Group of Seven
The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7. These countries are the seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund: the G7 countries represent more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion). A very high net national wealth and a very high Human Development Index are the main requirements to be a member of this group. The G7 countries also represent 46% of the global GDP evaluated at market exchange rates and 32% of the global purchasing power parity GDP.
The G7's precursor was the 'Group of Six'. It was founded ad hoc in 1975, consisting of finance ministers and central bank governors from France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, when Giscard d'Estaing invited them for an "informal gathering at the chateau of Rambouillet, near Paris [...] in a relaxed and private setting". The intent was "to discuss current world issues (dominated at the time by the oil crisis) in a frank and informal manner". The G6 followed an unofficial gathering starting in 1974 of senior financial officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan and France. They were called the "Library group" or the "Group of Five" because they met informally in the White House Library in Washington, DC.:34 (this is not to be confused with the current, but completely different "Group of Five", a group of the five top nations with emerging economies formed in 2005). The "Library Group" were the top five of the world's then leading economies as ranked by per capita GDP.
Canada became the seventh member to begin attending the summits in 1976, after which the name 'Group 7' or G7 Summit was used. Until 1986, there was still a "Group of Five" or "G5", a main policy coordination group of Finance Ministers and Central Bankers, but during Tokyo Economic Declaration in 1986, Canada and Italy were officially added, replacing the "G5" with a new "Group of Seven" or "G7" Forum.
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. It was seen as a way to encourage Yeltsin's capitalist reforms. 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. However Russia was ejected from the group in 2014 following the Russian annexation of Crimea.
The organization was originally 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. Its goal was fine tuning of short term economic policies among participant countries to monitor developments in the world economy and assess economic policies.
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 4 times a year at stand-alone meetings.
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". In 1999 the G7 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 2007-2010 and in February 2009 in Rome. The group of finance ministers pledged to take "all necessary steps" to stem the crisis.
On March 2, 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 March 24, 2014, the G7 convened an emergency meeting in response to the Russian Federation's annexation of Crimea at the Dutch Catshuis, located in The Hague because all G7 leaders were already present to attend the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. This was the first G7 meeting neither taking place in a member nation nor having the host leader participating in the meeting.
On June 4, 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 group 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, series, etc.
|Date||Host||Host leader||Location held||Website||Notes|
|1st||November 15–17, 1975||France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||Rambouillet (Castle of Rambouillet)||G6 Summit|
|2nd||June 27–28, 1976||United States||Gerald R. Ford||Dorado, Puerto Rico||Also called "Rambouillet II". Canada joined the group, forming the G7|
|3rd||May 7–8, 1977||United Kingdom||James Callaghan||London||President of the European Commission was invited to join the annual G-7 summits|
|4th||July 16–17, 1978||West Germany||Helmut Schmidt||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|5th||June 28–29, 1979||Japan||Masayoshi Ōhira||Tokyo|
|6th||June 22–23, 1980||Italy||Francesco Cossiga||Venice||Prime Minister Ōhira died in office on June 12; Foreign Minister Saburō Ōkita led the delegation which represented Japan in his place.|
|7th||July 20–21, 1981||Canada||Pierre E. Trudeau||Montebello, Quebec|
|8th||June 4–6, 1982||France||François Mitterrand||Versailles|
|9th||May 28–30, 1983||United States||Ronald Reagan||Williamsburg, Virginia|
|10th||June 7–9, 1984||United Kingdom||Margaret Thatcher||London|
|11th||May 2–4, 1985||West Germany||Helmut Kohl||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|12th||May 4–6, 1986||Japan||Yasuhiro Nakasone||Tokyo|
|13th||June 8–10, 1987||Italy||Amintore Fanfani||Venice|
|14th||June 19–21, 1988||Canada||Brian Mulroney||Toronto|
|15th||July 14–16, 1989||France||François Mitterrand||Paris|
|16th||July 9–11, 1990||United States||George H. W. Bush||Houston|
|17th||July 15–17, 1991||United Kingdom||John Major||London|
|18th||July 6–8, 1992||Germany||Helmut Kohl||Munich, Bavaria|
|19th||July 7–9, 1993||Japan||Kiichi Miyazawa||Tokyo|
|20th||July 8–10, 1994||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Naples|
|21st||June 15–17, 1995||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Halifax, Nova Scotia|||
|22nd||June 27–29, 1996||France||Jacques Chirac||Lyon||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||June 20–22, 1997||United States||Bill Clinton||Denver||||Russia joins the group, forming G8|
|24th||May 15–17, 1998||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Birmingham|||
|25th||June 18–20, 1999||Germany||Gerhard Schröder||Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia||||First Summit of the G-20 major economies at Berlin|
