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“The global economic situation makes one thing clear: all G20 leaders need to step up their efforts for recovery, for growth and jobs, for open trade and for fairer taxation,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said before leaving for Saint Petersburg on Wednesday.
The Summit’s agenda includes reviewing measures to overcome continuing instability in financial markets, tackle out-of-control unemployment in many countries, and fix “global imbalances”.
The issue of unemployment is a primary concern for the EU as economic growth in the Eurozone appears to have slowed.
A report from the London-based National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) last month revised figures for global economic growth from 3.3 to 3.1 per cent for 2013, and 3.6 per cent in 2014.
“Global growth prospects for this year and next have weakened slightly since early May. This is partly due to further signs of a significant slowing in a number of key emerging market economies, particularly China,” an NIESR press release said.
The European Union’s Statistical Agency (EUROSTAT) announced in a report that unemployment figures had dipped or stabilised in some countries but that overall job recovery was happening at a very slow pace.
“Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.6 per cent), Germany (5.4 per cent) and Luxembourg (5.7 per cent), and the highest in Greece (26.9 per cent in April 2013) and Spain (26.3 per cent),” the report said.
The average unemployment rate for the 17-member eurozone is 12.1 per cent, roughly 19.4 million people.
At the G20 Summit, the heads of states will likely look at means to create jobs, search for new sources of growth and investment financing, and enhance multilateral trade.
The EU said in the statement leaders should adopt an ambitious “Saint Petersburg Action Plan” with a focused package of measures that can enhance strong, balanced and sustainable growth.