President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen represented the EU at the 15th G20 Leaders’ summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on 21-22 November 2020.
G20 leaders met in virtual format to address the way forward how to tackle together the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, finance the development and deployment of a vaccine as well as continue the support to citizens and businesses struggling to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic.
The EU leaders stressed the need for strong multilateral cooperation in the fight against the pandemic. They called on the G20 to provide, before the end of the year, $4.5 billion for mass procurement and delivery of COVID-19 tools. This amount is urgently needed for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and its COVAX facility.
The G20 leaders committed to sparing no effort to make sure that all people have affordable and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.
They also committed to advancing global pandemic preparedness, prevention, detection and response. In this context, President Michel proposed an initiative to ensure a better global response to future pandemics.
The EU leaders urged all G20 members to work towards the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
They stressed that the EU is leading the way to climate neutrality by 2050 and welcomed the fact that many G20 partners had taken the same commitments.
They also promoted a recovery based on green, inclusive, sustainable, resilient and digital growth in line with the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The G20 leaders were determined to support the most vulnerable and fragile countries, notably in Africa, in their fight against the pandemic.
To this end, they committed to allowing countries eligible under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to suspend official bilateral debt service payments until June 2021.
The EU leaders stressed that additional steps might be needed, and the summit endorsed the “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI”, which is also endorsed by the Paris Club.
Trade and Taxation of the Digital Economy
The G20 leaders reaffirmed their support to the WTO reform process in the lead-up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. They recognised the contribution that the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO has made.
The leaders also agreed to strive to find a consensus-based solution for a globally fair, sustainable, and modern international tax system by mid-2021, built on the ongoing work of the OECD.
On the digital economy, the G20 leaders expressed their support for fostering an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment and for protecting and empowering consumers while addressing the challenges related to privacy, data protection, intellectual property rights and security.