The 'Group of Seven' (G7) and the 'Group of Twenty' (G20) are informal forums bringing together the Heads of State and government of the world´s leading industrial countries. The annually rotating presidency decides which topics will be discussed in the working groups, and finalized at the ministerial meetings and the summit. The forums offer the political decision-makers the opportunity to informally exchange ideas and reach agreements. The G7 consider themselves a multilateral community of values.
G7 science and education
In January 2024, Italy took over the G7 presidency from Japan. Italy will host a meeting of science ministers in Bologna and Forlì from 9-11 July and a meeting of education ministers in Trieste from 27-29 June.
Italy's priorities in the science track are as follows:
- Promotion of trustworthy scientific research through research security and integrity measures;
- Enhancement of freedom and inclusiveness in scientific research and promotion of open science;
- Cooperation in the large research infrastructure sector;
- Increasing cooperation with disadvantaged countries;
- Protection, conservation, restoration and regeneration of the Seas, Oceans and Biodiversity;
- Deep Technologies such as Supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum computing.
The G7 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place from 13-15 June in Apulia. The priorities of the Italian Presidency include the protection of the rules-based international system, cooperation with countries of the Global South, in particular with Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, and the topics of migration, the climate-energy nexus, food security and artificial intelligence.
In December 2023, Brazil took over the G20 presidency. Under the motto „Building a just world and a sustainable planet“, Brazil selected three priority themes: social inclusion and the fight against hunger and poverty, sustainable development and energy transitions, andreform of global governance institutions.
For the education track, Brazil set the following priority issues:
- valuing and building capacity of education professionals (with OECD)
- connecting managers of digital resource platforms: education material on Education for Sustainable Development (EDS) (with UNESCO)
- a G20 Award for School-Community Engagement (with UNICEF)
For the research and innovation track, Brazil set the following priority issues:
- Open innovation for strengthening international north-south cooperation in science, technology and innovation;
- Open innovation for the decarbonization of the economy, including energy transitions and the bioeconomy;
- Open innovation to guarantee the right, access and information about health;
- Research and open innovation for a sustainable Amazon;
- Inclusion, diversity and combating inequalities in science, technology and innovation.
For the first time, the research and innovation meetings were upgraded to a regular working group by the Brazilian presidency.
Each track strives to introduce parts of its outcome document into the summit declaration. The G20 Summit 2024 will take place on 18 and 19 November in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Bureau supports the BMBF in its participation in the G7 and G20 education and research tracks.
The annually rotating presidency decides which topics will be discussed in the working groups, and finalized at the ministerial meetings and the summit.
In the final declarations of the summit meetings, the heads of state and government agree on common goals, tasks and guidelines. Their implementation is primarily a national responsibility. After each summit, the Federal Government informs the committees of the German Bundestag about the results.
However, they are not legally binding. Both forums have no permanent headquarters, offices or staff
The G7 sees itself as a community of values for peace, security and a self-determined life worldwide. Freedom and human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as prosperity and sustainable development are central principles.
Founded in 1999, the G20 initially focused largely on broad macroeconomic issues, but has since broadened its agenda to include trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change and anti-corruption, among others.
Members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the USA. The European Commission has a permanent observer status, which has expanded over time: Since the Ottawa Summit in 1981, the EU Commission has also regularly attended all working meetings. As a supranational organization, the EU Commission is not "counted" in the G7 and does not assume the rotating chairmanship.
Following the violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russia has remained excluded from the G7 since 2014.
Other (guest) states and institutions can be invited by the respective presidency.
The "Group of 20" consists of the members: African Union (new since 2024), Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, European Union, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the USA. In addition, the host can invite other countries to the events, which can contribute as well as the member countries. Currently these are: Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and United Arab Emirates.
In addition, at the invitation of the Presidency, international and multilateral organizations are also taking part in the work of the G20.
The Presidency is responsible for selecting the priority issues, setting the agenda and organize and prepare the meetings.
The presidency rotates annually among the members. Germany has already hosted the G7/G8 in 1978, 1985, 1992, 1999, 2007, 2015 and 2022. In January 2024, Italy took over the G7 presidency from Japan.
The presidency rotates annually among the member states. The member states are divided into regional groups for the purpose of rotation. The group decides internally who will chair the G20 each year.
Germany last held the G20 presidency in 2017. Brazil currently holds the presidency. For the next year, South Africa will assume the presidency.