This page was archived on October 2020.


Multilateral Issues

At the beginning of 2010, three issues threatened to do lasting harm to international cooperation. First, the chaotic 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate change had left serious doubts about international efforts to address global warming. Second, Iran’s nuclear programme and the weaknesses of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) were eroding faith in multilateral efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons. Third, the US and emerging economies including China and India were raising pressure to reform the governance structures of bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, implying that the biggest EU donors to these institutions should lose some influence. These dilemmas arose against the background of uncertainty over the relative importance of the G20 (empowered during the financial crisis) and the G8 (losing traction), as well as renewed debate over whether and how to reform the UN Security Council. Both these issues threaten to reduce European influence as power shifts from the West towards Asia.

By the end of the year, however, the outlook for multilateralism – and Europe’s role in the multilateral system – had significantly improved. The December 2010 climate conference in Cancún restored confidence in the UN-led negotiations on climate change. The EU played a major – if not absolutely decisive – role in restoring faith in the UN talks through diplomatic declarations and targeting aid to address climate issues.




European impact in the multilateral system - Grade: B-
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
68 - European policy in the G20 and G8 2/5 3/5 5/10 10/20 C+
69 - European policy on the Reform of Bretton Woods Institutions 3/5 3/5 4/10 10/20 C+
70 - European policy  on UN reform 4/5 2/5 3/10 9/20 C+
71 - European policy on the financing of multilateral institutions 4/5 4/5 5/10 13/20 B


Human Rights and humanitarian issues - Grade: B
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
72 – European policy in the Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly 3/5 3/5 4/10 10/20 C+
73 – European policy  on the ICC and ad hoc tribunals 4/5 4/5 7/10 15/20 B+
74 – European policy in the international humanitarian system 2/5 4/5 7/10 13/20 B


Climate change - Grade: B+
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
75 – European policy on climate change in the multilateral context 4/5 4/5 7/10 15/20 B+


Non-proliferation regime - Grade: A-
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
76 – European policy on Iran and proliferation in the multilateral context 5/5 5/5 7/10 17/20 A -
77 – European policy on the NPT Review Conference 4/5 4/5 6/10 14/20 B+


Development and health - Grade: B
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
78 – European policy on global health 4/5 3/5 7/10 14/20 B
79 – European policy on the Millennium Development Goals 2/5 3/5 7/10 12/20 C+
80 – European policy in the World Trade Organization 5/5 4/5 8/10 17/20 A -