MADRID – Reform of global economic governance is still firmly on the radar screens of policymakers, but there is little evidence that the European Union has developed a forward-looking or coherent approach to the new forms that the G-20 is committed to establishing.
The G-20, which will hold its next summit in South Korea in November, pledged that multilateral cooperation and interdependence would guide the world out of crisis. Most European policies, however, do not sit well with the spirit of such commitments. The EU may not have imposed sweeping quotas and tariffs, but powerful “behind the border” protectionism has emerged in the form of subsidies, bailouts, “buy national” injunctions, and new restrictions on foreign direct investment. Global Trade Alert, an independent monitor, has identified more than 300 new protectionist measures introduced by G-20 members.