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The Group of Eight and the European Union: The Evolving Partnership

III. Reassessing the G8+1

The Evolving Partnership

As the G8 continues to evolve, so too will the need for a strong partnership between the G8 and the EU. The active involvement which has marked the role of the EU within the G8 process to date is assurance that this evolution will be one of an ever deeper nature. This study has demonstrated that the participants of the G8+1 have recognized the necessity of restructuring and reform in the shape of both burden-sharing and delegation. The successful implementation of G8 programs by the EU offers evidence of the potential these policies may have in the future and provides a basis for a more regular re-evaluation of their partnership.

However, as the G8-EU partnership continues to evolve, the EU itself continues a process of both deepening its own institutional framework, with such policies as EMU, as well as widening its membership to include selected Central and Eastern European states. The exact manner in which these simultaneous actions will ultimately affect the EU cannot yet be predicted. If the past is any indication, political will and economic necessity will combine to create a union which, though it will not always speak with one voice, will also not result in a European Tower of Babel. As long as its increasing membership displays a degree of consensus on G8-related issues, particularly among the EU G8 members, not only will this important partnership continue to evolve, but it will be an example of the positive results that increased policy coordination and cooperation may foster.

Revised version completed September 30, 1998.

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