Acting resolutely instead of merely reacting – Germany’s G7 Presidency in 2022

German G7 Presidency logo in white on a blue background.

German G7 Presidency logo, © Federal Government

12.05.2022 - Article

Germany assumed the G7 Presidency for one year on 1 January 2022. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has set out a prevention and transformation agenda for the G7 Foreign Ministers.

Coordination of foreign and security policy issues as the core task

Close and informal coordination based on mutual trust on foreign and security policy challenges and crises is a key aspect of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ agenda. The G7 forms a unique platform for providing key impetus for conflict resolution and dealing with strategic challenges on the basis of our shared values. In the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, we have seen how essential it is for us to engage in continuous and informal coordination within the G7. In this crisis, the G7, under Germany’s Presidency, has not only proven itself capable of strong leadership, but has also been instrumental in meeting the Russian aggression with a unified international response.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated the following in this regard on 28 April:

Not since the end of the Cold War have democracies, have we G7 partners with our shared values, faced such challenges as we do today in Europe and throughout the world. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is an attack on all that our open societies stand for: human rights, freedom and the rules-based international order.

Effective liberal democracies with a strong set of values

We can only successfully tackle global challenges by working together. For the G7, that means that we have to say what we as liberal democracies committed to multilateralism are fighting for instead of always focusing on what we are against.

– Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

Moreover, Germany has set itself the goal of further strengthening the G7’s set of values. To this end, Germany intends to make key human rights issues an even greater priority, for example in spheres such as artificial intelligence, gender equality and accountability for human rights violations. At the same time, Germany wants to work to ensure that liberal democracies remain effective and genuinely offer people greater freedom, security and sustainable prosperity.

Prevention and transformation agenda as a cornerstone: Climate crisis as one of three main focuses

It is not only the climate crisis that demonstrates the importance of joint, prompt and forward-looking action. Germany therefore intends to use the G7’s influence for a robust prevention and transformation agenda:

Taking action before it is too late: that is the main message that we want to discuss among the Foreign Ministers, with regard to the climate crisis, with regard, of course, to the efforts to combat the pandemic as well as with regard to the resilience of democracies.

– Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

Climate crisis

The further escalation of the climate crisis is not only inflicting terrible suffering on people, but is also exacerbating conflicts in many regions of the world. Climate policy is preventive security policy and thus a key component of our foreign policy and our G7 Presidency. Germany therefore intends to greatly expand the G7’s commitment to climate change mitigation. Energy and climate partnerships offer a genuine opportunity for sustainable prosperity, especially for emission-intensive countries or those which are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. We also have to focus within the G7 framework on anticipatory humanitarian assistance as an instrument for mitigating, among other things, the consequences of the climate crisis as well as on developing a better common understanding of the link between climate and security.

International cooperation

Germany wants to strengthen multilateralism during its G7 Presidency. Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic can only be tackled at the international level. The international community will have to respond to future crises in good time, with a united front and based on scientific findings and advice from experts. The United Nations offers the right framework for this. That is why strengthening the global health architecture and ensuring sustainable global vaccine equality are also on the agenda of the G7 Foreign Ministers.

Disinformation and cyber security

As one of the G7 partners with shared values, Germany shares the desire to make democracies around the world more resilient. Disinformation campaigns, for example, pose a genuine threat to all open societies. Germany therefore wants to put projects aimed at ensuring enhanced cyber security in selected partner countries outside the G7 and future investments in joint global infrastructure on the agenda.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

Disinformation is an attack on the very values of our liberal democracies: our openness, our transparency, our ability to debate and to argue fairly and freely.

That’s why all of us who share these values need to work together to respond to this major challenge.

We have made strengthening the resilience of democracies a core task of our G7 Presidency. We want to strengthen the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism – a forum that brings together international experts to identify disinformation threats in real time, share best practices and develop joint responses.

Milestones of the 2022 Presidency

As traditional milestones for the G7 Foreign Ministers process in 2022, two meetings at ministerial level are planned. The first G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting is taking place in Weissenhaus from 12 to 14 May. A further meeting is scheduled for the autumn.

Just like any other year, there will also be a meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2022, which, as is customary, will focus on current issues with a multilateral dimension.

Strengthening relations with partners outside the G7 who share our values

The G7 states do not remain on their own: Germany will invite guest countries that stand for shared values such as freedom and the rule of law to attend all meetings. Ukraine and Moldova will be among the participants at the meeting in May, for example.

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