G7 Conference
G7 Conference

MUNICH (MunichNOW Politics) — Germany took over the G7 Presidency at the end of the summit in Brussels in June 2014 and on 7 and 8 June 2015, Germany hosted the G7 summit.

Schloss Elmau -- munichFOTOSchloss Elmau

The Federal Chancellor chose Schloss Elmau in Krün, in upper Bavaria, as the summit venue. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the other G7 members discussed the major global challenges within the framework of this informal group of leading industrial nations.

The heads of state from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America came together with the European Council President and the European Commission President at Schloss Elmau for the G7 summit.

The motto of this year’s summit was “Think Ahead. Act Together”. The main focus was on traditional economic matters such as sustainable growth, better regulation, supervision of financial markets and ways of combating tax evasion. The Group of Seven understands their shared expertise and competence is the key to solving future challenges.

Russian President Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin

On the 24 of March 2014, the G7 representatives announced they would not attend the pre-established meeting in Sochi. The G7, formerly the G8 when Russia was still included, removed Russia from the group over its policies in Crimea and Ukraine. According to the delegates, it was not possible to have a valid and worthwhile conversation within the G8 until these Russian territorial issues are resolved.

Additionally, delegates conversed about discontinuing Iran’s nuclear programme and bringing the civil war in Syria to an end. According to Chancellor Merkel, it would have been very beneficial for Russia’s representatives to have participated in this discussion. G7 Leaders in discussion at ElmauG7 Leaders in discussion at Elmau

Nevertheless, the German Chancellor does not feel Russia can currently return to the Group of Eight. The G7 countries were in complete accord, Merkel said in her interview with the German broadcaster ARD. Russia opposed the G7 principles and moral values by annexing Crimea, and “that is a barrier at the moment, and I do not see it being overcome so very quickly,” the Chancellor said.

 

The first time Russia was suspended from participating since its addition in 1998 was when the summit met on the 4 and 5 June 2014. Moreover, the G7 process continued its course of action without Russia’s input. This decision of the G7 evidently displays the fact it is a community with very explicit codes of conduct, which will not condone violations of international law.

Germany has held the G7 Presidency since June 2014, and will pass on these responsibilities to Japan June 2016. Germany’s leadership played a particularly important role at the 2015 summit as the country arranging the event is in charge of coordinating and establishing the proceedings.

Schloss Neuschwanstein lit up with the flags of the G7 member countriesSchloss Neuschwanstein lit up with the flags of the G7 member countries

The leading industrial nations are highly influenced by the G7 concepts and objectives. The G7 is an important format for political and economic cooperation. It is an informal group, with no prominence, no managerial frameworks of its own and no formal resolutions.

 

Lars-Hendrik Röller is the German Sherpa (the Chancellor’s personal representative for the G7/G8 and G20 summits). He also acts as the Economic and Financial Policy Advisor to the Chancellor.

The responsibility of the Chancellor’s Sherpa — and of his opposite numbers in the other G7 states — is to develop concepts and concerns to be discussed during the meetings. The Sherpas then formulate the preliminary version of the final statement of the G7 summit before it is discussed, reviewed and finalized by chosen delegates.

With the now-successful Elmau G7 completed, the German G7 Presidency has already scheduled two ministerial meetings in the run-up to the next summit:

·  8/9 October 2015 – science ministers will meet in Berlin

·  8/9 October 2015 – health ministers will meet in Berlin

The G7 Presidency passes to Japan in 2016. Whether Russia will take part remains to be seen.

Security was tight all during the conferenceSecurity was tight all during the conference

 

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G7 Summit Schloss Elmau – Sources

  • “G7 Condemns ‘Russian Aggression in Ukraine.” The Local. Ed. Tom Barfield. James Savage, 08 June 2015. 09 June 2015.
  • Tamara Cohen for the Daily Mail. “G8 Becomes the G7 as Leaders Kick Russia Out: It’s Not a Big Problem, Says Putin’s Foreign Minister.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 25 Mar. 2014. 09 June 2015.
  • BRUNO WATERFIELD, PETER DOMINICZAK, DAVID BLAIR. “Russia Suspended From G8 Club Of Rich Countries.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 24 Mar. 2014. 09 June 2015.
  • Harper, Tim. “G8 Move to Exclude Russia ‘no Great Tragedy’ in Putin’s Eyes: Tim Harper.” Thestar.com. 24 Mar. 2014. 09 June 2015.
  • Rohleder, Franz. “G7-Gipfel 2015 Auf Schloss Elmau: Die Wichtigsten Fragen Und Antworten.” Http://www.merkur.de. 7 June 2015. 9 June 2015.
  • “G7 Summit.” G7. The Federal Government, 8 June 2015. 9 June 2015. 9 June 2015.