G7 / G8

The Group of Seven (G7) is a forum for the leaders of seven of the world’s most industrialized nations, aimed at finding common ground to address some of the most challenging global issues. The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. While the leaders of these countries are in regular contact, they meet in summit format as the G7 once a year.

Between 1997–2013, the G7 met in G8 format as Russia was invited to join the group in recognition of the economic and democratic reforms it had undertaken at that time. In 2014, Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity led to suspension of participation in the G8, and a return to G7 format. G7 Leaders’ statements on Russia’s actions are available on our site.

The G7’s origin stems from meetings held in the 1970s between France’s Valéry Giscard D’Estaing and Germany’s Helmut Schmidt when they were Finance Ministers. Each subsequently assumed the leadership of their respective countries, just as the mid-1970s oil crisis was buffeting the world’s largest economies. French President Giscard D’Estaing urged the leaders of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to meet in 1975 to discuss how to respond to the oil crisis. Canada subsequently joined the forum in 1976.