’ efforts on the need for a strong response to the chemical massacre committed by the Syrian regime on 21 August. More than 25 states adhered to a joint declaration adopted on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St Petersburg. Credit for the change in the Russian position must go to the determination shown by France and its partners at the summit, as at the “Gymnich” in Vilnius which followed the G20 summit.
On the economic front, the summit was an opportunity to note the consolidation of the situation in the Euro Area and to call for the rebalancing of global growth to be continued through better sharing of efforts by economies in surplus and those in deficit.
In line with France’s steadfast message since May 2012, the G20 made support for growth and job creation its main priority, above fiscal consolidation. Each country will draw up a growth strategy by the next G20 summit, under Australian presidency in Brisbane in 2014. Very special emphasis was put on action to support youth employment, particularly through the full use of apprenticeships and specific integration measures like the Youth Guarantee implemented in France. The importance of industrial dialogue was also stressed.
In the area of tax, among other things the G20 decided, on France’s initiative, to speed up implementation of the automatic exchange of tax information, which will begin taking effect in 2015. The summit also endorsed the action plan prepared by the OECD to combat tax base erosion, acknowledging the particular challenge represented by the digital economy.
Finally, the St Petersburg summit made progress in three important areas for France:
financial regulation: it was decided to continue efforts on preventing systemic risks, and work on risky pay practices in financial institutions;
the battle against climate change: the G20 recognized the cost associated with any further delay in action and signalled a high degree of ambition for the 2015 Climate Conference, which will be organized in Paris;
finally, development: the G20 backed the adoption of a new, ambitious post-2015 development framework, to ensure the continuity of our efforts in support of the poorest countries. (…)./.