International Relation: About G-7

About: G-7

  • G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ is the group of the largest advanced economies of the world comprising of the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.
  • It is the only forum where the world’s most influential and democratic, open societies and advanced economies gather for discussions.
  • G-7 has its origins in an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Canada joined the group in 1976.
  • The European Union began attending the G-7 Summits in 1977. It holds all the rights and responsibilities of full members except to chair or host the meeting.
  • The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters.
  • Scope:
    • The initial scope of this group was to discuss economic issues.
    • With time, the scope of deliberations was expanded to other critical challenges, like financial crises, terrorism, arms control and drug trafficking etc.

  • G7 to G8 to G7:
    • Russia joined the G-7 in 1997 and now, G-7 was named as G-8.
    • However, Russia was expelled from G-7 in 2014 after it annexed Crimea region of Ukraine. This was seen by other members as violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine.
    • Thus, G-8 again became G-7.

  • Summits:
    • Annual summits of G-7 are organised and presided over by leaders of member countries on a rotational basis.
    • The decisions taken by leaders during annual G-7 summits are non-binding.

  • In the recent decades, the global relevance of G-7 has reduced with rise of other economies like China, India and Brazil. Moreover, the share in global GDP of G-7 countries has now fallen to around 40% from about 70% when it was formed.

India and G-7

  • India attended the extended G-7 meet in 2019 which was held in France. The Indian PM was invited as a special guest by the French President.
  • India was also invited for the 2020 summit hosted by the US — which could not take place due to the pandemic.
  • India had earlier attended the G-8 summit (it became G-7 from G-8 with the expulsion of Russia in 2014) five times between 2005 and 2009.

Expanding G7:

  • In 2020, the US President Trump said that G-7 as it exists today doesn’t fully represent the current state of global politics and economics.
  • He wanted to include 4 more countries- India, Australia, South Korea and Russia in it. This grouping will be called as G-10 or G-11 depending upon whether Russia is included or not.
  • However, Russia’s admission will depend on many factors.
    • For example, some of the G7 countries like Germany are opposed to Russia rejoining the group.
    • Geopolitically, Russia is also seen as an ally of China and has been critical of the US in recent times.
    • But, some sections of the strategic community in the US want the US to develop tactical ties with Russia to balance China.

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