The Group of Seven (G7) is an international intergovernmental economic organization consisting of seven major developed countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, which are the largest IMF-advanced economies in the world.
As of 2018, the seven countries involved represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion) and more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity. The European Union is an invitee to G7.
The annual G7 Summit includes the 7 heads-of-government from these 7 countries.
The concept of a forum for the world's major industrialized countries emerged before the 1973 oil crisis. On Sunday, 25 March 1973, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, George Shultz, convened an informal gathering of finance ministers from West Germany Helmut Schmidt, France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and the United Kingdom Anthony Barber before an upcoming meeting in Washington, D.C. When running the idea past President Nixon, he noted that he would be out of town and offered use of the White House. The meeting was subsequently held in the library on the ground floor. Taking their name from the setting, this original group of four became known as the "Library Group". In mid-1973, at the World Bank-IMF meetings, Shultz proposed the addition of Japan to the original four nations, who agreed. The informal gathering of senior financial officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan, and France became known as the "Group of Five".
Then, in 1974, President Pompidou of France died and his immediate successor refused to run in the special election, making two changes of head of state in France in one year. Chancellor Brandt of West Germany was forced to resign in a scandal, and his successor lasted only nine days making two changes in West Germany as well. In addition, then-President of the United States Richard Nixon and Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka were forced to resign in disgrace. Queen Elizabeth II was forced to broker a deal to form a government after a hung election, which was so unstable that another election the same year had to take place, and finally, the traditionally unstable government of the 1st Italian Republic changed Prime Ministers yet again. The new American President Gerald Ford, asked some other new heads of state/government to hold a retreat the following year to get to know one another.
In 1975, a summit hosted by France brought together representatives of six governments: France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Schmidt was head of government and Giscard d'Estaing head of state, respectively, in their respective countries, and since they both spoke fluent English, it occurred to them that they, and British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and U.S. President Gerald Ford could get together in an informal retreat and discuss election results and the issues of the day. In late spring, d'Estaing of France invited the heads of government from West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to a summit in Château de Rambouillet; the annual meeting of the six leaders was organized under a rotating presidency, forming the Group of Six (G6). In 1976, with Wilson out as prime minister of Britain, Schmidt and Gerald Ford felt an English speaker with more experience was needed, so Pierre Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, the next largest advanced economy after the first six, was invited to join the group and the group became the Group of Seven (G7). Since first invited by the United Kingdom in 1977, the European Union has been represented by the president of the European Commission and the leader of the country that holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union; the Council President now also regularly attends.
Until the 1985 Plaza Accord no one outside a tight official circle knew when the seven finance ministers met or what they agreed upon. The summit was announced the day before and a communiqué was issued afterwards.
Following 1994's G7 summit in Naples, Russian officials held separate meetings with leaders of the G7 after the group's summits. This informal arrangement was dubbed the Political 8 (P8) – or, colloquially, the G7+1. At the invitation of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and President of the United States Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin was invited first as a guest observer, later as a full participant. After the 1997 meeting Russia was formally invited to the next meeting and formally joined the group in 1998, resulting in a new governmental political forum, the Group of Eight or G8. The Russian Federation, in fact, had and has limited net national wealth and financial weight compared to the other members of the G8. Russia also has never been a major advanced economy according to the IMF. However, the Russian Federation was ejected from the G8 political forum in March 2014, following the Russian annexation of Crimea.
This organization was founded to facilitate shared macroeconomic initiatives by its members in response to the collapse of the exchange rate 1971, during the time of the Nixon shock, the 1970s energy crisis and the ensuing recession.
Since 1975, the group meets annually on summit site to discuss economic policies; since 1987, the G7 Finance Ministers have met at least semi-annually, up to four times a year at stand-alone meetings.
In 1997, the G7 provided $300 million to the effort to build the containment of the reactor meltdown at Chernobyl.
In 1999, the G7 decided to get more directly involved in "managing the international monetary system" through the Financial Stability Forum, formed earlier in 1999 and the G-20, established following the summit, to "promote dialogue between major industrial and emerging market countries". The G7 also announced their plan to cancel 90% of bilateral, and multilateral debt for the HIPC, totaling $100 billion. In 2005 the G7 announced debt reductions of "up to 100%" to be negotiated on a "case by case" basis.
In 2008 the G7 met twice in Washington, D.C. to discuss the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 and in February 2009 in Rome. The group of finance ministers pledged to take "all necessary steps" to stem the crisis.
