Growing antipathy in the G8 process, largely as a result of the successful operation of two G20 summits, has constrained the Italian hosts of the 2009 session to be held in L’Aquila this week. Various formations of multilateral meetings seem to be crowding out the traditional central decision-shaping role of the G8 club.
In this video, Gregory Chin interviews Dr. Paola Subacchi – Research Director, International Economics, Chatham House – to discuss the momentum of the G20 process, how the Italian presidency has managed this competition, and the possibility of a G2 condominium of power between the United States and China.
Preparations for the 2009 G8 by the host country deserve much credit. In Dr. Subacchi’s view, their work on developing an agenda that is relevant on priority global issues as well as incorporating numerous non-G8 countries in the discussions, despite various constraints, has been impressive. What has been called “variable geometry”, to have different players around the table on different issues, has been embraced. In this way, the L’Aquila summit has worked to incorporate elements of the G20 format, where more countries are around the table, while providing space for key bilateral meetings such as the G2, deflecting what could be seen as a ‘post-G8’ moment.
While the G20 has continued much of its momentum from London, Dr. Subacchi suggests that the main economic discussions will be left to Pittsburgh in September. In respect to a G2, she notes that L’Aquila will offer an interesting venue in which to observe the natural dialogue that could emerge between these two poles.
Disclaimer: This blog is solely intended to spur discussion, while the opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI, Chatham House or their respective Boards of Directors.