G7 summits : European Councils and East–West economic relations (1975–1982)
Title: G7 summits : European Councils and East–West economic relations (1975–1982)
Author: ROMANO, Angela
Citation: Emmanuel MOURLON-DRUOL and Federico ROMERO (eds), International summitry and global governance : the rise of the G-7 and the European Council, 1974–1991, London ; New York : Routledge, 2014, Cold War History, pp. 198–222
ISBN: 9780415729840; 9781315850771
Based on recently released primary sources from European and US archives, this chapter questions the relevance of summitry in the Western debate on economic relations with the East. The chapter offers a comparison of summits in the mid-1970s and the early 1980s respectively, in the attempt to identify the determinants of a sum¬mit’s successful outcome in relation to the following points: consensus among participants and trust-building; coordination of policies; and endorsement of actual measures. It is ultimately argued that a summit’s scope and effectiveness was a direct function of the already-existing consensus on policy towards the East as well as the status of East–West relations at the specific moment. In other words, as far as East–West relations are concerned, summits did not prove useful in favouring reconciliation of divergent positions, and at times even engendered misunderstandings. That said, when participants’ stances were similar, summits allowed for improved coordination of pol¬icies and even adoption of actual common measures.
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