On 2 March 2014, the G7 condemned the "Russian Federation's violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine." The G7 stated "that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains the institution best prepared to help Ukraine address its immediate economic challenges through policy advice and financing, conditioned on needed reforms", and that the G7 was "committed to mobilize rapid technical assistance to support Ukraine in addressing its macroeconomic, regulatory and anti-corruption challenges." On 24 March 2014, the G7 convened an emergency meeting in response to the Russian Federation's annexation of Crimea at the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the Catshuis in The Hague. This location was chosen because all G7 leaders were already present to attend the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit hosted by the Netherlands. This was the first G7 meeting neither taking place in a member nation nor having the host leader participating in the meeting. On 4 June 2014 leaders at the G7 summit in Brussels, condemned Moscow for its "continuing violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty, in their joint statement and stated they were prepared to impose further sanctions on Russia. This meeting was the first since Russia was expelled from the G8 following its annexation of Crimea in March.
The annual G7 leaders' summit is attended by the heads of government. The member country holding the G7 presidency is responsible for organizing and hosting the year's summit. The serial annual summits can be parsed chronologically in arguably distinct ways, including as the sequence of host countries for the summits has recurred over time and series. Generally every country hosts the summit once every 7 years.
List of summits
|#||Date||Host||Host figure||Location held||Notes||Website||References|
|1st||15–17 November 1975||France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||Château de Rambouillet, District of the Paris Region||G6 Summit|
|2nd||27–28 June 1976||United States||Gerald R. Ford||Dorado, Puerto Rico||Also called "Rambouillet II". Canada joined the group, forming the G7.|
|3rd||7–8 May 1977||United Kingdom||James Callaghan||London, England||The President of the European Commission was invited to join the annual G7 summits.|
|4th||16–17 July 1978||West Germany||Helmut Schmidt||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|5th||28–29 June 1979||Japan||Masayoshi Ōhira||Tokyo|
|6th||22–23 June 1980||Italy||Francesco Cossiga||Venice, Veneto||Prime Minister Ōhira died in office on 12 June; Foreign Minister Saburō Ōkita led the delegation that represented Japan.|
|7th||20–21 July 1981||Canada||Pierre E. Trudeau||Montebello, Québec|
|8th||4–6 June 1982||France||François Mitterrand||Versailles, Île-de-France|
|9th||28–30 May 1983||United States||Ronald Reagan||Williamsburg, Virginia|
|10th||7–9 June 1984||United Kingdom||Margaret Thatcher||London, England|
|11th||2–4 May 1985||West Germany||Helmut Kohl||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|12th||4–6 May 1986||Japan||Yasuhiro Nakasone||Tokyo|
|13th||8–10 June 1987||Italy||Amintore Fanfani||Venice, Veneto|
|14th||19–21 June 1988||Canada||Brian Mulroney||Toronto, Ontario|
|15th||14–16 July 1989||France||François Mitterrand||Paris, Île-de-France|
|16th||9–11 July 1990||United States||George H. W. Bush||Houston, Texas|
|17th||15–17 July 1991||United Kingdom||John Major||London, England|
|18th||6–8 July 1992||Germany||Helmut Kohl||Munich, Bavaria|
|19th||7–9 July 1993||Japan||Kiichi Miyazawa||Tokyo|
|20th||8–10 July 1994||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Naples, Campania|
|21st||15–17 June 1995||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Halifax, Nova Scotia|||
|22nd||27–29 June 1996||France||Jacques Chirac||Lyon, Rhône-Alpes||International organizations' debut to G7 Summits periodically. The invited ones here were: United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.|
|23rd||20–22 June 1997||United States||Bill Clinton||Denver, Colorado||Russia joins the group, forming G8.|||
|24th||15–17 May 1998||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Birmingham, West Midlands|||
|25th||18–20 June 1999||Germany||Gerhard Schröder||Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia||First Summit of the G-20 major economies at Berlin.|||
|26th||21–23 July 2000||Japan||Yoshirō Mori||Nago, Okinawa||Formation of the G8+5 starts, when South Africa was invited. Until the 38th G8 summit in 2012, it has been invited to the Summit annually without interruption. Also, with permission from a G8 leader, other nations were invited to the Summit on a periodical basis for the first time. Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal accepted their invitations here. The World Health Organization was also invited for the first time.|||
