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From Genoa 2001 to Kananaskis 2002

Country Performance Assessment
Germany

Overall Grade: B+

Objective 1: Africa: B

On the threshold of Kananaskis, German Chancellor Schroeder released a speech that outlined his concerns for African development and revealed his view that there would be a great need to discuss NEPAD1. This goal was reached at Kananaskis with the delivery of the Africa Action Plan. Schroeder also emphasized that any commitment made to the NEPAD on behalf of the G8 nations must be long-term and made in recognition of the African initiative with Africa's ownership firmly in place. Again, based on the Summit document G8 Africa Action Plan (AAP) and speeches made by the African delegation to the press on the final day of the Summit, the AAP is an instrument by which developed nations, most notably the G8, will be able to 'help Africans help themselves', and with which the African leaders are 'pleased' as it shows "the resolve (of the G8) to work together".2 In Schroeder's speech, he emphasized that only in such a way can the global community witness an African Renaissance. The Chancellor also noted that positive signals coming from Africa, such as increases in private investment from abroad, rises in exports and capital productivity, a diversification of production structures, intra-African trade expansion due to lower tariff barriers and improved infrastructure are indications that Africa is ready for a transition.

Immediately before arriving at Kananaskis, Chancellor Schroeder stated that "for countries making effective reform efforts, (he is) also prepared to ask (the) G8 partners to support further debt relief"3 which was agreed to in the context of the AAP, in Section IV: Implementing Debt Relief, paragraph 4.1.

Yet, perhaps the most important issue on Germany's Africa agenda in Kananaskis was aid consolidation and, more specifically, getting the US to agree to a specified quantity of increased, long-term, sustainable multilateral aid.4 More specifically, Shroeder was looking for more comprehensive commitments on the social agenda of aid in Africa, particularly on health and education. What the G8 delivered in Kananaskis, instead, was a non-committal agreement that "an aggregate half of new aid assistance could go to Africa".5 According to the Summit's first day of discussions and bilaterals, Germany would have preferred to have been able to deliver a much more firm and quantified commitment to the '50% or more' of Official Development Assistance which 'could' be earmarked for Africa.6

Objective 2: Terrorism: A

Germany arrived at the Summit as a major proponent of fighting terrorism with aid, in recognition of the 'root cause of terrorism' as poverty. After the events of September 11th and the subsequent revelation of high levels of terrorist cell activity in Germany, terrorism became a key issue of national security, and a central issue item on the German domestic agenda. This is most recently obvious in the signing of a controversial immigration law on June 20, 2002, that discourages refugee acceptance to Germany.7 What the G8 delivered at the Kananaskis Summit in the Chair's Summary, was a commitment to "comprehensive actions to deny support or sanctuary to terrorists" which fits in well with Germany's current domestic policy. Furthermore, the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which commits the G8 to spend up to $20 billion USD, is a strong effort to advance the war on terrorism. Although this document offers no consolidated mention of the EU "Everything but Arms" initiative, which is strongly backed by Germany, the document offers much potential for future endeavours to contribute to this initiative.

In a speech made by German Foreign Minister Fischer which adds the German voice to the unanimous agreement of the G8 in Kananaskis, Germany is supportive of the speech made by President Bush on the Middle East. Germany "welcomes the prospect, opened up for the first time, that a Palestinian state would have America's full support if Palestine undertook rapid reform efforts... Terrorism must be countered resolutely and wholeheartedly".8

Objective 3: Global Economic Growth: B

Chancellor Schroeder took the Kananaskis Summit as the opportunity to solicit privatization and denounce protectionism, as was expected from all members of the EU. More specifically, Schroeder called on Chretien to lead the issue of decreasing harmful trade subsidies on agricultural products and to work towards improving the climate of free and fair trade. The issue of "resisting protectionist pressures" is mentioned in the Chair's Summary, yet it does not commit to proactive action towards decreasing tariff barriers, nor does it discuss agriculture, specifically.

In the AAP, Section III: Fostering Trade, Investment, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development, paragraph 3.3, the G8 commits to "applying (the) Doha commitment to comprehensive negotiations on agriculture aimed at substantial improvements in market access, reductions of all forms of export subsidies with a view to their being phased out, and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support." This statement, although general, when applied to the G8 AAP, could represent a watershed in trade liberalization. Whether it will be implemented in the timely manner that Schroeder was pushing for is to be seen on the road to the France, 2003 G8 Summit.

The agreement to "work with developing countries to ensure the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda by January 1, 2005"9 does bode positively for Germany, which is facing an economic slow-down. More specifically, it would bode positively for Chancellor Schroeder who is in the middle of an election campaign and needs to see firm advancements towards a sustainable economy if he is to be able to promise his electorate a potential decrease in Germany's high unemployment rate.

Therefore, in general, Germany should have been somewhat pleased with the move towards implementing the Doha Declaration and building more liberal trade relations, however, there was no specific timeline for phasing-in these plans for economic growth and, therefore, fell short of Germany's objectives of reaching a specific and well-defined agenda for sustainable growth.

1 "Africa is committed to taking responsibility for its own destiny", Chancellor Schroeder (Published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung on June 26, 2002)

2 South African President, Thabo Mbeki. Press Conference: Hyatt Hotel, Calgary. June 27, 2002.

3 "Africa is committed to taking responsibility for its own destiny", Chancellor Schroeder (Published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung on June 26, 2002)

4 "Africa is committed to taking responsibility for its own destiny", Chancellor Schroeder (Published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung on June 26, 2002)

5 G8 Africa Action Plan. Kananaskis G8 Summit, 2002.

6 German briefing delivered by Germany's Commissioner for G8 and African Affairs, Frau Uschi Eid. Kananaskis G8 Summit, June 26, 2002.

7 Rau Signs Controversial Immigration Law. German Embassy Washington, D.C. http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch/politics/new/pol_rau_immigration.htm. Accessed 27/06/02.

8 Fischer Welcomes Bush's Speech on Middle East. German Embassy, Washington, D.C. http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch/politics/new/pol_fischer_ME_2002_10.htm. 27/06/02.

9 The Kananaskis Summit: Chair's Summary. G8 Summit, 2002.


Prepared by Petra Kukacka
University of Toronto G8 Research Group
July 2002

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