A forum of the (formerly) world's seven biggest economies and Russia, the twelfth
. Created as the G6 in 1973, it now consists of:
The European Union
also turns up for the party, as well as other major countries being invited.
The presidency rotates each year with each country getting to host an annual summit, set the agenda and deal with the inevitable rioters. The main summits are usually hosted in out of the way locations.
Russia had gained membership in 1997 for political reasons and only became a full member and regarded as a major economic power in 2004.
It might have become G9
if Spain's 2008 request to join (when the estimations of Spanish GDP were to exceed Canada's and Italy's) had been admitted.
The 2009 summit was supposed to have been hosted at La Maddalena on the Italian island of Sardinia. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi moved it to L'Aquila, Abruzzo, on the mainland (directly east of Rome), on account of a massive earthquake there.
In 2014 it de facto
reverted to the G7 when the other members suspended Russia's membership in response to its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. This was specifically said to be at temporary suspension, but it's also an indefinite one.
It has now been effectively replaced by the G-20note
as the main economic forum, which also attracts rioters.
- Several Axis Powers Hetalia strips take place at the G8, though with the countries there instead of their leaders. A running joke is that no one ever seems to remember that Canada is supposed to be there, or if he is there, that he exists.
- The Girl In The Cafe, a BBC drama just before the 2005 Gleneagles Summit involved Kelly Macdonald romancing Bill Nighy at a fictional G8 summit in Reykjavik, where they deal with the thorny issues surrounding ending world hunger for children.
- The Rebus novel The Naming of the Dead is set at the Gleneagles Summit.
- Mentioned in the Alex Rider novel Snakehead, in the context of a terrorist attack. Scorpia has not been contracted to attack the G8 itself, but a competing environmentalist conference on an island off the coast of Australia.
- The climax of the Forsythe novel The Afghan centers around a terrorist attack on some near-future G8 summit, which is being held on a cruise ship to avoid the rioter problem.