|27th||21–22 July 2001||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Genoa, Liguria||Leaders from Bangladesh, Mali and El Salvador accepted their invitations here. Demonstrator Carlo Giuliani is shot and killed by the Carabinieri during a violent demonstration. One of the largest and most violent anti-globalization movement protests occurred for the 27th G8 summit. Following those events and the September 11 attacks two months later in 2001, the G8 have met at more remote locations.|||
|28th||26–27 June 2002||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Kananaskis, Alberta||Russia gains permission to officially host a G8 Summit.|||
|29th||1–3 June 2003||France||Jacques Chirac||Évian-les-Bains, Rhône-Alpes||The G8+5 was unofficially made, when China, India, Brazil, and Mexico were invited to this Summit for the first time. South Africa has joined the G8 Summit, since 2000, until the 2012 edition. Other first-time nations that were invited by the French president included: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Switzerland.|
|30th||8–10 June 2004||United States||George W. Bush||Sea Island, Georgia||A record number of leaders from 12 different nations accepted their invitations here. Amongst a couple of veteran nations, the others were: Ghana, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen and Uganda. Also, the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan took place in Washington during the summit. All of G8 participants attended this funeral, along with 20 more heads of state.|||
|31st||6–8 July 2005||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Gleneagles, Scotland||The G8+5 was officially formed. On the second day of the meeting, suicide bombers killed 52 people on the London Underground and a bus. Nations that were invited for the first time were Ethiopia and Tanzania. The African Union and the International Energy Agency made their debut here. During the 31st G8 summit in United Kingdom, 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh as part of the Make Poverty History campaign calling for Trade Justice, Debt Relief and Better Aid. Numerous other demonstrations also took place challenging the legitimacy of the G8.|||
|32nd||15–17 July 2006||Russia (only G8 member, not G7)||Vladimir Putin||Strelna, Saint Petersburg||First G8 Summit on Russian Federation soil. Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNESCO made their debut here.|
|33rd||6–8 June 2007||Germany||Angela Merkel||Heiligendamm, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern||Seven different international organizations accepted their invitations to this Summit. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Commonwealth of Independent States made their debut here.|
|34th||7–9 July 2008||Japan||Yasuo Fukuda||Tōyako, Hokkaidō||Nations that accepted their G8 Summit invitations for the first time are: Australia, Indonesia and South Korea.|||
|35th||8–10 July 2009||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||La Maddalena, Sardinia (cancelled)
|This G8 Summit was originally planned to be in La Maddalena (Sardinia), but was moved to L'Aquila as a way of showing Prime Minister Berlusconi's desire to help the region after the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. It was the most heavily attended summit in the history of the group (with 15 invited countries). Nations that accepted their invitations for the first time were: Angola, Denmark, Netherlands and Spain. Also, a record of 11 international organizations were represented in this G8 Summit. For the first time, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Programme, and the International Labour Organization accepted their invitations.|||
|36th||25–26 June 2010||Canada||Stephen Harper||Huntsville, Ontario||Malawi, Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica accepted their invitations for the first time.|||
|37th||26–27 May 2011||France||Nicolas Sarkozy||Deauville, Lower Normandy||Guinea, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire and Tunisia accepted their invitations for the first time. Also, the League of Arab States made its debut to the meeting.|
|38th||18–19 May 2012||United States||Barack Obama||Chicago, Illinois (cancelled)
Camp David, Maryland (re-located)
|The summit was originally planned for Chicago, along with the NATO summit, but it was announced officially on 5 March 2012, that the G8 summit will be held at the more private location of Camp David and at one day earlier than previously scheduled. Also, this is the second G8 summit, in which one of the leaders, Vladimir Putin, declined to participate. This G8 summit concentrated on the core leaders only; no non-G8 leaders or international organizations were invited.|
|39th||17–18 June 2013||United Kingdom||David Cameron||Lough Erne, County Fermanagh||As in 2012, only the core members of the G8 attended this meeting. The four main topics that were discussed here were trade, government transparency, tackling tax evasion, and the ongoing Syrian crisis.|||
|40th||4–5 June 2014||European Union||Herman Van Rompuy
José Manuel Barroso
