THE EU AT THE G8/G20
The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum of the world's largest economies to discuss common challenges and possible solutions. The European Union is, together with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, a full member of the G8.
THE EU AT THE G8/G20
The 31st G8 summit was hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. President Barroso represented the EU at the G8 summit along with the UK presidency.
The main topics of the summit were aid to Africa and debt cancellation and global warming.
After the G8 summit European Commission President Barroso and Swedish Prime Minister, Reinfeldt wrote a joint article in which they expressed their determination "to bring European leadership to bear in facilitating an agreement at Copenhagen of which we can all be proud. There is no alternative. If we fail now, we are breaching the contract that all parents must make with their children: to leave them a better world. Let us turn climate change into a global opportunity in Aquila."
Speaking at a press conference before the opening the summit, President Barroso pledged €1 billion per year to support the trading capacity of developing countries. EU aid for trade helps poorer countries make use of the export opportunities provided by market openings.
Multilateral trade liberalisation has the potential to generate significant economic opportunities that could lift many people out of poverty. But many developing countries are ill-equipped to take advantage of new export opportunities. President Barroso, who attended the summit as the "9th man at the G8 table", announced details of the aid for trade deal and set out his key demands for the summit.
"I want this announcement today - along with the EU’s agreement last month to get on track to double aid - to send a powerful European message to the G8 table about the level of European ambition in this crucial year for development. The EU is already the biggest aid donor in the world, contributing 55% of overall aid. We are already the world's biggest and most open market for developing countries. But we can and we are determined to do more. What I am proposing - and what I will be bringing to table at Gleneagles – is a significant boost for aid for trade, aimed at helping developing countries help themselves, by enabling them to turn market opportunities into reality. Africa will be an important beneficiary."
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