Group of Seven
Map of G8 countries
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
President François Hollande
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Theresa May
President Barack Obama

The Group of Eight (G8) is a group made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia (suspended), the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Commission is also represented in the committee. The group has conferences or meetings throughout the year, it researches policies, and has a summit meeting once a year. The heads of government of each G8 country attend the summit meeting.

Each year a different country takes over the presidency of the group for the duration of the year. The country that holds the presidency sets the agenda for the year and hosts the summit for that year. The first G6 meeting was in 1975. Canada joined in 1975, making G7. Russia made it G8 in 1997.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has indicated that the organization's official 2014 summit will not be held, which was previously planned to take place in Russia. As of March 24, 2014, all seven member nations voted to suspend Russia from the G-8.

As of March 2014, the G8 will be called G7 since there are now seven leaders.

Overview

The G8 is not considered an international organization because it does not have administrative structure. This means that besides the president, there are no official titles for the members, they are all considered equal. Their meetings are not formal. The goal is to talk about global topics and problems in a relaxed manner.

There are many global problems and issues that can be discussed at meetings. Some common topics of discussion include: health, law enforcement, labor, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, justice, terrorism, and trade.

Yearly summit

The annual meeting of G8 leaders is attended by the heads of government and other invited guests. It is usually held for three days in the middle of the year. Each year one of the G8 countries is considered the G8 president. The country of the G8 presidency is responsible for organizing and hosting a summit during that year. The first summit meeting was held in November of 1975 in France.

Date Host country 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 Canada joins the group, forming the G7
3rd May 7–8, 1977  United Kingdom James Callaghan London President of the European Commission is invited to join the annual G7 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
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, Texas
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 which are invited include: United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.
23rd June 20–22, 1997  United States Bill Clinton Denver, Colorado Russia joins the group, forming G8
24th May 15–17, 1998  United Kingdom Tony Blair Birmingham, England
25th June 18–20, 1999  Germany Gerhard Schröder Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia
26th July 21–23, 2000  Japan Yoshiro Mori Nago, Okinawa
27th July 20–22, 2001  Italy Silvio Berlusconi Genoa
28th June 26–27, 2002  Canada Jean Chrétien Kananaskis, Alberta
29th June 2–3, 2003  France Jacques Chirac Évian-les-Bains [1]
30th June 8–10, 2004  United States George W. Bush Sea Island, Georgia
31st July 6–8, 2005  United Kingdom Tony Blair Gleneagles, Scotland
32nd July 15–17, 2006  Russia Vladimir Putin Strelna, St. Petersburg [2]
33rd June 6–8, 2007  Germany Angela Merkel Heiligendamm, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [3]
34th July 7–9, 2008  Japan Yasuo Fukuda Toyako (Lake Toya), Hokkaido
35th July 8–10, 2009  Italy Silvio Berlusconi L'Aquila, Abruzzo [4]
36th June 25–26, 2010  Canada Stephen Harper Huntsville, Ontario
37th May 26–27, 2011  France Nicolas Sarkozy Deauville, Basse-Normandie
38th May 18–19, 2012  United States Barack Obama Camp David
39th June 17-18, 2013  United Kingdom David Cameron Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
40th (suspended) 2014  Russia Vladimir Putin
    -- expected
Moscow Cancelled
41st June 4-5, 2015  Germany Angela Merkel Schloss Elmau, Garmisch, Bavaria

Economic power

The eight countries that make up the G8 represent about 14% of the people in the world but produce over 65% of the world's economic output measured by gross domestic product (GDP).

2004 Population GDP
  Millions of people % Billions of dollars %
World 6345.1 100.0 39833.6 100.0
United States United States 350.5 4.6 12179.9 30.7
Japan Japan 127.8 2.0 4749.9 11.9
Germany Germany 82.6 1.3 2749.0 6.3
United Kingdom United Kingdom 59.4 0.9 2136.4 5.2
France France 60.0 0.9 1858.7 4.7
Italy Italy 57.6 0.9 1503.6 3.8
Canada Canada 31.9 0.5 905.6 2.3
Russia Russia 142.8 2.3 487.3 1.2
G8 855.6 13.5 26270.4 66.1

Source: World Development Report 2006, World Bank

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