President Sarkozy's calculation for G20 presidency

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 14, 2010
Adjust font size:

As curtains of the Seoul G20 Summit fell down, France takes over the presidency of the group and is put in a spotlight to chair the group, for which President Nicolas Sarkozy has not only ambitious agenda to promote global economic reforms but also an eye to win scores domestically in preparation for the next presidential election.


Sarkozy underscored the importance of G20 repeatedly. He sees the group with 85-percent of the global output a key power in leading global economy out of the most serious downturn since 1930s.

To Sarkozy, overhauling global monetary system, stabilizing raw materials prices and enhancing global governance via G20 mechanism are three pillars pinned on his mission list during France's mandate.

According to French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, the reform of global monetary system was on top of the agenda. France called for financial supervisory tools on global level to prevent over-fluctuant exchange rates, restrain international imbalance and ease emerging countries' fear of sudden withdrawal of foreign investment.

Sarkozy also noted concerns of lack of supervision in raw material market, promoted regulated trade of agriculture product and transparent energy prices, and called for the prevention of vicious speculations.

Besides, the French president eyes to build G20 into an efficient consultation mechanism, even drummed for a standing secretariat to coordinate among governments and international organization, though the latter suggestion was not widely bought.

When criticism against the Seoul summit of its short of substantial agreements is blowing around, Sarkozy underlined, "it' s already a success that the G20 agrees that the international monetary system is a problem. That wasn't always the case."


With the ambition to "update the international monetary system for the 21st century," Sarkozy can find G20's year-long presidency a good stage to strut his stuff, but to iron out creases in global markets with near 200 countries is never an easy target.

More than a few analysts said France should better make its tone in low key. After all, French officials have been vague about what can replace the dollar-dominant market once it breaks. Source of the Elysee Palace admitted that not all reforms in global governance can be achieved in one-year.

However, Sarkozy is sure of at least one thing that France need more than bilateral support to achieve its goals, so he started preparation early and is trying hard.

After declaration of winning German and Russian support following trio-summit in Deaville in October, Sarkozy welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao, who announced fully advocation to France's G20 presidency in a two-day visit.

Before the end of the year, Sarkozy's plan according to his office includes meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama, South Africa President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the director general of International Monetary Fund.

In addition, France called loud to share developing countries more says over global governance at September's Francophonic Countries Summit or on other international occasions.


Two months' fierce row over pension reform has dragged Sarkozy' s approval rating to an all-time low of under 30 percent. Even final promulgation of the new pension law can hardly be a full victory. Public anger lingers while Sarkozy hopes to secure another tenure.

Unlike the G8 presidency that rotates in an assigned order, the timing of G20 chairmanship was chosen to the state's wish. Thus, France's G20 presidency ends in late 2011, a moment when the country's next presidential campaign reaches its climax.

Sarkozy's wishful thinking is to use G20 chairman's influence to save himself and his cabinet merits for France's next presidential election, French magazine le Nouvel Observateur said.

French former Foreign Minister Hubert Vefrine recalled Sarkozy' s performance as president of the European Union in 2008, predicting similar positive results in G20 presidency.

G20 presidency could be "a good calculation" because it's "what the French expect for him: he positioned himself as the country's defender in the world and raise the image of France," said Francois Miquet-Marty, the director of pollster Viavoice.

"In addition, it will be easier for him to federate UMP electorate and left supporters," Miquet-Marty added.

No matter Sarkozy's bid on G20 presidency to garner domestic bonus can win or not, now it's time for him to carry out all beforehand calculations.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from