Last modified on 15 November 2017, at 13:00

The G8 is an informal group of eight major industrialized countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy (plus the EU who has observer status), and between 1998 and 2014 Russia. The G8 heads of state have met annually since 1976 in summit meetings to discuss economic and political issues.

The country holding the Chair is responsible for hosting and setting the agenda of the Summit.

Since passage of the Magnitsky Act in 2012, or the Russia sanctions bill, Russia's membership has been suspended and the group has assumed its Cold War title as G7 again.

Since the summits are of the highest profile with leaders from nations that control some 65% of international wealth, the left and other radical groups demonstrate to attempt to disrupt the meetings and bring attention to their causes.