G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, 26-27/05/2017
On 26 and 27 May 2017, Italy hosted the meeting of the G7 leaders. The summit focused on foreign policy, the global economy and the reduction of inequalities, and the migration crisis.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, represented the EU at the summit.
Leaders adopted the final communiqué, the roadmap on gender equity and they agreed an action plan on innovation, skills and labour. They also adopted the G7 Taormina Statement on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
Regarding the Syrian war, leaders called for and end of the conflict through an inclusive Syrian-led political process under the auspices of the UN. They committed to increase their efforts to defeat international terrorism in Syria, in particular ISIS/ISIL/Da'esh and al Qaeda.
The G7 addressed the situation in Libya, urging to advance on the path of political dialogue and national reconciliation.
In addition, leaders condemned North Korea's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. They called on North Korea to abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
Leaders also focused on the situation in Ukraine, calling for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. They recalled that the duration of existing sanctions is clearly linked to Russia's complete implementation of these agreements and its respect for Ukraine's sovereignty.
The G7's top priority is to raise global growth to deliver higher living standards and quality jobs. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to use all policy tools, including monetary, fiscal and structural, to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.
Reduction of inequalities
Leaders acknowledged that inequalities undermine confidence and limit future growth potential. They agreed to strengthen the capabilities and resilience of economies and communities to adjust to the pace of change, so that the global economy works for everyone.
The G7 recalled that promoting gender equality is crucial contribution to progress towards sustainable development. Leaders adopted the G7 roadmap for a gender-responsive economic environment with a view to foster the economic empowerment of women and girls.
Leaders reiterated their commitment to keep markets open and to fight protectionism, while standing firm against all unfair trade practices. They committed to adopting appropriate policies so that all firms and citizens can make the most of opportunities offered by the global economy.
The G7 called for the removal of all trade-distorting practices so as to foster a truly level playing field. Leaders also stressed the importance of the rules-based multilateral trading system, and they committed to working together to improve the functioning of the WTO.
Leaders called for coordinated efforts at the national and international level to address the large-scale movement of migrants and refugees. They agreed to establish partnerships to help countries create the conditions within their own borders that address the drivers of migration.
They also acknowledged the right of states to control their own borders and to establish policies in their own national interest.
Africa's security, stability and sustainable development are high priorities for the G7. Leaders aim to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with African countries and regional organizations to develop African capacity in order to better prevent, respond to and manage crises and conflicts.
Innovation, skills and labour
Leaders adopted the G7 people-centered action plan on innovation, skills and labour. The action plan outlines a set of potential policy recommendations to increase competitiveness and to boost an innovation-driven growth that benefits all.
The G7 summit is a forum that plays an important role in shaping global responses to global challenges, complementing the global economic coordination carried out by the G20. It brings together leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the EU.
This summit follows the G7 Summit in Japan in 2016 and the summit hosted exceptionally by the EU in Brussels in 2014.
Leaders have been meeting in the G7 format since 2014 following the Russian Federation's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The EU as G7 member
In 1977, representatives of the then European Community began participating in the London summit. Originally, the role of the EU was limited to those areas in which it had exclusive competences, but this role has expanded over time. The EU has gradually been included in all political discussions on the summit agenda and , from the Ottawa summit (1981) onwards, has taken part in all summit working sessions.
The EU has all the responsibilities of membership. The summit communiqué is politically binding on all G7 members.
The rotation of the presidency is as follows: Japan in 2016, Italy in 2017, Canada in 2018, France in 2019, and the USA in 2020.