On May 26 and 27, the annual G7 leaders’ summit will be held in Taormina, Italy. The summit is an international convention on issues such as foreign policies, the global environment, and economic issues. The countries that are included in the group of seven are Italy, Germany, Canada, the U.K., the U.S., Japan, and France, along with two European officials. Throughout its history, the members of G7 have invited other countries in their discussions, but the democratic countries with the largest national wealth still make up the main group.
Italy holds the presidency as the location of the event and with that title they have determined that the main issues to be discussed are Africa, climate change, migration, and free trade. Each member will also bring their own topics to talk about as well. Preparations for the event have been slowed by the transition of the U.S State Department under the new presidency. With the deadline for final decisions closing in, this has created “bottlenecks” for Italian correspondents.
“It’s very difficult to talk to someone who can give a straight answer because the ones who are there is ‘acting’ head of something and they’re not even very senior,” said a senior Italian government official involved in G7 diplomacy to the news site Reuters.
Expectations of the outcomes and effects of the topics from the G7 are dependent on the Italian presidency slogan of trust between governments and countries. With the topic of free trade, which is international trade without tariffs or other restrictions, not being supported by the U.S. President Donald Trump, members of the G7 council worry that there will not be an agreement of this economic decision. German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to secure free trade and plans to speak with Trump to bring him on board. Trump’s criticism of NATO, his support for trade protectionism, his rejection of climate change policies, and his anti-migrant rhetoric has created tension in the G7 for the best way to come to a final decision on these pressing topics.
Whatever the outcome from the leaders’ summit next month, it will be a learning experience on international foreign diplomacy for the U.S., British, Italian, and French leaders as it is their first G7 summit.
by Olivia Jones Editor-In-Chief