G7 Summit 2024: Leaders Confront Global Crises Amidst Domestic Turmoil
G7 Summit 2024: Leaders Confront Global Crises Amidst Domestic Turmoil

ROME - As the G7 summit kicks off in the idyllic Borgo Egnazia resort on Italy's southern coast, the spotlight falls on a group of leaders facing significant domestic challenges and grappling with pressing global issues.

The Summit, traditionally a platform for the world's leading democracies to coordinate on key global matters, is arguably hosting one of its weakest line-ups in recent years. Most leaders are preoccupied by-elections or internal crises, and some are clinging to power amidst dwindling public support.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are embroiled in snap election campaigns, desperate attempts to reverse their political fortunes. Germany's Olaf Scholz suffered a humiliating defeat in the recent EU Parliament elections and faces an uncertain future. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after nine years in office, openly considers stepping down. Meanwhile, Japan's Fumio Kishida struggles with his lowest approval ratings ahead of a leadership contest.

The exception among them is Italy's Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party gained ground in the recent European elections. Her rise to power two years ago has made her a pivotal figure in shaping EU policies in Brussels. Despite Italy's status as the world's ninth-largest economy, its influence on the global stage is naturally limited.

Under Italian stewardship, European and US officials have been negotiating a plan to use frozen Russian assets to provide Ukraine with a substantial loan. However, as the summit approaches, no deal has materialized. European officials are frustrated with a US proposal they deem one-sided and potentially burdensome for the EU, raising doubts about the prospects of reaching an agreement.

The urgency for Ukraine, still embroiled in a conflict with Russia, underscores the critical need for financial support. With the summit looming and the US elections approaching in November, European officials are apprehensive about the future of Western support if Donald Trump regains the presidency. The ongoing presidential campaign also complicates the prospects for multilateral agreements with the US.

"While the G7 summit provides an opportunity for international diplomacy, many leaders are preoccupied with domestic issues," noted Ivo Daalder, former US ambassador to NATO. Macron, focused on his re-election bid, faces reluctance even within his own party due to his declining popularity. Trudeau, once a prominent figure, now faces a tough re-election battle against Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.

Sunak, anticipating a defeat for his Conservative Party, is expected to face a center-left landslide in the upcoming elections. Biden, amidst his own election challenges, is making promises with uncertain outcomes.

Nonetheless, the summit offers Meloni a chance to advocate for Italy's strategic interests, including Africa, migration, and the Mediterranean. Her electoral success strengthens her hand in influencing EU policies and securing key positions within the bloc.

"While Italy's influence is limited compared to major G7 powers, Meloni is in a strong position," remarked Giovanni Orsina, political history professor at Luiss University in Rome. "She has the opportunity to achieve significant international success by pushing her agenda."

Read More:

G7 Leaders in Italian Summit Focus on Ukraine War and Chinas Challenges

G7 Summit 2024 in Italy: What's on the Agenda?

PM Modi in Italy for G7 Summit, to Hold Bilateral Meeting with Meloni; Full Schedule Inside


Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News