Monday, July 13, 2009


The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of eight nations of the northern hemisphere: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; in addition, the European Union is represented within the G8, but cannot host or chair. "G8" can refer to the member states 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, G8 foreign ministers, or G8 environment ministers.

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 or the Plus Five: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5. Recently, France, Germany, and Italy are lobbying to include Egypt to the O5 and expand the G8 to G14.

Basic Info:

Member States and Leaders:

1. Canada
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
2. France
President Nicolas Sarkozy
3. Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel
4. Italy
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
President of the G8 for 2009
5. Japan
Prime Minister Taro Aso
6. Russia
President Dmitry Medvedev
7. United Kingdom
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
8. United States
President Barack Obama

Also represented
European Union

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