The many skeptics of the annual G7 summit of major market democracies have long doubted that the promises its leaders make together from their sunny summit peak are actually kept when they return to the dark valleys of domestic politics back home. Such skepticism has spiked as US president Donald Trump prepares to host the 2020 G7 summit, amidst a still deadly COVID-19 pandemic and massive economic pain.
Donald Trump’s decisions on May 30th regarding the G7 summit are remarkable. As a bundle of separate decisions, they do not reflect a strategy nor are they consistent or even coherent.
First, attempting to hold a live G7 summit with all the thousands of officials and media involved uncovers his attempt to use the summit as evidence of America open for business, which is premature at best, and highly manipulative, at worst.
Leadership from the Group of Seven (G7) is needed more than ever as the pandemic continues to devastate economies and as we begin to grapple with the many legacies this global crisis will leave in its wake. Given the increased need for G7 leadership at this time, it is notable that the next meeting is being postponed to September, if it will be held at all.
The 2020 G7, the fourth of the Trump era, has been postponed to September. It is no coincidence: in the US, the novel coronavirus continues to take its toll (with over 110,000 deaths as of June 9th), unemployment has more than quadrupled from 3% to 13%, and George Floyd’s death two weeks ago has sparked racial and social protests that continue to this day. Hosting a G7 summit under these circumstances would have been extremely risky. Yet, paradoxically, Trump hoped to be able to pull it off until just a few days ago.
On June 10 a virtual G7 summit was supposed to take place in the US. As the Covid-19 pandemic is still taking its toll across the world, Donald Trump tried to hold the G7 in person in late June. After a (very) cold reception by the other leaders he had to postpone the meeting until September. However, this decision is raising further doubts, as the US presidential elections will be just around the corner, and as President Trump plans to invite other countries, most notably Russia. Is the G7 still a meaningful summit?
The far right, both in Europe and the United States, has a long history of politicizing public health, casting immigrants as vectors for disease and infection, as pollutants of the body politic: poisoners of the physical and moral health of race and nation.
The debate about sanctions and their humanitarian implications on populations at large came back into the limelight with the unfolding of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran.
During the past few weeks, the oil market experienced unprecedented volatility. On 20 April, “the Black Monday”, the price of the West Texas Intermediate fluctuated between -40 USD and positive values.
The field of privacy and data protection is probably the one where the most interesting moves occurred in the European Union's legal system over the last decades, leading to remarkable political externalities, most notably in the relationship with the United States. If a “Balkanization” of cyberspace did take place, the protection of privacy and personal data offers a privileged standpoint from which to look at how the European Union institutions, and above all the Court of Justice, contributed to such a result.
US oil and gas production has been booming, changing domestic markets and the role of U.S. production in the world. President Trump talks about “energy dominance” and about oil and gas as a driver for growth and exports. The term “dominance” isn’t accurate, but the United States is now the world’s largest gas producer and a global player in gas markets.