The G-20 and COP26 Will Put Europe’s Diplomatic Ambitions to the Test

The G-20 and COP26 Will Put Europe’s Diplomatic Ambitions to the Test
EU leaders pose for a group photo at an EU summit in Brussels, Oct. 21, 2021 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

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European leaders are preparing for two big global summits taking place in Europe in the coming days: the G-20 Summit in Rome, Italy, and the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. As the European Union strives to step up as a global power, this is an opportunity for the bloc to back up that ambition with some diplomatic outcomes. But is anyone listening?

The main topic on the agenda for the G-20 gathering, which will take place over the weekend, is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the world’s overheated recovery from its economic impact. Rich economies like the EU, U.K., U.S. and Canada will be under pressure to increase their donations to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access program, or COVAX, to supply vaccines to developing countries, even as they continue to manage the destabilizing effects of a chaotic recovery at home that is causing energy prices to skyrocket and leading to massive supply chain disruptions.

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