The Group of Seven (G7) was founded in 1975 in response to the oil crisis and includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union, which has observer status, is excluded from the rotating chairmanship. With the inclusion of Russia in 1998, the group temporarily became the G8. In 2014, the group returned to the G7 format. The G7 originally dealt exclusively with issues related to the development of the global economy. Over the years, it has broadened its agenda. It now covers the entire spectrum of global issues, such as foreign and security policy, trade, climate and development.
The G7 is an informal forum of heads of state and government. Accordingly, there is no firmly established secretariat, procedural guidelines or administrative structures. At the time of the G7's founding, the member states were the seven most important industrialized nations in the Western world. The G7 presidency rotates each calendar year among the member states.
The changing agenda and thematic priorities of the G7 are determined by the respective presidency. Decisions are usually taken by consensus. The annual G7 summit is concluded with the adoption of a joint communiqué, plus accompanying reports and work plans. In addition to the summit meeting of heads of state and government, a number of varying ministerial meetings are also held in the run-up to the summit. The type, number and topics of ministerial meetings are determined by the respective presidency.
An overview of all G7 documents can be found here.