The European Commission promotes close cooperation with advanced countries in the Group of Seven (G7) and is working closely with G7 Presidencies to ensure that the group maintains a strong focus on development issues, in particular in Africa. It supports efforts in the Group of Twenty (G20) to create a new Development Framework.
The Group of Seven (G7), formerly the Group of Eight (G8), is a forum for the governments of seven of the world's largest national economies. The key themes for the 2013 UK G8 Presidency were tax, transparency and trade. On 12 June 2013 the European Parliament approved legislation requiring the disclosure of payments to governments on a country and project basis by listed and large unlisted companies with activities in the extractive (oil, gas and mining) and logging of primary forest sectors.
The key objective is to enhance transparency by providing relevant information to civil societies and Parliaments in order for them to hold governments to account on receipts from multinationals for exploiting natural resources (oil and gas, minerals and primary forests). This directive is a very significant step in support of the G8 Transparency initiative.
The Commission is supporting UK efforts to encourage its G8 partners to introduce similar requirements in their internal legislations, and push for a relevant international accounting standard.
Concerning African trade and Infrastructure, the G8 is aiming to support the African agenda for regional trade integration, improved infrastructure, elimination of trade barriers and greater transparency. A plan is being developed to help African countries to double Intra-African trade by 50% by 2020. G8 Members will also seek to identify further steps to facilitate institutional investment flows into bankable trade-related infrastructure projects in Africa.
G20 development cooperation
The EU is also a member of the Group of Twenty (G20), a forum for international economic and financial cooperation. Under the 2013 Russian Presidency, the G20 Development Working Group (DWG) proposed a new St Petersburg Development Outlook which was approved by Leaders at the G20 Summit on 5-6 September.
During the 2014 Australian Presidency, priorities include Infrastructure, Domestic Resource Mobilisation and Financial Inclusion. Food Security and Human Resources also remain on the Development agenda.
The EU has been a strong supporter of developing countries' role in the Development Working Group. The low income countries' (LIC) priorities include green growth and climate change; the EU will press hard to respond to the interests of its partners in keeping these important issues on the G20 Development Agenda.
The European Commission will continue to actively contribute to the implementation of the G20 development agenda and to the establishment of consensus among advanced and emerging economies on development's contribution to shared growth.