The Summit

The facade of the command station building of the Guardia di Finanza Inspectors' complex

The 2009 G8 Summit was held in L'Aquila, Italy -- the country that currently holds the G8 Presidency -- from 8 to 10 July.  The G8 group's member countries are Canada, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with the European Union represented by the European Council's duty President and by the President of the European Commission.

The annual Leaders' Summit is the highest-profile and most important event in the G8 process, but that process does in fact cover the whole year, with meetings at the ministerial and ranking functionary levels.  The main issues on the Italian Presidency's agenda are:  a response to the global economic and financial crisis; the restoration of grassroots confidence and a boost to growth on a more solid and balanced basis, also through the definition of new, shared ground rules for economic activities; a focus on the social aspect of employment, to help the weaker sectors of society both in the industrially advanced countries and in the poorer countries; the struggle against protectionism and the deregulation of world trade for everyone's benefit; the resolution of regional crises; food security and safety; and the struggle against climate changes.

To debate these issues, the Italian Presidency organized a G8 Summit which was unique in terms of the number of countries attending, comprising as it will both the emerging countries, Africa and the main International Organizations.  Some 90% of the world's economy was represented at the Summit in the expanded working sessions.