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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:59 PM
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The EU's role in global governance

A growing plethora of international institutions and agreements are attempting to tackle the world's major challenges: economic, environmental or security. What is the EU's role in this emerging world order?


24 Oct. 1945: Entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations.
Oct. 1947: Signature of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
3-14 June 1992: First Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
1 Jan. 1995: Establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
11 Dec. 1997: Adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
15-15 Dec. 1999: First summit of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.
14-15 Nov. 2008: First summit of the heads of state and government of the G20 countries for a common response to the global economic and financial crisis ("new" G20).
7-18 Dec. 2009: COP 15 United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.
1 Dec. 2010: Launch of the European External Action Service, one year following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.
29 Nov.-10 Dec. 2010: COP 16 United Nations climate change conference in Cancn, Mexico.
3-4 Nov. 2011: G20 summit in Cannes, France.
28 Nov.-9 Dec. 2011: COP 17 United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa.
4-6 June 2012: 'Rio+20' United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (third 'Earth Summit').

At a time of growing interdependence between countries and of a changing balance of power between them, notably with the economic rise of China and other emerging countries, the EU is trying to find its own role to play in global governance.

While 'global governance' is a relatively new term, it refers to a very old issue: cooperation between sovereign states on shared challenges. These, which were initially largely limited to peace and security, have significantly expanded in recent years. They now include trade negotiations on tariff reductions, agriculture and intellectual property rights, responses to economic and financial crises, environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity, counter-terrorism, nuclear proliferation, migration, drug and human trafficking, and health risks such as pandemics.

In practice, cooperation on these issues develops through formal institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and even the EU itself and through more informal summits, such as the G8-G20 and the intergovernmental conferences on climate change and biodiversity.
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