Only six weeks went by between the Taormina G7 and Hamburg G20 meetings, which were both chaired by a major EU Member State. A substantive link between the two summits was therefore to be expected. Indeed, at least to some extent, a useful connection was set in motion. The results of these two events seem to suggest an informal – but organic – relation between the diplomatic and cooperative efforts of the much narrower and more homogeneous G7 with the G20 summit.
I have been writing about the G20 for seven years. The G20 has evolved substantially over that time, with an ever-broadening agenda that now covers issues far beyond those envisioned in the first G20 summits in Washington and London over 2008 and 2009, when the G20 was at its peak as a globally influential governance body. As a result, and in order to stay on top of the expanded agenda, the trend has been towards greater reliance by G20 Ministers and Leaders upon lower-level officials and bureaucrats to both prepare and even draft the main G20 outcome documents – particularly the final communique.
Enhancing the role of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in sustainable global economic development has been an important issue for G20 leaders since their first meeting in 2008. For leaders, the primary purpose of revitalizing the MDBs was to counter the cyclical effects of the crisis. As the subprime crisis receded, the focus of leaders and the overall G20 agenda since 2010 has shifted towards growth, for which infrastructure financing has been highlighted as a key driver.