|Brussels, Belgium (re-located from Sochi, Russia)||G7 summit as an alternative meeting without Russia in 2014 due to association with Crimean crisis. The 2014 G8 summit in Sochi was cancelled and re-located to Brussels, Belgium without Russia. Emergency meeting in March 2014 in The Hague.|
|41st||7–8 June 2015||Germany||Angela Merkel||Schloss Elmau, Bavaria||Summit dedicated to focus on the global economy as well as on key issues regarding foreign, security and development policy. The Global Apollo Programme was also on the agenda.|||
|42nd||26–27 May 2016||Japan||Shinzō Abe||Shima, Mie Prefecture||The G7 leaders aim to address challenges affecting the growth of the world economy, like slowdowns in emerging markets and drops in price of oil. The G7 also issued a warning to the United Kingdom that "a UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend towards greater global trade and investment, and the jobs they create and is a further serious risk to growth". Commitment to an EU–Japan Free Trade Agreement.|||
|43rd||26–27 May 2017||Italy||Paolo Gentiloni||Taormina, Sicily||G7 leaders emphasized common endeavours: to end the Syrian crisis, to fulfill the UN mission in Libya and reducing the presence of ISIS, ISIL and Da'esh in Syria and Iraq. North Korea was urged to comply with UN resolutions, Russian responsibility was stressed for Ukrainian conflict. Supporting economic activity and ensuring price stability was demanded while inequalities in trade and gender were called to be challenged. It was agreed to help countries in creating conditions that address the drivers of migration: ending hunger, increasing competitiveness and advancing global health security.|||
|44th||8–9 June 2018||Canada||Justin Trudeau||La Malbaie, Québec||It took place at the Manoir Richelieu. Prime Minister Trudeau announced five themes for Canada's G7 presidency which began in January 2018. Climate, along with commerce trades, was one of the main themes. “Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy”. The G7 members' final statement contains 28 points. US President Donald Trump did not agree to the economic section of the final statement. The G7 members also announced to recall sanctions and to be ready to take further restrictive measures against Russian Federation for the failure of Minsk Agreement's complete implementation.|
|45th||24–26 August 2019||France||Emmanuel Macron||Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine||It was agreed at the summit that the World Trade Organization, "with regard to intellectual property protection, to settle disputes more swiftly and to eliminate unfair trade practices", "to simplify regulatory barriers and modernize international taxation within the framework of the OECD", "to ensure that Iran never acquires nuclear weapons and to foster peace and stability in the region.", "to support a truce in Libya that will lead to a long-term ceasefire" and addressed the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.|||
|46th||10–12 June 2020|| United States (original host)
|Donald Trump (original host figure)||Camp David, Maryland (cancelled)
Worldwide videoconference (replaced)
|This meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Camp David, Maryland, but that meeting was officially cancelled on March 19, 2020 due to the concerns over the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and was replaced by a global videoconference.|
|TBD, 2021||United Kingdom||Boris Johnson||TBD|
Country leaders and EU representatives (as of 2020)
Member country data
|Member||Trade mil. USD (2014)||Nom. GDP mil. USD (2014)||PPP GDP mil. USD (2014)||Nom. GDP per capita USD (2014)||PPP GDP per capita USD (2014)||HDI (2017)||Population (2014)||Permanent members of UN Security Council||DAC||OECD||Economic classification (IMF)|
|European Union||4,485,000||18,527,116||18,640,411||36,645||36,869||0.899||505,570,700||N/A||N/A||Emerging and Developing/Advanced|
The G7 is composed of the seven wealthiest advanced countries. The People's Republic of China, according to its data, would be the second-largest with 16.4% of the world net wealth, but is excluded because the IMF and other main global institutions do not consider China an advanced country and because of its relatively low net wealth per adult and HDI. As of 2017 Crédit Suisse reports the G7 (without the European Union) represents above 62% of the global net wealth. Including the EU the G7 represents over 70% of the global net wealth.
- 7 of the 7 top-ranked advanced economies with the current largest GDP and with the highest national wealth (United States, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada).
- 7 of the 15 top-ranked countries with the highest net wealth per capita (United States, France, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Germany).
- 7 of 10 top-ranked leading export countries.
- 5 of 10 top-ranked countries with the largest gold reserves (United States, Germany, Italy, France, Japan).
- 7 of 10 top-ranked economies (by nominal GDP), according to latest (2016 data) International Monetary Fund's statistics.
- 3 countries with a nominal GDP per capita above US$40,000 (United States, Canada, Germany).
