Responsibility to shape the futureThe Group of Seven / Group of Eight (G7/G8)
The Group of Seven (G7) or Group of Eight (G8) – like the G20 – is not actually an international organisation; it is an informal forum where heads of state and government meet. Once a year they come together for a summit convened by the country holding the presidency that year. At the summit they discuss key global political issues, exchange views and try to develop constructive solutions. The presidency of the Group rotates each year among the members.
In the past these summit meetings have been the launch pad for a range of G7 (or G8) development policy initiatives – for example initiatives relating to debt relief, food security, health, raw materials and partnership with Africa.
The members of what was the "Group of Eight” (G8) were until recently Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada, Russia and the United States of America; the European Union is also represented.
In January 2014 the Russian Federation assumed the presidency of the G8 under the rotation principle. Following the violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the heads of state and government of the other seven members decided not to participate in the G8 summit that the Russian presidency had planned to hold in Sochi. The members will meet under the G7 format without Russia until further notice.
Further information on this topic can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office here.