Participants in the Summit of the Eight
United States -- President Clinton
Canada -- Prime Minister Chretien
France -- President Chirac
Germany -- President Kohl
Italy -- Prime Minister Prodi
Japan -- Prime Minister Hashimoto
Russia -- President Yeltsin
United Kingdom -- Prime Minister Blair
European Union -- President Kok, President Santer
Since 1975, the heads of state or government of the leading industrial democracies have met annually to address the major economic and political issues facing their nations and the international community as a whole. The annual summit provides an important occasion for leaders to discuss major international issues, and to respond effectively to potential threats to the international system. The leaders also give direction to the international community at large by setting priorities, forging common policies or establishing patterns of cooperation on transnational challenges, and providing guidance to established international organizations.
The six countries at the first Summit, held at Rambouileet, France in November 1975 were France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Italy. In 1976 at the San Juan, Puerto Rico Summit, Canada joined the group thus forming the core of G-7 countries.
Nine official delegations and ten heads of delegation, are participating in the Denver Summit of the Eight. Why?
Participation by Russia and the by the two leaders from European Union expand the delegation participation to nine and number of leaders at the meeting to ten.
Russian participation has evolved from partaking in one G-7 discussion at the 1992 Munich Summit to its expanded role today. Russia will participate in all meetings except one on certain financial and economic matter at the Denver Summit.
The European Community has participated in Summits since the London Summit of 1977. The European Union has two leaders, rather than one, represented this year.