Group of 7 Germany’s G7 Presidency in 2022: An opportunity for development cooperation
The organisation of the G7 year and the thematic focus are in the hands of the country holding the presidency; in Germany the lead role is taken by the Federal Chancellery. The individual Germany ministries, including the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, give input based on their priority areas.
Under its new government, Germany will not just remain a reliable partner in global development but will also engage even more politically. There is a lot of catching up to do if we are to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The G7 countries, as the richest in the world, have a special responsibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and to climate change. They must show global solidarity with the poorest.
What is the G7 and how does it operate?
The G7 is not an international organisation; it is an informal forum of heads of state and government. The G7 consists of Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, Canada and the US. In addition, the European Union is represented at all meetings. The G7 countries make up around ten per cent of the world’s population and generate about 45 per cent of global gross domestic product. They are among the biggest contributors to the funding for international organisations and provide the finance for about 75 per cent of the global official development assistance (ODA) recorded by the OECD.
The summit meetings are the highlight of a G7 year. At these summits the G7 heads of state and government discuss key global policy issues, exchange views and work together to develop constructive solutions. Over the years a closely woven process of political coordination between the governments of the member countries has developed around the summit meetings. For example, the ministers from various ministries also meet to discuss specific issues and global challenges.
The groundwork for the outcomes of the summits is done by government officials known as "sherpas" (senior negotiators) and "sous-sherpas"; preparation for ministerial meetings is carried out as needed by working groups. In addition to the summits and ministerial meetings that are part of the G7 framework, other publicity events or expert dialogues on the priority topics of the respective presidency may also be organised.
Development policy in the G7
Whilst the G7 was originally founded in 1975 as a forum to devise joint solutions for global economic and currency problems, today it concerns itself with the whole range of topics that make up international politics. It plays an important role as a driver of development policy, mobilises funds for development and focuses public attention on key sectors and cross-cutting issues of development policy.
The G7 member states see themselves as a community of liberal democracies with shared values, standing up jointly for peace, security and self-determination. They are often the ones driving forward topics, such as gender equality or climate action, for which it is sometimes harder to reach a consensus in bigger forums.