- 4 countries with a sovereign wealth fund, administered by either a national or a state/provincial government (United States, France, Canada, Italy).
- 7 of 30 top-ranked nations with large amounts of foreign-exchange reserves in their central banks.
- 3 out of 9 countries having nuclear weapons (France, UK, United States), plus 2 countries that have nuclear weapon sharing programs (Germany, Italy).
- all 5 of the members of the NATO Quint (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy) and Canada is also member of Five Eyes intelligence gathering body with U.S. and U.K.
- 6 of the 9 largest nuclear energy producers (United States, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, UK), although Germany announced in 2011 that it will close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Japan shut down all of its nuclear reactors. However, Japan restarted several nuclear reactors, with the refueling of other reactors underway.
- 7 of the 10 top donors to the UN budget for the 2016 annual fiscal year.
- 5 countries with an HDI index for 2018 of 0.9 and higher (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan).
- 2 countries with the highest credit rating from Standard & Poor's, Fitch, and Moody's at the same time (Canada and Germany).
- 3 countries are constitutional monarchies (United Kingdom, Canada, Japan), 2 are presidential republics (France, United States) and 2 are parliamentary republics (Germany and Italy).
French President Emmanuel Macron, the host of the G7 summit held in Biarritz in August 2019, has also invited non-member countries. The invited guest nations include Australia, Chile, Egypt, India, Iran, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Spain.
2014 suspension and subsequent exclusion of Russia
In March 2014 Russia was suspended by G7 members from the political forum G8 following the annexation of Crimea. After the suspension, on January 2017 the Russian Federation decided permanently to leave the G8. It was confirmed in June 2018.
About 7,500 protesters led by the group 'Stop-G7' demonstrated during the summit. About 300 of those managed to reach the 3 m high and 7 km long security fence surrounding the summit location despite Germany's immense efforts to prevent it and despite its remote location – the luxury hotel Schloss Elmau at the foot of the Wetterstein mountains (altitude of 1,008 m (3,307 ft) above sea level). The protesters questioned the legitimacy of the G7 to make decisions that could affect the whole world. Authorities had banned demonstrations in the closer area of the summit location and 20,000 policemen were on duty in Southern Bavaria to keep activists and protesters from interfering with the summit.
2018 Trump conflict over tariffs and Russia
The 2018 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada, was marred by fractious negotiations concerning tariffs and Donald Trump's position that Russia should be reinstated to the G7. The Trump administration had just imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on many countries, including European countries that are fellow members of the G7, and Canada, the host country for the 2018 meeting. Trump expressed dismay at Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau for holding a press conference in which Canada restated its position on tariffs (a public criticism of Trump's economic policy), and directed his representatives at the meeting to not sign the economic section of the joint communiqué that is typically issued at the conclusion of the meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Trump's behavior as a "depressing withdrawal," while French President Emmanuel Macron invited him "to be serious." In the final statement signed by all members except the US, G7 announced its intention to recall sanctions and to be ready to take further restrictive measures within the next months against the Russian Federation for its failure to completely implement the Minsk Agreement.
Trump repeated calls for Russia to be re-admitted to the group in the 2019 meeting in Biarritz, saying it should be included in discussions relating to Iran, Syria, and North Korea. The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte supported Trump's proposal, Shinzo Abe of Japan was neutral, and the rest of the G7 pushed back against the suggestion, after which the atmosphere allegedly became "tense".
2019 Amazon rainforest fires and Brazil
U.S. President Donald Trump's reiteration of Russia's readmission to the group (see above), instigation of a trade war with China, increased tensions in Iran, Trump's alleged reluctance to attend the conference and a number of international crises made the 2019 G7 meeting in Biarritz, France the most divided since its inception. Following Trump's previous rescinding of his signature to a joint communiqué agreed in 2018 due to an alleged slight from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (see above), French President Emmanuel Macron agreed that the group would not issue a joint communiqué at the Biarritz conference.
The G7 nations pledged US$20 million to help Brazil and other countries in South America to fight the wildfires. This money was welcomed, although many critics saw the measure as being too little, too late. Macron threatened to block a major trade deal between European Union and Brazil (Mercosur) that would benefit the very agricultural interests accused of driving deforestation.
- Big Four (Western Europe)
- NATO Quint
- Group of Eight
- Group of Ten (economics)
- G10 currencies
- Group of Thirty
- Developed country
- List of country groupings
- List of multilateral free-trade agreements
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