The G8 is short for "Group of Eight," just as G7 is short for "Group of Seven," and G20 is short for "Group of 20." The eight members of the G8 are, in order of their rotating hosting responsibilities:
Russia (as of 2006)
The G7 consists of the same members without Russia. When the group meets "at seven," that means Russia was not an active participant.
There is a ninth member of both the G7 and G8: the European Union. At the leaders' level, the EU is represented by the president of the European Commission and the president of the European Council.
Other groups are related to the G7/8. Since their first meeting in November 2008, the G20 leaders will have met six times by the end of 2010, after which they will meet annually (see "What is the G20"). The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors began meeting annually in 1999. This is different from the G20 developing countries, involved in trade issues relating to the World Trade Organization; it does not include any members of the G8. There is also a G20 related to the Gleneagles Dialogue, which met to discuss climate change and the environment.
For more information about what the G7/8 does and its history, please see "What is the G8." For more information on the G20, please visit the G20 Information Centre.
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This page was last updated July 23, 2010.
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