The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:32
Photo by Number 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

What does the G7 do and why was it formed?

The G7 Summit is taking place in Cornwall this weekend – here’s a look at some common questions about the G7, what it does and what is on its agenda this year…


What actually is the G7?

The G7, or Group of 7, is a group of countries that come together primarily to monitor and address developments in the world economy. 

The main aim of the group is to consider economic policy issues and manage the system of global governance. 


Which countries are in the G7?

Today, there are 7 member states of the G7. Each member state takes turns in being the president nation and has the responsibility for hosting the summit. This year, the UK is the president nation.

The 7 member states include;

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The European Union is also a member of the G7, but as it is not a country, it is not included in the number and also does not get to be president of the organisation.


When and why was the organisation formed?

The G7 was created as a result of huge economic problems around the world in the 1970s, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system.

The G7 was formed in 1975, originally as the Group of Six (G6) including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada joined the group the following year, creating the G7. Russia was added to the G7 in 1998 (making it the G8), but was later expelled for its invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014.


What has the G7 done in previous years and what is on the agenda this year?

Some topics the G7 has worked on include looking at global energy use and focusing on the global supply of food. Between 2009 and 2015, the group contributed around $20 billion to projects focused on the global supply of food, such as emergency food aid assistance projects and sustainable agriculture development schemes.

This year, conversations are likely to centre around COVID-19. Rich nations have been facing growing pressure to offer surplus coronavirus vaccines to developing countries, and there are big debates around jobs and education that may also come up.

In addition, climate change and building a green future is expected to be discussed, with the summit coming ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow this November. 

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