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The G8 (for " Group of Eight "), currently known as the G7 (" Group of Seven "), is a focus group and economic partnership of eight countries known to be the largest economic powers in the world: the United States. United, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, one of which, Russia, is suspended since 2014.

The G7 Summit brings together each year the Heads of State or Government of these countries, as well as the Presidents of the Commission and the European Council (as well as for certain activities, representatives of other countries or other international unions, invited to participate).

Throughout the year, the G7 has a busy schedule in the host country, where ministers meet each other in charge of missions in each field (economy and finance, defense and international security, education, development, etc.), in order to prepare the program of the annual summit, and then implement the initiatives taken at the summit.

Initially G5 informally, then provisionally G6 when it was created in 1975, and quickly became G7 with the integration of Canada in 1976, the group expanded to Russia in 1997 to become the G8 . In the twenty-first century, some groups began to advocate for broadening the group to include "five (in)", that is to say, the five emerging countries: China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. This led to the formation of a parallel group, known as "G8 + 5". From the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation in March 2014, the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom and the United States) temporarily suspended Russia of the economic group 1 . The group returned to G7 ("Group of Seven") in March 2014 with an exceptional peak in The Hague, the Netherlands 2 . Later, several G7 officials said that Russia could return to group 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 .

These meetings are disputed by alterglobalist movements, which question the legitimacy of the G7, and accuse him of wanting to "lead the world" in defiance of other countries, to impose according to them a policy of neoliberal inspiration. However, these summits are a platform for regular discussion among heads of state, and rather informal, promoting cooperation up to the highest level and setting common goals.

Following the first oil shock, informal G5 was launched in 1974 with a series of meetings in Washington between the United States, Japan, France, West Germany and the United Kingdom 9. Also referred to as "Library Group", in reference to the library of the White House which hosts the meetings 10.

Then, with the addition of Italy during a first summit at Château de Rambouillet, from November 15 to 17, 1975 on the initiative of French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the G6 is created. The group's six founding heads of state then commit to meet annually, with a rotating presidency, to deal with economic and financial issues informally. There is therefore no particular structure of the group, which does not respond to a protocol or an organization: it is a meeting of leaders, which aims to "discuss the affairs of the world [… ] frankly and without protocol, in a relaxed atmosphere " 11 .

The G6 quickly became the G7 with, in 1976, the addition of Canada on German-American request. As early as 1977, the European Union also participated in the G7, as a guest; it is represented by the President of the European Commission, who was later joined by the representative of the rotating EU presidency, or the President of the European Council 12 . In 1990, the former GDR de facto incorporated the G7 for the benefit of German reunification. From 1994, the Russian Federation is regularly present, on the sidelines of the G7, with the representatives of the group. This is known as P8 ( Political 8 ) or G7 + 1, until Russia formally rejoins the group in 1997, giving birth to the G8.

The 2001 G8 summit in Genoa (Italy), which is marked by riots, between the police and many demonstrators, and the death of a protester: Carlo Giuliani, due to a shot from rifleman. This will be the last summit held in a very large city, G8 members have decided, because of the events and the attacks of 11 September 2001, now hold their meetings in less accessible places 13.

Crimea's crisis in 2014 sees Angela Merkel implicitly claiming that Russia no longer has a place in group 14 . Barack Obama then proposes to hold the annual summit, originally planned in Sochi, Brussels. Russia is temporarily suspended 1 . Federica Mogherini and other Italian authorities 3 , 4 , as well as the German diplomat and Wehrkunde president Wolfgang Ischinger 5 , said that they were working on Russia's return to the G8. In 2015, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Russia will be able to return to the group, provided there is no further escalation of conflicts in Ukraine and Syria 6 . In April 2016, he added that "international conflicts can not be solved without Russia", and the G7 countries will reconsider Russia's return to the G8 in 2017 7 . In the same year, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe called for Russia's return to the G8, saying that Russia's participation is "crucial to the fight against multiple crises in the Middle East" 8 .

In 2015, the G8 includes 12.2% of the world population and produces about 50.2% of world GDP 15.

