ITUC/TUAC Evaluation of the G20 Cannes Summit, 3-4 November 2011



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  • G20_Cannes_Eva-espdf
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1. The G20 Cannes Summit could be depicted as “a tale of two summits”. On the one hand there was a Euro-zone Summit that dominated the Leaders’ discussions as well as the press headlines. This was almost totally focused on the Greek sovereign debt crisis and its potential contagion to Italy and other countries. The policy outcomes of this Summit imply still more austerity policies and budget cuts for much of the Euro-zone.

2. On the other hand there was the background agenda of the Summit covering growth and jobs, monetary reform, food prices, social protection and development where, on some issues, significant progress was registered on paper at least. This included an “institutionalisation” of social partner participation in the G20 process. The Summit also set up a G20 Task Force on Employment with a focus on youth employment and tasked the ILO, OECD, IMF and World Bank to report to G20 Finance Ministers on the global employment outlook and the employment impact of the G20 Framework.

3. Unfortunately, these outcomes continue to be overshadowed by the events that unfolded in the days immediately following the Summit. The Greek and Italian governments resigned and have been replaced by “technocrat” administrators with the expressed aim of “reforming” public finance in order to stabilise the bond markets. However, the spreads in Euro-zone bond yields continue to grow alarmingly at the time of writing. The implications of this for working families in the crisis countries and far beyond are dire and yet to unfold. It is however clear that there is a direct contradiction between the positive language on employment, growth and social issues in the Summit outcome documents and the further announcements of austerity measures in European countries that followed the Summit.

4. The Summit issued a Leaders’ Communiqué of four pages (henceforth referred to as C), a longer Summit Declaration of twelve pages (henceforth D) and the Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs (henceforth CAP). There were also ten appendices, including the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ conclusions from September 2011, which became a point of reference for future G20 meetings. (...)

The full evaluation is attached.