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1997 G7 Compliance Report

What Constitutes Compliance

Having identified our major commitments, our next task was to shape a definition of compliance. "First order compliance" is national government action geared towards the domestic implementation of the necessary formal legislative and administrative regulations designed to execute Summit commitments. National governments alter their own behaviour and that of their societies and outsiders, in order to attain summit-specified welfare targets.

Compliance requires conscious new or altered effort by national governments in the post-Summit period. Summit members must actively and consciously endeavour to implement the provisions contained in Summit communiqués. Should a government arrive at fulfilling one of its summit commitments by chance, this does not constitute compliance.

Compliance is measured according to governmental actions designed to modify existing instruments within the executive branch to accommodate the commitments reached. A commitment can be said to have been fully complied with if a Summit member succeeds in achieving the specific goal set out in the commitment. However, there can still be varying degrees of compliance in the absence of a complete fulfilment of the commitment. Compliance can therefore be assessed according to a five-point scale.

(1) Official reaffirmation
A reaffirmation of a G-7 commitment is made by an individual working in an official capacity. This may occur in a national or an international context. The government demonstrates its intention to fulfil a Summit commitment by stating its plans to include the commitment in the national agenda. By publicly referring to a Summit commitment, through internal policy debates, speeches or press releases, a leader legitimizes the commitment. Such evidence of remembrance indicates that officials are still mindful of the Summit commitment. A reaffirmation of a G-7 commitment represents moral suasion to inside and outside officials as well as the public.

(2) Internal bureaucratic review and representation
The earlier remembrance and reaffirmation of the G-7 commitment are then backed by review -- a systematic monitoring mechanism that includes processes such as public consultation. A national government internally reviews the Summit commitment through a formal policy review or the formation of a task force. Personnel are assigned to these tasks and are given new negotiating mandates. These persons are charged with studying and implementing the commitment. Any new diplomatic initiatives required to reach the welfare target are launched.

(3) Budgetary and resource allocations are made or changed
A national government allocates, or diverts from another use, a notable sum of its own money for the purpose of achieving the commitment. Further alterations are made with regard to the distribution of money and other resources to international organizations from the national government.

(4) New or altered programs, legislation and regulations
Broader changes are made in fiscal and monetary policy, to the extent that governments control the latter. International negotiating positions are changed. Programs, necessary for the implementation of the Summit commitment, are introduced or altered. Recommendations are made for increased research and development projects.

(5) Full implementation
The welfare target is substantially achieved.

Over-implementation occurs when a national government surpasses the established welfare target. This may be desirable if over-implementation compensates for the failures of other Summit members (for example, decreasing one's C02 emissions by 10% instead of 5% as outlined in the communiqué will be beneficial to other states). However, over-implementation is not always advantageous as it can produce a runaway syndrome.

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