Q2/2020 - U.S.-American G7 Presidency
G7 Summit Cancelled
The annual G7 Summit at Camp David scheduled for 23 and 24 June 2020 was initially announced to take place in form of a virtual meeting. Later it was to be held as a face-to-face meeting, however in Washington D.C. After German Chancellor Merkel had declared that she would not attend a face-to-face meeting in June 2020 in person, U.S. President Trump had postponed the Summit until September 2020. In addition to the G7 countries, he wanted to invite four other governments, including Russia and India. The irritating proposals of the U.S. G7 Presidency have led to a total lack of clarity, which has upset all the mechanisms of the G7 that have developed over the recent years, from G7 ministerial conferences to G7 expert meetings. In 2021, Great Britain takes over the G7 presidency.
Video Conference of G7 Science and Technology Ministers, 28 May 2020
On 27 May, a video conference of the G7 Science and Technology Ministers took place. The conference adopted a declaration titled “A Shared Vision for Science and Technology in Responding to the Pandemic”.
The declaration addresses the special role of digitisation in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. Access to broadband is pointed out to be a fundamental necessity for citizens in such a crisis. It was agreed to intensify the exchange of experiences in areas such as home office, distance learning, telemedicine, etc.
A new “G7 Partnership on Artificial Intelligence” (GPAI), building on the results of the G7 presidencies of Canada (2018) and France (2019), shall promote multi-stakeholder collaboration to develop new AI-based tools to address global crises (Responsible and human-centric development and use of AI in a manner consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, and our shared democratic values). The OECD was appointed secretariat of the GPAI. The GPAI is planned to consist of two “Centers of Expertise” (in Montreal and Paris).
On 17 June 2020, the G7 Foreign Ministers adopted a joint statement on the situation in Hong Kong, criticising the new Chinese security law.
Video Conference of G7 Finance Ministers, 19 May 2020
On 19 May 2020, the G7 Finance Ministers held a video conference. The discussion ended without a closing document. A “readout” by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, merely states that national and international issues of economic development in the COVID-19 crisis were discussed. The readout does not make any reference to the discussion on the controversial issues of a global digital tax or the future of digital trade.