The G7/G8 (Group of Seven/Group of 8)

Founded in 1976 as the “Group of 6”, this currently consists of seven western industrialized democracies – the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. It holds an annual summit (in each country in rotation) to discuss  political and economic matters, as well as other regular meetings of  foreign and finance ministers. This normally attracts widespread publicity and is often the focus for protest.The EU is also represented. Russia was a member of the “G8” but was suspended in 2014.

Unlike the other organisations described in this section, the G7 does not have a permanent home or organisational structure – or a helpful website for further information. The most helpful general introduction if you want to find out a little more is here.

You might also be interested in our other pages on international organisations:

How the international world works