The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of eight of the world's largest economies. 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 became known as the Group of Seven or G7 the following year with the addition of Canada. In 1997, Russia was added to group which then became known as the G8. The European Union is represented within the G8 but cannot host or chair summits.
"G8" can refer to the member states in aggregate or to the annual summit meeting of the G8 heads of government. The former term, G6, is now frequently applied to the six most populous countries within the European Union. G8 ministers also meet throughout the year, such as the G7/8 finance ministers (who meet four times a year), G8 foreign ministers, or G8 environment ministers.
Collectively, the G8 nations comprise 53.0% of global nominal GDP and 42.5% of global GDP (PPP). Each calendar year, the responsibility of hosting the G8 rotates through the member states in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, 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. Lately, both France and the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, People's Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5.
With the G-20 major economies growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, world leaders from the group announced at their Pittsburgh summit on September 25, 2009, that the group will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.
|Group of Eight|
The annual G8 leaders summit is attended by the heads of government The member country holding the G8 presidency is responsible for organizing and hosting the year's summit.
The serial annual summits can be parsed chronologically in arguably distinct ways, including as the sequence of host countries for the summits has recurred over time, series, etc.
|Date||Host country||Host leader||Location held||Website||Notes|
|1st||November 15–17, 1975||France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||Rambouillet(Castle of Rambouillet)||G6 Summit|
|2nd||June 27–28, 1976||United States||Gerald R. Ford||Dorado, Puerto Rico||Also called "Rambouillet II;" Canada joins the group, forming the G7|
|3rd||May 7–8, 1977||United Kingdom||James Callaghan||London||President of the European Commission is invited to join the annual G-7 summits|
|4th||July 16–17, 1978||West Germany||Helmut Schmidt||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|5th||June 28–29, 1979||Japan||Masayoshi Ōhira||Tokyo|
|6th||June 22–23, 1980||Italy||Francesco Cossiga||Venice|
|7th||July 20–21, 1981||Canada||Pierre E. Trudeau||Montebello,Quebec|
|8th||June 4–6, 1982||France||François Mitterrand||Versailles|
|9th||May 28–30, 1983||United States||Ronald Reagan||Williamsburg,Virginia|
|10th||June 7–9, 1984||United Kingdom||Margaret Thatcher||London|
|11th||May 2–4, 1985||West Germany||Helmut Kohl||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|12th||May 4–6, 1986||Japan||Yasuhiro Nakasone||Tokyo|
|13th||June 8–10, 1987||Italy||Amintore Fanfani||Venice|
|14th||June 19–21, 1988||Canada||Brian Mulroney||Toronto|
|15th||July 14–16, 1989||France||François Mitterrand||Paris|
|16th||July 9–11, 1990||United States||George H. W. Bush||Houston, Texas|
|17th||July 15–17, 1991||United Kingdom||John Major||London|
|18th||July 6–8, 1992||Germany||Helmut Kohl||Munich,Bavaria|
|19th||July 7–9, 1993||Japan||Kiichi Miyazawa||Tokyo|
|20th||July 8–10, 1994||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Naples|
|21st||June 15–17, 1995||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Halifax, Nova Scotia|||
|22nd||June 27–29, 1996||France||Jacques Chirac||Lyon||International organizations' debut to G8 Summits periodically. The invited ones here were: United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.|
|23rd||June 20–22, 1997||United States||Bill Clinton||Denver,Colorado||||Russia joins the group, forming G8|
|24th||May 15–17, 1998||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Birmingham, England|||
|25th||June 18–20, 1999||Germany||Gerhard Schröder||Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia||||First Summit of the G-20 major economies at Berlin|
|26th||July 21–23, 2000||Japan||Yoshiro Mori||Nago, Okinawa||||Formation of the G8+5 starts, when South Africa was invited. Since then, it has been invited to the Summit annually without interruption. Also, with permission from a G8 leader, other nations were invited to the Summit on a periodical basis for the first time.Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal accepted their invitations here. The World Health Organization was also invited for the first time, too.|
