THE BLOG

Acting Together for More Justice

On 17 June 2013, I will travel to Lough Erne to attend the G8 Summit at the invitation of the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

It is a crucial meeting for our countries and for the world. It is a meeting designed to enable collective decisions and action to be taken for the benefit of all. It is a test for the G8, a group of advanced economies that must lead by example. The challenge is to work together to do everything in our power to build a safer, more prosperous, more sustainable, and fairer future.

I would like that the G8 send a strong message on growth and jobs to the world. At a time when economic outlooks remain uncertain and unemployment, especially amongst young workers, has risen to intolerable levels, we need to come up with economic policies that promote growth and jobs. We will do so seriously and ambitiously thereby restoring our fiscal credibility and improving our competitiveness.

France is ready to assume all its responsibilities in taking action with its partners. France supports the three priorities put forward by the UK Presidency of the G8 -- fairer taxation, more transparent economic activity, reciprocal stronger trade --, which are also drivers for growth in our economies.

France wants to see steps taken in tackling tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax havens. It is time for a standard to be adopted for automatic information exchange between tax administrations. It is also time to establish the best possible regulations in the fight against money laundering and illicit flows of capital.

France would like to see greater transparency in the extractive industries sector and fully supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It is normal that companies be required to make data for each country and for each project public in the extractive industries sector and beyond.

France recognizes that international trade significantly contributes to growth. Our economies and our societies have nothing to gain from protectionism, or on the other extreme, from unbridled competition. Trade must be fair, in other words, reciprocal, equitable, and based on common rules that are applied by all. It has to respect the collective preferences and specificities of each country, notably the cultural and artistic creations which are not to be considered as goods.

France would like to see a stronger partnership between the G8 and Africa. Since the beginning of this year, French troops have been deployed in Mali to re-establish the territorial integrity of the country and to ensure security and stability in the Sahel region and beyond. Africa is the continent of the future with two decades of growth and a doubling of international investments in ten years.

There can be no growth or development that is not sustainable. To address the issue of climate change, we will meet hopefully in France in 2015 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. It is the responsibility of the international community as a whole to ensure the success of the negotiations. The G8 must do its part and give a strong political impetus to curb carbon emissions.

Of course, the G8 cannot do everything alone. But let it not be said that we, the G8 leaders, did not seek to assume all our responsibilities in promoting economic and social sustainable development for the benefit of all.

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