G7 Summit 2024: Italy’s Agenda And Global Challenges – Analysis


In 2024, Italy will hold the Group of Seven (G7) presidency. This is happening at a delicate moment, as conflicts continue in Ukraine and Gaza and with elections coming up for President Biden, President Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The G7 is a group of the world’s seven largest ‘advanced’ economies—countries that play a dominant role in world trade financce. The members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan the UK and the US.

In 1998, Russia joined the grouping, which effectively it the G8. But the country was excluded in 2014 because of its action of taking over Crimea. China has never been a member, even though it has a large economy and the world’s second-largest population. Its lower wealth per person means it is not considered an advanced economy like the G7 countries.

China and Russia are both part of the G20, which includes both developed and developing countries. The EU is not a G7 member, but attends the annual summit. In the course of the year, G7 ministers and officials meet to agree on, and release, joint statements on world issues.

Italy’s Agenda for 2024 Summit

The 2024 G7 summit, the 50th, is scheduled to take place in Apulia, Italy, from June 13 to June15. Apulia, also known as the Puglia region, is located in the southern part of Italy. The meeting will take place at Borgo Egnazia, a luxury hotel in the southern Puglia region. This hotel features a restaurant with a Michelin star—a star awarded by the Michelin Guide, a prestigious rating system for exceptional dining experiences.

This will be the first big international event hosted by Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, since she took office in October 2022.

6 Working Sessions on Key Topics

  • Africa, climate change and development
  • The current Middle East situation
  • Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine
  • Migration issues
  • Economic security in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Artificial intelligence, energy and the Mediterranean region

Special Guests at the Italy Summit

It is a custom for the host country to invite guests to join some sessions. This year, the summit is likely to see Pope Francis, the King of Jordan and leaders from India, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, the UAE, and Mauritania, which holds the African Union presidency.

The UN Secretary-General will also attend, along with leaders of the World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

World Leaders Attending the Summit

Prime Minister Modi will travel to Italy for the G7 summit, marking his first international trip after being elected for a third consecutive term. PTI quoted sources as saying that PM Modi would depart for Italy on June 13 and attend the summit session on June 14. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and NSA Ajit Doval.

Prior to the visit, Kwatra, while addressing the media, reiterated India’s unwavering position that diplomacy and dialogue were crucial for resolving the Ukrainian crisis. He reminded the media of Modi’s statement in September 2022, where the prime minister had famously said, “Today’s era is not of war.” The fallout of the war—including supply disruptions of food, fuel and fertilizer, would pose difficulties for global supply chains and the world’s overall economic instability.

Since 2003, India has taken part in ten Outreach Sessions of the grouping. These sessions have been hosted in different countries like France, the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, and Italy. The most recent ones were in Germany (2022) and Japan (2023). Each time, the Indian Prime Minister has attended, showing how seriously India takes these summits.

India’s attendance holds significance in several ways:

  • India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has a GDP higher than that of France, Italy and Canada—all G7 members
  • After a successful term leading the G20, India has become a strong voice for the Global South
  • At past G7 Summits, India has regularly brought attention to important issues affecting the Global South

Apart from PM Modi, other world leaders who are expected to attend the summit are US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The Two Wars in Ukraine and Gaza

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to take part in a discussion on June 12 about Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, which has now lasted three years. During this event, he will once again urge Western allies to provide more support.

The G7 nations have already placed the largest set of sanctions ever on Russia’s economy. They have restricted Russia from international trade and the global financial system. Additionally, they have frozen around $300 billion (approximately £236 billion, or INR 25 lakh crore) of Russian assets, including the foreign currency reserves of Russia’s central banks, held in their countries.

The G7 countries are reportedly planning to transfer the interest earned from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine as a loan, which could total $50 billion (approximately INR 4.15 lakh crore). On June 3, the G7 leaders supported a plan by US President Joe Biden to end the war in Gaza. His proposal includes an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the release of all hostages, more aid for Gaza and a peace agreement ensuring the security of Israel and the safety of Gaza’s residents.

Warning Russia, China Amid Tensions

US officials anticipate a strong G7 warning in the coming week to smaller Chinese banks asking them to halt aid to Russia for avoiding Western sanctions. In addition, sources in Washington say the US is set to announce major new sanctions against financial institutions and other entities involved in supplying technology and goods to the Russian military. It is not clear if the rest of the G7 will support this tough stance.

China will also be a major topic of discussion. The leaders are likely to release a statement showing concern about China’s industrial over-production and may consider new measures to compete with heavily subsidized Chinese companies.

Working With Developing Nations

Italy’s government has said its relationships with developing and emerging economies will be a key focus at the forthcoming G7 summit. They want to build partnerships that are mutually beneficial. Italy is inviting leaders from 12 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit—including India, China, Japan and Brazil.

Italy has also created a programme, called the Mattei Plan, which will provide 5.5 billion Euros in grants and loans to several African countries to help develop their economies. The overall message is that Italy is prioritizing cooperation and support for developing nations as part of the G7 summit agenda. The plan aims to make Italy an energy hub by constructing gas and hydrogen pipelines between Africa and Europe.

However, some people think this might be an excuse for Italy to tighten its control on migration from Africa. Italy is requesting financial support from other countries for the project.

Addressing Risks Associated With AI

As the G7 president in 2023, Japan encouraged the group to create a plan for international economic security. The G7 agreed on an anti-coercion pact to prevent such countries as China and Russia from using their economic power to influence others. In December 2023, Italy decided to leave China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative‘, which aims to expand ports and transport routes around the world to increase trade.

Meloni called joining the initiative ‘a serious mistake’, while the US has criticized it as a form of ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ by China. It is believed that the US wants G7 leaders to focus more on economic security at the forthcoming summit.

At the 2023 summit in Japan, AI safety was a key topic, leading to the Hiroshima AI Process, which aims to ensure ‘safe, secure and trustworthy AI worldwide’. However, these were only voluntary measures. The G7 summit may consider creating more international regulations for AI safety, building on the AI Act from the EU and the US President’s executive order on AI.

What are the Powers that G7 Has?

The G7 cannot make laws, but its decisions can have worldwide impacts. For instance, in 2002, the G7 was key to creating a global fund to combat malaria and AIDS. Before the 2021 G7 summit in the UK, the group’s finance ministers agreed to increase taxes on multinational companies. The grouping has also granted financial help to developing countries and ensured actions addressing climate change.

Girish Linganna

Girish Linganna is a Defence, Aerospace & Political Analyst based in Bengaluru. He is also Director of ADD Engineering Components, India, Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany. You can reach him at: [email protected]

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