German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble Thursday defended Europe's strong presence at the G20, arguing that it is not over-represented despite accounting for barely 20 percent of the global economy.
Finance ministers from the world's major economies meet in Sydney this weekend, with the winding back of the US Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus policy as well as ways to boost growth and create jobs set to take centre stage.
The balance between the old and new worlds is one of the underlying sources of tension at the forum.
The likes of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are emerging as economic powers, while eurozone economies -- including France, Germany, Italy, as well as the European Union -- have struggled with a debt crisis. The United Kingdom, while not part of the eurozone, has also faced recession.
Despite this, Schauble said the balance remained fair.
"I do not share the view that Europe is over-represented in the G20," the German, arguably the most powerful finance minister in Europe, told the Australian Financial Review
"According to GDP, trade and other economic figures, the EU is one of the largest and most innovative regions of the world."
Schauble has played a crucial role in the eurozone debt crisis, but has also supported the European Central Bank, including its bond-buying programme, similar to the US Federal Reserve's quantitative easing.
He implied to the newspaper that it was too soon to start winding back those policies before the necessary reforms were in place.
"In recent years we have witnessed very expansionary monetary policies around the world," he said.
"We have to keep in mind that excessive liquidity on the global market creates new challenges and risks.
"We all have to ensure through appropriate reforms that our economies are strong enough to face the necessary normalisation of monetary policy."