What are the main variables on which the success of Italy’s presidency of the G20 in 2021 depends? The question is particularly relevant with only a few days to go before the end of a year that has made the need for – and the absence of – effective global governance mechanisms so evident.
Having been on the increase in most parts of the world for some time, economic and social inequality have now become more acute across the European Union as well, in the wake of two severe crises: the global economic and financial crisis of 2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic, both of which struck the region within the course of little more than a decade. Will rising inequality trigger a new wave of protests, social radicalisation and political instability? It is likely to do so, but unlikely to be accompanied by traumatic effects and political regime changes.
The news that in November 2020 the Netherlands, a relatively small country of the European Union (EU), had issued its own official strategy on the Indo-Pacific region, generated much discussion around the world. The Netherlands was the third European country, after France (2018) and Germany (2020), to issue a comprehensive view of this new geography in strategic terms. These decisions underscore the increasing importance of the Indo-Pacific maritime geography over the next decades as the centre of gravity of global politics and economics.
In a progressively fragile and complex reality, the true social, economic and industrial revolution will start from space.
Italy’s turn at the G20 presidency could not be more momentous. It comes as the world is facing a second wave of infections of the novel coronavirus, and as new partial or full lockdowns worsen the economic situation in most countries. In this context, the choice of priorities of the Italian government for next year’s G20 – the “three Ps” – sounds increasingly effective, as G20 leaders are called to safeguard “People, Planet, and Prosperity”.
The crisis generated by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the immediate future represents a social and economic disaster of global reach. Combining it with the precarious circumstances which affect Italy makes it extremely difficult but truly significant to consider this drama an enormous opportunity for rethinking the cities and the entire urban-territorial system of the country.
Sustainable bonds' participation in global capital markets is on the rise, but time is ripe to go farther. Labeled finance has prospered and gone into greater detail. It is not only Green bonds anymore. Specialization helps issuers and investors to tailor projects and portfolios to their needs, but it is not sufficient. Sustainability has to go from a piecemeal approach to fully embedded in mainstream finance. And a revamped finance approach cannot be expected to lead the overall sustainability agenda, but the other way round.
The current stance of Italy towards the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and its western and southern neighbours (Greece, Cyprus, Egypt) on the delimitation of the Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZ) can be best understood by referring to the traditional approach of Italian foreign policy in the Mediterranean.
It is widely believed the COVID-19 pandemic that has recently hit and paralysed the international community has accelerated processes already underway. These include the redefinition, certainly not the disappearance, of what is often termed globalisation. A trend, the latter, that – despite trade wars, shrinking supply chains, reshoring of companies – is destined to permanently characterise international relations, marking the end of traditional space-time limits and expanding their scope as never before.
This time it's different. The ongoing oil shock has a precise origin: the new SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic. During the 2007-2008 subprime mortgage crisis, the collapse of international trade was linked to the fear of a crack in the financial system. In this case, the lockdowns in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, North America and South America are having a greater magnitude. And the volatility of the oil price reflects this new dimension. Italy is not immune to contagion. The consequences can be long-term.