In addition to addressing the economic issues it focused on initially, the G7 is now a forum for concertation where common responses are found for major global challenges including peace and security, counter-terrorism, development, education, health, the environment and climate change.
Eight years on from the Deauville G8 Summit, it is France’s turn to again hold the Presidency of the group in 2019 and organize the Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in Biarritz from 24 to 26 August 2019.
Find out more about the G7 (role, how it works, etc.)
The Biarritz Summit
Following the Charlevoix Summit in Quebec, organized by the Canadian Presidency on 8 and 9 June 2018, the President of the French Republic announced that the Leaders’ Summit, the highlight of the French Presidency, would be held in Biarritz from 24 to 26 August 2019.
France has hosted six Summits since the creation of the group: Rambouillet in 1975, Versailles in 1982, Paris (Arche de la Défense) in 1989, Lyon in 1996, Évian in 2003, and Deauville in 2011.
The Architecture of the Presidency
The French G7 Presidency is managed by the Presidency of the Republic. To prepare the Presidency, a steering committee has been established, led by the “Sherpa”. It includes three “tracks” supporting the work of the Presidency, following the guidelines set down by the President of the Republic:
- The “Sherpa Track”, with a dedicated team led by the G7 “Sous-Sherpa”, handles coordination and steering of all work;
- The “Political Track”, which deals with matters including foreign affairs;
- The “Finance Track”.
The Secretariat General of the French G7 Presidency is responsible for identifying the logistical needs of all events, and for preparing, organizing and ensuring the security of the preparatory meetings and Summit. In liaison with the relevant departments of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, it handles steering of communication and of protocol matters. Lastly, it manages and ensures the coherence of the whole programme and budget of the French G7 Presidency.
Five goals for fighting inequality
In 2019, in order to reduce inequality of opportunity and give everyone the same chances in life, regardless of where they were born, where they live, or their gender, and to ensure global stability and peace, France has set a number of goals and priorities for its G7 Presidency:
- fighting inequality of opportunity, promoting in particular gender equality, access to education and high-quality health services;
- reducing environmental inequality by protecting our planet through climate finance and a fair ecological transition, based on preserving biodiversity and the oceans;
- promoting more fair and equitable trade, tax and development policies;
- taking action for peace, against security threats and terrorism which weaken the foundations of our societies;
- tapping into the opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence in an ethical and human-oriented way.
A new format
This G7 will not just be a meeting between the governments of the seven countries but rather an opportunity to work more broadly with everyone who shares our values and is willing to take action to move forward together.
Therefore other countries will be invited to take part in the debates and negotiations at Head of State and Government level, as well as in preparatory meetings throughout the year. Particular emphasis will be placed on a number of African countries, as Africa is a special partner and a key centre for development challenges, but also for opportunities to build future equality.
Working hand in hand with international organizations is also a priority of the G7 Presidency and it will seek to enhance synergies with and among them.
Finally, civil society will be closely involved in this G7, in particular through the specific mobilization of engagement groups: young people (Youth 7), women (Women 7), non-governmental organizations (C7), unions (Labour 7), employers (Business 7), think tanks (Think Tanks 7) and academies of science (Science 7).
A year of dialogue
Throughout 2019, ministerial-level meetings will be held in preparation for the Heads of State and Government Summit in Biarritz at the end of August:
- 4-5 April: Interior
- 5-6 April: Foreign Affairs
- 5-6 May: Environment
- 9-10 May: Gender equality
- 16-17 May: Health
- 6-7 June: Employment / “Social Affairs G7”
- 4-5 July: Development and Education
- 17-18 July: Finance
For more information, please consult the website of the French Presidency of the G7.
Updated: February 2019