G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, 26-27/05/2017
On 26 and 27 May 2017, Italy hosts the meeting of the G7 leaders. The summit focuses on: counter-terrorism, global economy and reduction of inequalities, foreign policy, security of citizens, and climate change. European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker represent the EU at the summit.
"There is no doubt that this will be the most challenging G7 summit in years. (…) But our role as the EU is to do everything to maintain the unity of the G7 on all fronts."President Donald Tusk
At the press conference ahead of the summit, President Tusk highlighted the importance of the unity when it comes to defending the rules-based international order. "From the war in Syria and Russian agression in Ukraine, to nuclear and ballistic missile tests in North Korea, and land reclamation and militarization in the South China Sea. If our group is not determined and united enough, the situation in the world can really get out of hand," he said.
The President of the European Council also referred to the migration crisis. "This is a global challenge, but here in Sicily it is also a real, local problem", he said. "The EU's goal has been to at least keep the current level of international cooperation in addressing this crisis. Whether we will succeed, remains an open question."
The theme of the Italian G7 presidency in 2017 is 'Building the foundations of renewed trust'. The presidency highlights that governments should adopt policies aimed at meeting their citizens' expectations. The priority of the Italian presidency is also to rebuild trust among citizens on the ability of G7 governments and institutions to reduce inequalities and ensure a better distribution of the benefits of globalisation and the digital revolution.
The work programme of the presidency is based on these three pillars:
- citizen safety
- economic, environmental and social sustainability and reduction of inequalities
- innovation, skills and labour in the age of the next production revolution
Press briefing of President Donald Tusk and President Jean-Claude Juncker
Official welcome by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni
Dinner hosted by President Sergio Mattarella
Working session with outreach partners
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.