The EU4, also known as the Big Four or the G4, refers to the four most influential European nations: France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The Big Four countries are the most influential European powers, as well as the only Western European countries represented in the G7, G8, and G10. These various groups of countries have formed a pact because they share a common agenda or are related in a certain way. For example, the G7 is a group of seven nations that are that represent the top advanced global economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries contribute approximately 62% of the total global net wealth. The term Big Four has been used since the interwar period, which was the period between the end of the First World War (1918) and the beginning of the Second World War (1939). However, the term G4 was used for the first time when the French president (Nicolas Sarkozy) asked for a meeting with the Chancellor of Germany (Angela Merkel) and the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom (Gordon Brown) and Italy (Silvio Berlusconi). The purpose of this meeting was to discuss how these great economic countries could find a way to solve the financial crisis of the Great Recession, which began in the late 2000s.
The term 'Big Four of Europe' came into existence after France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy signed the Munich Agreement and the Four-Power Pact. During World War II, Germany, Italy, and Japan and fought against France, China, the United States, Great Britain, and Russia. The end of the war led to the creation of the United Nations, whereby countries that emerged victorious after World War II were given permanent seats in the Security Council. Since the end of the war, Great Britain and France have acted independently concerning matters of defence policy, while Italy and Germany have acted within the international organization's framework.
What Issues Do the EU4 Discuss?
The Big Four are mandated with the task of addressing international issues. The leaders of the four countries usually hold video conference meetings and address the current crises facing the world. These leaders also frequently contact the United States president during video conferences. Some of the significant issues that have been discussed by the Big Four and the US president include the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Syrian civil war, international sanctions, the Ebola virus, and the post-civil war violence in Libya. One of the major issues discussed with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is the Vienna peace talks for Syria.