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IP/08/1105

Brussels, 4 July 2008

President Barroso at the G8 summit in Japan (7-9 July 2008): leadership to address pressing global challenges

For the fourth time, President Barroso will represent the Commission as full member of the G8 summit, which this year takes place under Japanese Presidency at Toyako (Hokkaido, Japan). This year, G8 leaders will notably address climate change, development, the world economy and rising food and energy prices. At the summit, they will push for a coordinated international response to these challenges.

The summit takes place at a time where multiple global challenges require more than ever the commitment and determination of G8 leaders. President Barroso said: "The G8 summit is a chance we must not miss. Our chance to respond internationally to pressing challenges that concern everybody, everywhere. :Particularly now because of the impact of climate change, development, instability in the world economy and rising food and oil prices, it is important that we make concrete commitments. We need to drive forward the efforts to reach a global climate change deal by 2009, achieve the Millennium Development Goals and react to rising food and oil prices. In testing times for the global economy and the world's poorest, our determination to act must be unequivocal."

President Barroso will call for meaningful and ambitious long-term goals and mid-term targets to combat climate change and wants to engage emerging economies and developing countries in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. He will insist that economic progress is possible and conducive to economic opportunities, while engaging in ambitious climate action. The European approach to climate action, with fair and balanced effort-sharing, underpins this.

On development and Africa, President Barroso will call on partners to reconfirm the commitments on development assistance and step up the efforts. He will emphasise the EU's leading role and strong commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, as for example expressed in the fact that in 2007, 60% of worldwide Official Development Aid came from Europe and that European aid has increased by 30% since 2002. Furthermore the June European Council just adopted an ambitious EU Agenda for Action on the Millennium Development Goals.

But, as President Barroso will once again stress, efforts must be stepped up, both in Europe and at the G8 to show that we are ready to deliver on our commitments.

On the world economy, President Barroso will call on the G8 to send a strong signal that protectionist pressures in trade and investment relations must be resisted and that the Doha trade round must be completed in a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced way. An open investment environment is essential within G8 countries and in the rest of the world. The global community has a lot to lose by erecting more barriers.

On increased food and energy prices, President Barroso will push for responses that help to remedy the situation in the short-, medium- and long-term, while stressing the crucial importance of finding structural solutions to structural problems like the high global dependency on fossil fuels.

Further information:

MEMO/08/478: The 2008 G8 summit – questions and answers

IP/08/548: Commission: EU must stand by its promises and deliver on development aid if we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals

IP/08/763: Commission outlines European response to mitigate effects of rising global food prices

IP/08/916: Commission calls for swift adoption of energy and climate policies as best coordinated response to rising oil prices.

MEMO/08/380: The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC)

MEMO/08/421: Commission's / EU's response to the high oil and food prices

Site of the G8 summit:

http://www.g8summit.go.jp/eng/

Site of President Barroso:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/president/index_en.htm

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