European Union and the G7

The European Union (EU) is a member of the G7 (formerly the G8). It has been dubbed its "9th/8th member",[1] holding all the privileges and obligations of membership but without the right to host or chair a summit.[2] As the full name of the G8 is the "Group of Eight Nations", the EU has not been included in the number, hence there being nine members in the G8.[2]

The President of the European Commission has attended since he was first invited to the third G7 summit in 1977, Roy Jenkins was the then-President.[2] Since 1981 the President has attended all sessions of the G7.[3] The EU is currently represented by the Commission President and the President of the European Council.[2] The latter used to be the rotating chair of the council of EU state leaders, with irregular attendance since 1982.[4] The Council Presidency sometimes coincided with one of the G8 members, in which case that leader attended with their national and European mandate.[2] Since 2009, the President of the European Council is a permanent position, who always attends the summits. As the EU is a member, what the Presidents endorse at the G8 is politically binding on them.[2]

The EU attends due to its role in the world economy, and its relevancy increased with the establishment of a single market, common currency and foreign policy. The Paris Summit of 1989 was a landmark year for the EU's participation in the G7, when the G7 asked the EU to assume responsibility for Phare.

References

  1. What does the G stand for? Group! G8 Information Centre
  2. "EU and the G8". European Commission. Archived from the original on 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  3. FACTBOX: The Group of Eight: what is it?, Reuters
  4. List of G8 Summits - Delegations, G8 Information Centre
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