Population (2015) GDP (2015)% Billion Million USD% World World Rank 7 389 100.0 78 000 100.0 G8 900 12.2 39 141 50.2-US 322 4.38 18 287 23 1 146 2 Russia 2 099 2.7 10 Japan 126 1.7 4 882 6.3 3 Germany 81 1.1 3 909 5 4 France (2017) 67 0.89 2 935 3.8 5 United Kingdom (2014) 64 0.87 3,003 3.9 6 Italy 60 0.81 2 153 2.8 9 Canada 35 0.47 1 873 2.4 11

The G7 is not a transnational administration, unlike institutions like the UN system organizations like the UN or the World Bank. The group presidency rotates among the Member States each year. The country holding the presidency is hosting a series of ministerial level meetings leading to a two or three day summit meeting in the middle of the year with heads of state and government. He is also responsible for the safety of the participants.

Ministerial meetings bring together ministers with expertise in areas such as health, education, energy, environment, justice and national and food security. The best-known of these is the G7, which now refers specifically to the annual meeting of G8 economics ministers, except Russia, as well as officials from the European Union.

For example, in June 2005, the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers agreed on the launch of an international database of pedophiles.

The Gleneagles Summit (United Kingdom) concluded in 2005 with a commitment to provide Africa with additional development assistance of $ 25 billion. This will be monitored by the Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan. In June 2008, this organ notes through report that the commitment made in 2005 was not held 16.

Only four women represented their country in the history of the G8 / G7: Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May for the UK between 1979 and 1990 (for the first) and since 2016 (for the second), Kim Campbell for Canada in 1993 and Angela Merkel for Germany since 2005.

Every year, the G8 summits change countries in this order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia (temporarily excluded), Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada. China and India are possible future candidates.

In previous years, there was hardly a single summit that went smoothly, whether in Genoa or Evian. In Genoa, a protester by the name of Carlo Giuliani was shot in dark conditions by a police officer in a state of self-defense. The latter, encircled in a vehicle and directly threatened, then made use of his weapon. It has since become a symbol of the anti-globalization struggle. At the Evian summit, an activist, suspended by a rope to knowingly block traffic was thrown into the void after a Swiss policeman cut the rope to free passage to cars. He will narrowly escape after a fall of 23 meters with a crushed foot and lumbar fractures 19 , 20 . In June 2007, a fundamental witness summoned, along with 28 other police officers, to appear before the court charged with judging police violence during the "night of truncheons" at the Diaz school in Genoa (which housed activists responsible for communication on the G8 for independent information networks), delivers compromising information for the police, accused for years of acts of extreme violence during this G8 and whose abuses have not yet been recognized Officially and without sanction, despite numerous complaints: Michelangelo Fournier, the leader of an anti-riot group, has confirmed the allegations of a number of activists, saying that he had opposed in vain a "slaughter" under the insults of his subordinates. At the same time, 45 carabinieri are tried by another court 21 , 22 . At the time, the executive branch, far from assuming any responsibility for the violence, dismissed the chief of police, who had been appointed under the previous government. Similarly, there were strong protests against IMF meetings in Prague or Berlin and against the WTO in Seattle. Thus, since the events of Genoa in 2001, the summits of the G8 do not usually take place in metropolises, but in areas that are difficult to access and easily controlled. From 6 to 8 June 2007, the annual G8 summit will be held in Heiligendamm, Germany, in the Kempinski Grand Hotel in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (North-East) region. It is a seaside resort on the Baltic Sea. Heiligendamm is located 20 km west of Rostock and 200 km from Berlin. 100,000 protesters were expected there, as well as 16,000 police officers, and a thousand soldiers. A fence wall a dozen kilometers rose to the occasion makes bulwark against any attempt to raid 23.

On May 21, 2011, in Le Havre, a demonstration was held to protest against the G8 held in Deauville on May 26th and 27th. It took place peacefully, in joy and good humor. The mayor of the city was opposed to the rally and carried out a press campaign aimed at discrediting the demonstrators "considered dangerous". In the end, between 5,000 and 7,000 people marched through the streets of Le Havre. [ref. necessary]

On the occasion of the June 2014 G7 held in Brussels, the Belgian government reintroduced border control (theoretically prohibited by the Schengen Agreement but authorized if public order or national security requires immediate action 24 ) in order to according to the Belgian authorities to "maintain potential disruptive outside the Schengen zone." 25