Group of Seven (G7) is an organization of the highly industrialized countries of the United States (US), Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (UK). The G7 countries possess 64% of the world's wealth and have a very high human development index. Member countries also represent 46% of the global GDP. The group’s most recent 42nd meeting was held in Japan in May 2016.
History Of Formation Of G7
The G7 was formed in 1975 by the six countries of US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK with the exception country. Canada was invited the following year making membership to seven G7 countries. The representatives of the G7 countries meet annually to discuss international economic and monetary issues. The president of the G7 rotates among the member states every year. France hosted the first G7 meeting in 1975, though it was featuring G6 countries. The proper G7 with all the seven countries represented was held in Puerto Rico, and the US was the host. Representatives of the European Commission have been attending G7 meetings since 1981. In 1998 Russia was fully admitted making it G8, though Russia had been attending the meetings since the 1990s. More countries have joined, and it is now known as the G20, reflecting the countries participating in the annual meetings. In 2014 Russia was suspended from the group after it annexed Crimea and the disputes it had with Ukraine. Initially when G6 was formed it was exclusively major noncommunist countries and inclusion of Russia later was a gesture to help the post-soviet Union Russia to participate and have more say in world issues.
Purpose Of G7 Formation
The representatives of the G7 countries meet annually to discuss world issues such as financial crisis, monetary systems, and other major world issues such as oil shortages. The group all along since its inception has been vocal about preventing the global economy from entering into a recession. The top seven G7 countries represent about 50% of the world economy. The main aim of the group is to improve the economies of member countries and the whole world. Finance ministers of the member countries always meet every year or more frequently in a year to discuss world economies and economies of the member states.
When G6 was formed in 1975, the members were the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. In 1976 Canada joined making it G7 later in the 1990s Russia was admitted to the G7 membership making it G8. In 1999 G7 memberships raised again to twenty which include the G8 members and now other counties such as Brazil, Australia, China, Argentina, European Union, India, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Mexico, and Indonesia
Initially, the members of G7 countries involved only the finance ministers and the heads of the central banks of the member countries, but the G20 summit meeting in 2008 included the national leaders. In 2009 it was announced that the G20 would replace the predecessor G8 as the main forum to address world economic policy and other related issues such as security.
Controversies And Criticisms
Over the years the G7 countries have been criticized for failing to include the emerging markets a view seen as failing to represent enough of the global economy. Since 1981 the G7 has been welcoming nonmembers such as the European Union who participated fully though as a non-enumerated member. Unlike the UN or NATO, G7 is not a formal institution and therefore lacks the secretariat. Almost all annual meetings of G7 have received protesters in large numbers who are opposed to their meetings. In 2015, Germany tried to avoid the protesters reaching where the meeting was held and had the meeting in a remote location in a Schloss hotel at an altitude of 1008m. There were about 300 out of 7500 protesters who climbed to 3m high, and there was a security surrounding the summit location. Protesters have all along been questioning the legitimacy the G7 to make decisions that could affect the whole world. There were more than 20,000 policemen stationed in South Bavaria to keep the protester from interfering with the summit.