At the summit the heads of state and government of France, West Germany, the USA, Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy discussed the oil shock, the financial crisis and the ways out of recession. At this first G6 summit, they adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to meet in future once a year, under a rotating Presidency. In 1976 Canada joined the group, which henceforth became known as the G7.
Direct talks between the G7 and the European Community were held for the first time in London in 1977. The President of the European Commission was invited to attend the G7 summit. Today the President of the European Council also attends the summit meetings.
After the end of the East-West conflict, the G7 invited Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to talks in London in 1991, parallel to the G7 summit.
Russia then regularly attended the summit meetings until 2013. In 1998, Russia was formally admitted to the group, making it the G8. At the Birmingham summit, Russia became a member of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations.
2014 saw the break: as a result of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the heads of state and government of the G7 decided not to attend the planned G8 summit in Sochi under the Russian Presidency. The G7 nations will not attend G8 summits until Russia changes course and an environment is once again created in which it is possible for the G8 to hold reasonable discussions.
Rather than meeting in Sochi, the G7 member states met for the first time in 16 years on 4 and 5 June 2014 in Brussels. Germany has since held the G7 Presidency and will continue to do so until the end of 2015. The G7 summit will be held in June 2015 at Schloss Elmau.