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The G-7 and the Need for Reform

Cesare Merlini

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Concluding Remarks

It seems that both the summit meetings and the structure of the G-7 are extremely flexible and adaptable to requirements. This is well suited to the current international political situation. It is suggested here that the summit and its structure should be considered separately for any kind of reform or improvement, but that there is no contradiction between personalizing the former and "institutionalizing" the latter.

Given the-limits to the authority of the heads of state and government, some suggestions have been made for the planning and management of the summit, which are aimed at enhancing the role of the summiteers. But the structures underlying the summit must be continuous and efficient. Particular emphasis has been put on relations with existing institutions: the G-7 should become, the interface between regional and global bodies, to make the former work compatibly-synergically-with the latter.

Discussion has revolved around the G-7's representativeness, functionality and potential with regard to all the major questions of the moment. Its role is not one of government, but one of distributing tasks and indicating rules in moments of crisis, giving a voice to the "new" West that emerged after the end of the Cold War. While maintaining a Western character, the G-7 should not be closed to the rest of the world. It should implement a kind of foreign policy by selectively associating leaders to its deliberations, starting with the leader of post-Soviet Russia.

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