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International

Labour and Social Policy at the G7/G20 Levels

International exchange: Germany is a member both of the group of the leading seven industrialised countries (G7) and of the group of the most important advanced and emerging countries (G20).

The G7 and G20 are informal forums for multilateral cooperation. In recent years, they have become increasingly important. Member countries’ heads of state and government hold summit meetings at regular intervals for discussions and coordination on global issues. There are also regular various ministerial meetings, such as the labour and employment ministerial.

The G7

The "Group of Seven" (G7) includes Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States of America; the European Commission is also represented. The presidency of the group rotates annually among its members. Germany has held the G7 presidency since the beginning of 2022.

German G7 presidency as regards labour and social policy

Ensuring that just principles drive policymaking during a time of structural change and safeguarding decent jobs in a green social-market economy are our goals. In the field of labour and social affairs, our motto "Just Transition - Make it Work" represents the cornerstone of Germany’s presidency of the G7 in 2022.

Specific focal points are:

You can find out more about Germany's G7 presidency at www.g7germany.de.

G20

The "Group of Twenty" (G20) has existed since 1999. The summit of G20 members' heads of state and government in Pittsburgh (USA) in 2009 marked an important turning point, however. In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, they decided to make the G20 the central forum for international economic cooperation. Like the G7, the G20 is an informal forum. It is not an international organisation, having neither its own administrative apparatus nor a permanent representation of its members. 

In addition to Germany, the following 18 countries belong to the G20: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The EU is also represented. As with the G7, the presidency rotates annually.

Labour and social policy of the G20

In light of the financial and economic crisis, the 2009 G20 summit in Pittsburgh held the very first G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting. Its goal was to hold discussions on labour and social policy issues that were equivalent to the discussions on economic and financial policy issues. The Pittsburgh Leaders' Statement emphasised "putting quality jobs at the heart of recovery" from the effects of the crisis. The first meeting of the G20 labour and employment ministers took place in Washington in April 2010 when the the United States held the presidency. 

Germany held the G20 presidency from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017. During the presidency, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs resolutely advanced both fighting inequality and promoting inclusive economic growth within the G20. Together with our G20 partners, we worked out concrete options for action and policy recommendations to get an essential step closer to the common goal of inclusive, productive, and sustainable labour markets. The main topics were:

  • improving the quality of employment for women
  • integrating migrants and refugees into the labour market
  • promoting sustainable global supply chains
  • shaping the future of work

Germany's G20 presidency was followed by that of Argentina in 2018, of Japan in 2019, of Saudi Arabia in 2020 and of Italy in 2021. Indonesia has held the presidency since 1 December 2021. In the field of labour and social policy, Indonesia has made the following issues priorities:

  1. Inclusive labour markets and decent work for persons with disabilities.
  2. Skills development for sustainable growth through community-based vocational training (CBVT).
  3. Sustainable job creation in an evolving world of work.
  4. Adaptable employee protection in the changing world of work.

In its meetings, the Employment Working Group (EWG) discusses proposals on these topics, which are to be included in the ministerial statement. The statement is to be adopted at the conclusion of the Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting (LEMM) on 14 September 2022.

Joint statements by the G20 labour and employment ministers as well as by G20 heads of state and government:

Further Information