G7 summit in Biarritz

A successful meeting?

This year’s G7 summit that was held under French presidency in Biarritz focused on the fight against inequality. In addition to the heads of State and Government of the seven largest industrialised countries (Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the USA), leaders of the African Union, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the UN (United Nations) and the World Bank were invited.

One crucial issue, which was addressed, were the current Amazon rainforest fires. Despite the sovereignty of the affected states, the conservation of the rainforest must be treated as an international concern due to its global importance according to French President Emmanuel Macron. Thus, the G7 nations agreed to support the reforestation in the affected countries, to provide $ 20 million in emergency help as well as to offer technical aid.

The flying visit of Iran‘s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which was initiated by Emmanuel Macron, led to a surprising twist. Since the USA has unilaterally terminated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the European contracting parties are trying to preserve the agreement. This meeting might have softened hardened positions as the US President Donald Trump declared to be open for a summit with the Iranian President Hassan Rohani, however only under the right circumstances.

While the German Chancellor was highlighting the relevance of an intact alliance with Beijing, the Donald Trump, who has just recently imposed higher punitive tariffs against China, is still refusing such a relationship. Furthermore, a comprehensive trade deal between the US and Great Britain will be concluded after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In regard to the digital tax, which France wants to impose on big internet companies, Donald Trump reacted with a threat of a retaliatory wine tax.

Despite certain differences a final declaration, which on one hand summarised all the issues discussed and on the other hand underlined the unity of the G7 nations, has been reached. Nonetheless, according to critics this declaration could have been more binding.