|27th||July 20–22, 2001||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Genoa||||Leaders from Bangladesh, Mali and El Salvador accepted their invitations here. Demonstrator Carlo Giuliani is shot and killed by police during a violent demonstration. One of the largest and most violent anti-globalization movement protests occurred for the 27th G8 summit. Following those events and the September 11 attacks two months later in 2001, the G8 have met at more remote locations.|
|28th||June 26–27, 2002||Canada||Jean Chrétien||Kananaskis,Alberta||||Russia gains permission to officially host a G8 Summit.|
|29th||June 2–3, 2003||France||Jacques Chirac||Évian-les-Bains||||The G8+5 was unofficially made, when China, India, Brazil, and Mexico were invited to this Summit for the first time. South Africahas joined the G8 Summit since 2000. Other first-time nations that were invited by the French president included: Egypt, Morocco,Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Switzerland.|
|30th||June 8–10, 2004||United States||George W. Bush||Sea Island, Georgia||||A record number of leaders from 12 different nations accepted their invitations here. Amongst a couple of veteran nations, the others were: Ghana, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen and Uganda. Also, the state funeral of former president Ronald Reagan took place in Washington during the summit.|
|31st||July 6–8, 2005||United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Gleneagles,Scotland||||The G8+5 was officially formed. On the second day of the meeting, suicide bombers killed 52 people on the London Underground and a bus. Nations that were invited for the first time were Ethiopia and Tanzania. The African Union and the International Energy Agency made their debut here. During the 31st G8 summit in United Kingdom, 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh as part of the Make Poverty History campaign calling for Trade Justice, Debt Relief and Better Aid. Numerous other demonstrations also took place challenging the legitimacy of the G8.|
|32nd||July 15–17, 2006||Russia||Vladimir Putin||Strelna, St. Petersburg||||First G8 Summit on Russian soil. Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNESCO made their debut here.|
|33rd||June 6–8, 2007||Germany||Angela Merkel||Heiligendamm,Mecklenburg-Vorpommern||||Seven different international organizations accepted their invitations to this Summit. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Commonwealth of Independent States made their debut here.|
|34th||July 7–9, 2008||Japan||Yasuo Fukuda||Toyako (Lake Toya),Hokkaido||||Nations that accepted their G8 Summit invitations for the first time are: Australia, Indonesia and South Korea.|
|35th||July 8–10, 2009||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||L'Aquila,Abruzzo||||This G8 Summit was originally planned to be in La Maddalena (Sardinia), but was moved to L'Aquila as a way of showing Prime Minister Berlusconi's desire to help the region in and around L'Aquila after the earthquake that hit the area on the April 6th, 2009. Nations that accepted their invitations for the first time were: Angola, Denmark, Netherlands and Spain. A record of TEN (10) international organizations were represented in this G8 Summit. For the first time, the Food and Agriculture Organization, theInternational Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Programme, and the International Labour Organization accepted their invitations.|
|36th||June 25–26, 2010||Canada||Stephen Harper||Huntsville, Ontario||||Malawi, Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica accepted their invitations for the first time.|
|37th||May 26–27, 2011||France||Nicolas Sarkozy||Deauville,Basse-Normandie||||Guinea, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire and Tunisia accepted their invitations for the first time. Also, the League of Arab States made its debut to the meeting.|
|38th||May 18–19, 2012||United States||Barack Obama||Camp David||The summit was originally planned for Chicago, along with the NATO summit, but it was announced officially on March 5, 2012, that the G8 summit will be held at the more private location of Camp David and at one day earlier than previously scheduled.|
|39th||2013||United Kingdom||David Cameron||TBD||Britain hopes to refocus the event, possibly by discussing a single issue such as the Middle East and inviting key players, such asTurkey or Israel. David Cameron is critical of the value and cost of the G8 if there is too much focus on communiqués as opposed to building trust between world leaders. He has been looking at the idea of attaching the G8 summit to another event such as the UN general assembly.|