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  • The European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy

EU announces its priorities for the G20 Summit

The European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy have sent a joint letter to the EU heads of state and government on the key discussion points at the G20 Summit in St.Petersburg on September 5-6, 2013.

The letter says that the EU intends to work together with its G20 partners and focus on such priorities as stimulating economic growth and employment, implementing financial regulatory reform, curbing tax avoidance and evasion, reforming the international financial architecture, as well as on the issues of anti-corruption and energy.

"We need to remain vigilant and proactive to support the recovery and find our way to strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. The G20 Leaders in Saint Petersburg should send a positive message to improve global confidence and support the global recovery. We therefore need to show unity around a common purpose, and demonstrate that global institutions, and in particular the G20, are delivering," the letter reads.

The letter lists four priority areas that the EU should address in St. Petersburg:

1. Economic growth and employment needs to be at the top of the G20 agenda. This is necessary because global growth and employment remain weak. The two presidents believe that the world leaders should adopt a strong Saint Petersburg Action Plan. "We therefore welcome the focus of the Russian Presidency on job creation, labour activation of vulnerable groups and youth employment," they write.

2. Completing financial regulatory reform: "We have made steady progress in implementing our comprehensive reform agenda in the G20. We will reiterate that the EU is delivering on time and on all fronts and is well on track to have all the main financial reforms in place by the beginning of 2014. But the G20 needs to develop a clearer narrative to set out what has been achieved so far and what is left to be done."

3. Pushing forward the work on tax avoidance and evasion: "Taxation matters, namely, the fight against tax avoidance and evasion, are very high on the global agenda. The conclusions of the European Council made on May 22 have shown the importance of this discussion at EU level."

4. Completing the reform of the international financial architecture and progressing with work on anti-corruption and energy: "The full implementation of the 2010 IMF quota and governance reform is a critical element for boosting the legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness of the IMF."

"On energy matters, it is important to make progress on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, incorporating green growth policies in structural reform agendas, generating climate finance, improving the transparency of commodity markets, and promoting investment in energy infrastructure," the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council stress.

The full text of the letter is available here