Tribune. In recent years, multilateralism has been placed on the defensive. In a global context that has become more multipolar than multilateral, competition between states now seems to prevail over cooperation. The recent global agreement to reform international corporate taxation, however, shows that multilateralism is not dead.
However, we cannot say that he is doing well either. While globalization continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, although more unevenly than before and despite a growing sense of isolation among populations, interdependencies have become more confrontational than ever. Even the “Soft power”, “soft power”, is now used as a weapon: vaccines, data and technological standards in turn become instruments of political competition.
Democracy under threat
The world is also becoming less free. Democracy itself is under threat, in the context of a communication battle over which political and economic systems are best able to deliver results for their citizens.
The European Union (EU), for its part, continues to believe in a predictable world based on a rules-based multilateralism, on open markets, on positive-sum trade and on social justice and solidarity, and it will continue to work towards its establishment.
We remain convinced that only global cooperation will make it possible to tackle the main challenges we face today, whether it be combating pandemics or combating climate change. The EU will therefore continue to play a leading role in relaunching multilateralism in order to show our citizens the concrete benefits of a concept which may seem arid and technocratic.
Indeed, the alternative to such multilateral action, namely going it alone, would result in reduced access to vaccines, insufficient climate action, worsening security crises, inadequate regulation of globalization as well as growing inequalities globally. No country, even the largest, can do it alone. It is for all these reasons that Italy, rightly, has placed multilateralism at the top of the agenda of the program of his current presidency of the G20.
However, the EU cannot simply assert its track record in multilateralism. Europe must demonstrate that multilateral action can produce results for all if each country invests in this action. This is precisely what the new global tax agreement allows.
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