This week, on July 8-10, Italy will host the G8 Summit in L’Aquila. Italian planners for the Summit have emphasized what they assert is the need to make the G8 “more representative and more efficient” by involving China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and Egypt, and “to bring the institutions closer to people by focusing on their real problems, with the financial and economic crisis topping the list” by developing a “new global governance” structure. Italy has also stated that it plans to “[step] up the drive for consensus ahead of the UN conference on the climate in Copenhagen,” to promote “dialogues between producers and consumers [of energy] with the objective of reaching a stable price scheme,” and to oppose “food protectionism.”
These goals are all delightfully contradictory. The efficiency of the G8 will not be enhanced by including more nations. Expanding the G8 will make it more like the G20, thus driving the perception that the G8 serves no purpose. Pursuing a “global governance structure” would also duplicate G20 actions and, more fundamentally, would move power out of the hands of democratically-elected governments and therefore further away from the people they represent.
An energy market with adjusting prices would be unable to signal, through higher prices, when energy based on petroleum is becoming uncompetitive: this should not be desirable to those arguing that anthropogenic climate change is a reality. As for “food protectionism,” this problem begins with the E.U.’s Common Agricultural Policy, from which Italy receives 5.5 billion euros annually.
There is a counter-intuitive argument according to which, meetings like the G8, with their contradictory agendas, are very much in America’s interest: the more international summits there are, the more they detract from each other, and the less able they are to trench on American sovereignty as a result. This is a clever argument, but not one I find persuasive, if only because the various arms of the globalist octopus are ultimately working toward the same goal, and the very confusion and international bureaucracy they create are drags to diplomatic progress. The challenge before Italy as it prepared to host the Summit was to respond to the perception that the G8 is losing its relevance by advancing a realistic program of action. As Italy has not done so, it has therefore made the case that the G8 has become yet another international institution that consumes valuable time and attention with a repetitive agenda that produces no concrete results.