G-20 – What Economic Decision-Making?

It is said that the Group of 20 (G-20) is set to become the premier coordinating body on global economic issues. But what does it mean?

Indeed, the summit statement says that G-20 is “to be the premier forum for our international economic cooperation”. The statement outlines three areas of cooperation:

  • G-20 members will agree on shared policy objectives;
  • G-20 members will set out medium-term policy frameworks and will work together to assess the collective implications of national policy frameworks;
  • G-20 Leaders will consider, based on the results of the mutual assessment, and agree any actions to meet common objectives.

The G-20 is perceived as an efficient forum that now allows for the inclusion of developing countries in the global economic and financial governance. One of the most important tasks ahead of G-20 appears to be the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other global financial institutions.

Other experts, however, claim that the process of reform cannot be restricted to the G-20 or similar associations that exclude so many of the world’s countries. That is why G-20 cannot replace a fully legitimate and universal international organization, such as the IMF.

An additional critique is that large countries like Bangladesh or Nigeria are missing and that Europe is over-represented in the G-20 forum—which cripples democratic representation .

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