A series of meetings were held, including a meeting of the G7 Finance Ministers, a meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers, the spring Committees of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as an informal inter-ministerial meeting on the economics of climate change and a roundtable on aid to the Central African Republic. The focus of discussions at these different meetings was global growth, and how it can be strengthened.
The global economy has significantly improved compared to its situation a few months ago, particularly with regard to the euro-area countries, which are currently experiencing an upturn. Nevertheless, accelerating global growth remains an objective that justifies new efforts. The G20 countries have therefore undertaken the work of identifying measures that will enable the level of global activity to be increased by 2% within 5 years.
France intends to fully participate in this global effort. As such, it presented the contribution of the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact to the collective effort for growth during the meetings in Washington. On this front, both the positions expressed by the international organisations, particularly the IMF which called on the G20 countries to find a good balance between growth and budgetary adjustment, and the numerous bilateral discussions led by the minister particularly with his American and European counterparts, revealed the general support of France’s partners for its strategy, which makes it possible to reconcile the serious nature of the budget and the acceleration of growth. France is thus making a significant contribution to the global collective effort for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The meetings in Washington also marked an important stage in the debate on the “strong euro”. The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, indicated for the first time that ECB action may be necessary if the appreciation of the euro continues. In this respect it reflected the concerns expressed by France.
The situation in Ukraine has also given rise to discussions in various forms. France in particular strongly supported the IMF’s draft programme for the economic and financial stabilisation of the country.
Finally, the meetings in Washington allowed France to make progress in several of its priority international subjects. The need to continue regulation works for the global economy was thus recognised, and specific work programmes were identified. Likewise, the importance that should be given to the fight against climate change, including in G20 works, was recognised by our partners. This is an important issue particularly in view of the International Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (“COP 21”), which will be held in France in 2015. Lastly, the situation of the Central African Republic, which is experiencing great difficulties, has given rise to specific action.
Excerpts from the Council of Ministers