The G20 is at a critical juncture. Either it moves forward shaping the way of a new,more effective, global governance or it will become just another Gn where discoursesand solemn declarations take the lead over action. There is nothing wrong inmultiplying for where heads of states and governments meet all over the planet. At thecontrary exchanges of views on common problems and the ways they are appraised indifferent countries may “à la longue” affect the design of national policies.
But, on one hand, after the crisis the G20 gave rise to high expectations, whichwere almost met at its first meetings and, on the other hand, the problems facing theworld today are more urgent than ever, especially those which need a persistentaction to be resolved because they are of a long term nature (development, climatechange, inequalities, investment in democracy, to name a few).The danger the world is facing today is that countries, forgetting that their economies are strongly interdependent, are “renationalizing” their economic policies, acting as if each of them were confronted with specific problems whosesolutions were without externalities for the other countries. The paradox of thesituation is that the feeling of urgency is disappearing at the very moment where the problems are becoming more urgent, especially if we want to avoid both a“remake” of the crisis and an acceleration of the destruction of a number of global public goods. The responsibility of the G20 is thus considerable. It could act in sucha way that would allow us to get out of this situation, creating a future where growthis more sustainable, friendlier to the environment, and where its fruits would bedistributed in a more equitable way, both within and among countries. Otherwise, itwill bear the responsibility before history of not having done the duty which has been delegated to it, despite having been in exceptional circumstances that gave itmuch more room for manoeuvre than it would have had in 'normal' times.That is why a group of 'experts', with no commitments other that of being citizensof the world, decided to meet to reflect on what could be done, hoping that fromtheir reflection some useful recommendations to the powerful of this world wouldemerge. This group, which christened itself the Paris Group, has been constituted atthe invitation of the President of The French Republic, who also presides over thedestiny of the G20 this year. The Chairmen were given complete discretion in thechoice of the membership of the group; their sole responsibility was to gather adiverse group of individuals with the highest level of expertise in the subjectsconfronting the G20 and with a commitment to working to ensure the improvementin the system of global economic governance.The chapters which follow contain a summary of the discussion between themembers of the group and the preparatory notes which have been written by them.
Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Joseph E. Stiglitz