|26th||July 21–23, 2000||Japan||Yoshiro 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||July 20–22, 2001||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Genoa||||Leaders from Bangladesh, Mali and El Salvador accepted their invitations here. Demonstrator Carlo Giuliani is shot and killed by police 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||June 26–27, 2002||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Kananaskis, Alberta||||Russia gains permission to officially host a G8 Summit.|
|29th||June 2–3, 2003||France||Jacques Chirac||Évian-les-Bains||||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||June 8–10, 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.|
|31st||July 6–8, 2005||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Gleneagles||||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||July 15–17, 2006||Russia||Vladimir Putin||Strelna, St. Petersburg||||First G8 Summit on Russian soil. Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNESCO made their debut here.|
|33rd||June 6–8, 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||July 7–9, 2008||Japan||Yasuo Fukuda||Toyako (Lake Toya), Hokkaido||||Nations that accepted their G8 Summit invitations for the first time are: Australia, Indonesia and South Korea.|
|35th||July 8–10, 2009||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||La Maddalena(cancelled)
L'Aquila, Abruzzo (re-located)
|||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 in and around L'Aquila after the earthquake that hit the area on the April 6th, 2009. Nations that accepted their invitations for the first time were: Angola, Denmark, Netherlands and Spain. A record of TEN (10) 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||June 25–26, 2010||Canada||Stephen Harper||Huntsville, Ontario||||Malawi, Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica accepted their invitations for the first time.|
|37th||May 26–27, 2011||France||Nicolas Sarkozy||Deauville, Basse-Normandie||||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||May 18–19, 2012||United States||Barack Obama||Chicago (cancelled)
Camp David (re-located)
|||The summit was originally planned for Chicago, along with the NATO summit, but it was announced officially on March 5, 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 core 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||June 17–18, 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||June 4–5, 2014|| Russia (cancelled)
|Vladimir Putin (cancelled)
Herman Van Rompuy (new) and José Manuel Barroso
|||G7 summit as an alternative meeting without Russia in 2014 due to association with Crimean crisis. G8 summit did not take place in Sochi, Russia. G7 summit relocated to Brussels, Belgium.|
|41st||June 7–8, 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. Global Apollo Programme was also on the agenda.|
|42nd||May 26–27, 2016||Japan||Shinzō Abe||Shima, Mie Prefecture|||
|43rd||May 26–27, 2017||Italy||Paolo Gentiloni||Taormina, Sicily|
|44th||TBD, 2018||Canada||Justin Trudeau||TBD|
|45th||TBD, 2019||France||TBD in 2017 Presidential Election||TBD|
|46th||TBD, 2020||United States||Donald Trump||TBD|
|47th||TBD, 2021||United Kingdom||TBD in 2020 General Election||TBD|
Heads of State and Government and EU representatives, as of 2017
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 (2015)||Population (2014)||Permanent members of UN Security Council||DAC||OECD||Economic classification (IMF)|
The G7 is composed of the wealthiest developed countries by national net wealth (See National wealth). The People's Republic of China, according to its data, would be 2nd (9.1% of the world net wealth) in the world, but is excluded because the IMF and other main global institutions don't consider China a developed country. As of 2014 Credit Suisse report the G7 (without the European Union) represents above 64% 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 11 top-ranked economies (by nominal GDP), according to latest (2012 data) International Monetary Fund's statistics.
- 4 countries with a nominal GDP per capita above US$ 40,000 (United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom).
- 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).
- 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 8 top donors to the UN budget for the 2016 annual fiscal year.
- 4 countries with a HDI index for 2013 of 0.9 and higher (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada).
- 2 countries with the highest credit rating from Standard & Poor's, Fitch, and Moody's at the same time (Canada and Germany).
- 2 countries that retain the death penalty in law and practice (Japan and the United States).
- 2 countries consist of islands and have left-hand traffic (Japan and the United Kingdom; in the US Virgin Islands, they have left-hand traffic to remain compatible with the British Virgin Islands, but the rest of the United States has right-hand traffic).
- In the G7 states, 5 languages have official status: English in 3 countries (Canada, United Kingdom and US), French in 2 countries (Canada and France), German, Italian and Japanese in 1 country each (Germany, Italy and Japan).
In 2015, despite Germany's immense efforts to prevent it and despite the remote location of the summit, the luxury hotel Schloss Elmau at the foot of the Wetterstein mountains at an altitude of 1008 m above sea level, about 300 of the 7500 peaceful protesters led by the group 'Stop-G7' managed to reach the 3 m high and 7 km long security fence surrounding the summit location. The protesters questioned the legitimation 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.
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