Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Unsusal format of G8 meets in Treviso

Adelina Marini, April 18, 2009

For the first time in the history of the G8 - the eight most developed industrialised countries in the world, there will be a meeting of the ministers of agriculture in the Italian town of Treviso. The meeting is significant not only because of the main topic - food security, but also because this format has never been organized so far. As a whole G8 is actually informal type of organisation not like the UN, the World Trade Organization, the EU or NATO. But since the global financial crisis peaked, the meetings of the group and its enlarged format - the G20, raised the issue of their legitimacy.

During the discussions will be made an attempt to work out a strategy to counter food shortages worldwide as well as the serious downfall of raw materials prices. The G5, which consists of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa as well as Argentina, Australia and Egypt, will join the discussions. In the 3-day meeting the Czech agriculture minister will also take part as his country now presides over the EU as well as agriculture commissioner Marianne Fischer Boel.

G8 is a forum created by 7 leading industrialized countries, joined in 1997 by Russia, although it is still not quite prepared to be a full member by common criteria. G7 was created in 1976 when Canada joined France, Germany, Japan, Italy, UK and the US. Ironically one of the main aims of G7 was to tackle global recession, caused by the oil crisis in 1973. This year Italy presides over G8.