Under the German Presidency, the G8 launched an outreach process in 2007 to promote the exchange with civil society. As part of that process, the German government met with representatives of trade unions, youth associations, non-governmental organizations, business, and the scientific community from the G8 states. Since then, the dialogue with civil society has become an integral part of the G7 process. Each year it is conducted by the respective G7 Presidency.
To coordinate the business position within this outreach process, the G8 Business Summit (B8) was established in 2007 on the initiative of BDI. Following Russia’s expulsion from the G8 in 2014, this group has functioned as the B7.
Linking the National with the International Level
The B7 comprises the leading business and industry federations of the G7 states. Within the B7, these organizations jointly tackle the topics on the G7 agenda and draw up concrete recommendations for action. Once a year, the B7 members meet with the respective G7 Presidency at the B7 summit to present those recommendations.
The B7 is thus an indispensable link between the national and international levels. By consolidating the interests of business in the G7 countries, it serves as a central partner for a constructive dialogue. Moreover, it makes a major contribution to global governance by supporting the G7 process with precise analyses and concrete proposals for resolving challenges. Furthermore, it promotes the implementation of G7 commitments at the national level by contributing its expertise and monitoring progress.
The B7 members are:
- BusinessEurope, European Union
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Canada
- Confederation of British Industry (CBI), United Kingdom
- Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), Italy
- Federation of German Industries (BDI), Germany
- Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren), Japan
- Movement for French Enterprises (MEDEF), France
- US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), United States
MEDEF led the B7 in 2019, and the USCC will take over for the 2020 presidency. BDI was in the lead in 2015.
The current French B7 presidency is focused on the fight against inequality and the need for new global governance, the pressing ecological transition and socially responsible economic growth, multilateral reform for freer and more fair trade, and cybersecurity and the protection of personal data. After the most recent B7 summit, which took place in July in Aix-en-Provence, the B7 leaders released a joint statement on Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Growth and Governance for the 21st Century. The Joint Statement presented detailed, targeted policy recommendations on each of the focus areas, including:
- Trade and Investment
- Profound reform of the WTO’s governance and function, including urgently pursuing a solution to the Appellate Body stalemate and modernization of the Dispute Settlement mechanism.
- Elaboration of multilateral regulations on digital trade, for example through a comprehensive agreement on electronic commerce.
- Ecological Transition and Biodiversity
- Establishment of an “ambitious agenda to address the intersecting challenges of climate change and biodiversity”.
- Securing long-term financing for sustainable quality and inclusive infrastructure.
- Digital Transition and Cybersecurity
- Reform of international standardization bodies to elaborate common cybersecurity standards for product groups.
- Development of government capabilities to combat cybersecurity and to strengthen encryption capacities.
- New Global Governance and the Future of Work
- Strengthening of public policies with regards to equality, diversity and inclusion, including voluntary business initiative that seek to reduce wage inequality and the support of female entrepreneurship.
- Pressing reform of G7 national education and training systems to assure that youth and adults are properly prepared with the necessary skills for the digital era.