The EU at the G20 summit in Hangzhou: Joint letter of Presidents Juncker and Tusk

In a joint letter to Heads of State and Government of the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk highlight the key issues that will be discussed at the G20 summit in Hangzhou (China) on 4-5 September 2016:

“Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you about the key issues that will be discussed at the G20 summit in Hangzhou on 4-5 September.

  • 1. 

    The G20 should continue playing a role in tackling the international refugee crisis

A comprehensive global response to share the responsibility in addressing the unprecedented refugee and migration crisis and its root causes remains a priority. We will urge the G20 to continue to support international efforts, and contribute to achieving successful outcomes at the forthcoming summit on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations, and the summit on refugees hosted by President Obama. We will call for scaling up humanitarian and development assistance, resettlement, support for refugees and their host communities through international financial institutions and tackling irregular migration. The G20 has the expertise to make practical contributions through trade, development cooperation and refugees’ access to education and job opportunities.

  • 2. 

    Boosting jobs, growth, and investment should remain at the top of the G20 agenda

Although our economies have recovered from the crisis, the global outlook remains uncertain and many citizens still do not feel the benefits of growth. We will thus underline the importance of a credible narrative for sustainable and inclusive growth, which puts to work all available policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural.

A key deliverable will be the G20 Hangzhou Action Plan and the updated Growth Strategies. We will call for accelerating the implementation of these strategies, keeping in mind the objective the G20 set in Brisbane to lift global growth by 2% by 2018. In this regard, the G20’s “Enhanced Structural Reform Agenda”, with principles and indicators to measure progress on structural reforms, is welcome. We will seek to advance the work on growth-friendly composition and efficiency of public finances. The summit will also initiate cooperation on innovation, the new industrial revolution and digital economy.

Furthermore, we will welcome the good progress the G20 has made to promote infrastructure investment. There are strong synergies between the investment priorities of the EU and the G20. The European Fund for Strategic Investments is firmly on track to deliver the objective of mobilising at least EUR 315 billion in additional investments in the real economy by mid-2018, having already reached more than EUR 100 billion in new investments.

To ensure the benefits of economic growth are broadly shared and inequalities are reduced, the G20 will also continue implementing the Employment Plans with a particular focus on youth and women employment. We will consider actions to facilitate entrepreneurship, promote decent work, foster apprenticeships and equip workers with the right skills.

  • 3. 

    Pushing forward the work on international tax transparency and combatting the financing of terrorism

The G20 should reiterate its call on all countries and jurisdictions to start exchanging information under the Global Standard on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) with all interested partners by 2018 at the latest; to adhere to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters; and to join the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Inclusive Framework. The Anti-Tax Avoidance Package finalised in June and the next steps prepared to respond to the problems exposed in the ‘Panama Papers’ put the EU at the forefront of this agenda. We need strong international criteria to identify non-cooperative jurisdictions to provide a solid basis to the broader EU common list to be adopted by end 2017. After the summit, the next milestone will be the Global Forum’s proposals on beneficial ownership in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

We need to stand together in combatting the financing of terrorism. The G20 has already taken important steps in this direction, and should continue on this path. We will encourage the FATF to fully implement its strategy to combat terrorism financing, and take steps to enhance the effectiveness of the network of FATF and FATF-style regional bodies.

  • 4. 

    We need a resilient international monetary and financial system

Financial regulatory reform needs to remain high on the G20 agenda. The intended refinements of the Basel III framework need to be subject to a thorough impact analysis and capital requirements must not be significantly increased in any of the major regions of the world. The work of the Basel Committee, which has our support, should conclude by the end of 2016 to ensure regulatory certainty. On central counterparties we now need to push forward on the resolution framework. The G20 should also make a sound analysis of the combined effects of the agreed financial reforms to ensure their consistency with G20’s overall objectives. The consistent implementation of Total Loss Absorption Capacity, effective cooperation in the event of cross-border resolution and the finalisation of the over-the-counter derivatives reforms remain priorities.

As regards the international financial architecture, it is particularly important that Leaders reaffirm their commitment to maintaining a strong and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund equipped with an effective toolbox.

  • 5. 

    The G20 must make the case for open trade and investment

The G20 will discuss how to reverse the slowdown in the growth of trade and foreign investment. This means reinvigorating efforts to open markets and level the playing field, and to communicate the benefits of trade to citizens while addressing their concerns. The G20 has a particular responsibility to buttress the multilateral trading system. It should therefore provide genuine guidance for the future global trade and investment agenda. The pledge to resist protectionism should not only be renewed but reinforced in practice. Urgent and effective action is needed to cut overcapacity in the steel and other sectors, including by tackling subsidies and other market-distorting measures that have contributed to it. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement should be ratified this year and fully implemented. It is also time to open up discussions in the WTO to new issues such as digital trade, investment or export restrictions. As a first step towards greater policy coherence in the area of investment, we will endorse the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policy-making. Moreover, the G20 should recognize the valuable contribution to trade liberalisation and rule-making of WTO-consistent plurilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements. We expect the G20 to give a strong push for concluding the Environmental Goods Agreement in 2016, which will be good not only for global economic growth but also for the environment.

  • 6. 

    Taking forward the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change

The summit will endorse a G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlining the collective contributions of the G20 to poverty reduction and sustainable development. It is also an important occasion to sustain momentum for swift ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement. The G20 should continue work on green and climate finance, sustainable energy, and phase out of inefficient fossil fuels subsidies. It should also support reaching agreements this year on an effective global market-based mechanism to stabilise international aviation emissions in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and to phase down hydrofluorocarbon emissions under the Montreal Protocol.

We are resolved to ensure that the Hangzhou summit will be another important milestone in strengthening the global economic recovery. The EU looks forward to discussing key international challenges with its G20 partners in Hangzhou.

Yours sincerely,

For the European Commission


For the European Council

  • D. 



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