Group of Eight

The Group of Eight (G8) was an inter-governmental political forum from 1997 until 2014.[2] It had formed from incorporating the country of Russia into the Group of Seven, or G7, and returned to its previous name after Russia was disinvited in 2014.[3]

Group of Eight
Map of G8 member nations and the European Union

 Canada

 France

 Germany

 Italy

 Japan

 Russia (suspended)[1]

 United Kingdom

 United States

 European Union

The forum originated with a 1975 summit hosted by France that brought together representatives of six governments: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, thus leading to the name Group of Six or G6. The summit came to be known as the Group of Seven, in 1976 with the addition of Canada. Russia was added to the political forum from 1997, which the following year became known as the G8. In March 2014 Russia was suspended indefinitely following the annexation of Crimea, whereupon the political forum name reverted to G7.[4][5][6] In 2017, Russia announced its permanent withdrawal from the G8.[3] However, several representatives of G7 countries stated that they would be interested in Russia's return to the group.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][excessive citations] The European Union was represented at the G8 since the 1980s as a "nonenumerated" participant, but originally could not host or chair summits.[17] The 40th summit was the first time the European Union was able to host and chair a summit. Collectively, in 2012 the G8 nations comprised 50.1 percent of 2012 global nominal GDP and 40.9 percent of global GDP (PPP).

"G7" can refer to the member states in aggregate or to the annual summit meeting of the G7 heads of government. G7 ministers also meet throughout the year, such as the G7 finance ministers (who meet four times a year), G7 foreign ministers, or G7 environment ministers.

Each calendar year, the responsibility of hosting the G8 was rotated through the member states in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia (suspended), Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. The holder of the presidency sets the agenda, hosts the summit for that year, and determines which ministerial meetings will take place.

In 2005, the UK government initiated the practice of inviting five leading emerging markets — Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa — to participate in the G8 meetings that came to be known as G8+5, but this practice was short-lived.[2] With the G20 major economies growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, world leaders from the group announced at their Pittsburgh summit in September 2009 that the group would replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.[18][19] Nevertheless, the G7 retains its relevance as a "steering group for the West",[2] with special significance appointed to Japan.[20]