Canada and the G7

Canada to host the 2018 G7 Summit at the iconic Manoir Richelieu in Charlevoix, Quebec

The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The forum offers an opportunity for G7 Leaders, Ministers and policy makers to come together each year to build consensus and set trends around some of today’s most challenging global issues.

The European Union (EU) was first invited to attend the G7 in 1977 and the President of the European Commission has attended all of its sessions since 1981. Both the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission represent the EU at G7 summits.

How the G7 works

The role of chairing the G7 rotates each calendar year among the member countries in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. The European Union is not part of this hosting rotation.

The country holding the G7 presidency is responsible for hosting and organizing the summit. It also organizes a number of ministerial-level preparatory meetings in the lead-up to the main event. The chair sets the agenda for its year and is responsible for speaking on behalf of the G7. The chair also engages non-member countries, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.

The host country organizes several preparatory meetings before the summit. G7 leaders appoint personal representatives, known as Sherpas, to attend these meetings to discuss potential agenda items. The Sherpas, usually high-ranking government officials, communicate directly with each other throughout the year.

Leaders’ summits

During the mid-1970s, the global economy was suffering from its first oil shock and the financial crisis which followed. The G7 emerged as a response, first bringing together the five heads of state and government from the leading industrialized nations, France, West Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, to discuss international economic policy. Italy was invited by France to join in 1975 and a year later, in 1976, Canada’s Prime Minister was extended an invitation to the G7 by the President of the United States.

In 1997, Russia was invited to join the G7 in recognition of the economic and democratic reforms it had undertaken at the time. Russia formally joined the G7 in 1998, and until 2013 the G7 met as the G8. In 2014, Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity led to its suspension. As a result, the G8 reverted to the G7.

Today, G7 leaders meet in summit format once a year. Canada will host its sixth G7 Summit in 2018, in the Charlevoix region of Quebec.

G7 summits Canada has hosted

Canada has hosted five G7 summits to date, including:

G7 declarations

2017

G7 summit documents

G7 ministerial documents

2016

G7 summit documents

G7 Ministerial Documents

2015

G7 summit documents

G7 Ministerial Documents

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