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The Road to the G7 Summit in Italy in June 2024

Chiara Oldani, professor of monetary economics, University of Viterbo 'La Tuscia'
May 24, 2023

The Japanese-led G7 summit ended in Hiroshima in May 2023 with truly significant political results, if one looks at the G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communiqué. The leaders of the seven major democratic powers and the European Union, for the first time in several years, addressed all the issues on their agenda in a united and decisive manner and took clear positions on them. The leaders of the countries invited as guests to the summit, India, Brazil and many others, are considered strategic allies, actively involved in solving complex problems. In addition to support for Ukraine, these also involve tensions between China and Taiwan, between Israel and Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Sudan, and between Kosovo and Serbia; in all, they involve peacemaking, reconstruction and diplomacy.

G7 leaders agreed on $600 billion by 2027 to finance the infrastructure of developing countries, together with private funds, to reduce the gap between developing country economies and advanced countries; $100 billion annually from 2020 to 2025 to fight climate change and achieve the goals of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. They promised other funds for the fight against hunger and endemic diseases, such as malaria.

Such political cohesion between G7 members has not been seen for some time. The Covid-19 pandemic aside, the tensions created by the previous Republican presidency in the United States had limited opportunities for coordination and progressively reduced that country's global political weight, which reached its lowest point with the abandonment of Afghanistan. President Joe Biden, an experienced and skillful politician, has rebuilt a strong leadership in a short time; now he must return to Washington to manage a monstrous public debt. French president Emmanuel Macron took advantage of the Japanese G7 stage to relaunch an industrial plan that should reduce industrial dependence on China, an issue on which everyone agrees except, perhaps, the current EU representatives. Japanese prime minister and host Fumio Kishida showed off the many virtues, not only economic ones, of the leading country in Asia. Although Giorgia Meloni, the first female Italian prime minister, was in all the world's newspapers, photos of the flooded Emilia-Romagna region diverted attention from her work. She had to leave the summit before it ended to return to Rome and take part in the extraordinary Council of Ministers, and to visit the flooded areas.

The road to Puglia, the southern Italian region that Meloni, just before she left Hiroshima, announced would the G7 summit in 2024, is wide open. The themes of the Italian presidency will probably be in continuity with those of 2023 – geopolitical stabilization, the fight against climate change, strengthening the economy and diplomacy – and all affirm the role of political leadership of the G7 members.

However, the choice of the timing for the G7 leaders' next summit, in the second half of June 2024, is relevant. The European elections will have already been held, but the nomination of the representatives who will assume the roles of president of the European Commission and president of the European Council will not yet be known. Italy, Germany and France have not hidden their criticism of the stringent climate rules that the EU is implementing, which can have the undesired effect of reducing dependence on fossil fuels to create dependence on Chinese batteries.

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Chiara Oldani is a professor of monetary economics at the University of Viterbo 'La Tuscia' and the director of the Rome office of the G7 and G20 Research Groups. Her research focuses on financial innovation and stability.

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