Main international gatherings : the G7 and G20

The Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) are forums for informal discussion between international leaders. They have no legal status and no permanent secretariat.

The Banque de France takes part in G20 Finance Track meetings, which are the historic pillars of the G7 and G20. These meetings bring together finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss mainly economic and financial issues.


A forum for dialogue and coordination

The G7 was established in the early 1970s at the initiative of the United States, which wanted to create an informal discussion group for highly industrialised countries. It brings together ministers, central bankers and heads of state and government, and is a leading forum for dialogue and coordination. Its members were initially the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Japan, which were later joined by Canada and Italy. Russia joined in 1997, but was temporarily excluded as of March 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

Under the Plaza Accord in 1985 and then the Louvre Accord in 1987, the G7 became a forum for consultation prior to coordinated central bank intervention in foreign exchange markets. Over time, it has gradually broadened its agenda to include new challenges, such as the fight against terrorism, global development and climate change.

Since the creation of the G20, the G7 has changed the way it operates, without abandoning its initial purpose of providing a restricted format for dialogue and coordination.

The Banque de France and the G7

The G7 is structured into a Sherpa Track (agriculture, environment, labour, health care, etc.), a Political Track (foreign affairs), and a Finance Track (economic and financial issues). The Banque de France participates in meetings of the Finance Track, which was set up in 1986 and covers a wide range of economic themes.

G7 Finance Track meetings bring together finance ministers and central bank governors to exchange views on the state of the global economy and the international financial system. They also address any topical issues chosen by the presidency and which might benefit from being discussed in a restricted group.

Finance ministers and central bank governors meetings are prepared in advance at sherpa meetings or by working groups or experts. Their discussions provide a basis for the annual Heads of State and Government Summit, which is the main event in the working year.


An expanded forum to tackle global economic crises

The G20 was founded in September 1999 by decision of the finance ministers and heads of central banks of the G7 countries. The initiative came in response to the Asian crisis of 1997-98, which highlighted the need to include large emerging countries in multilateral talks on the economy and financial stability.

Up until the 2008 financial crises, G20 meetings were exclusively Finance Track gatherings, bringing together finance ministers and central bank governors, and taking place once a year.

In 2008, however, the G20 was chosen as the appropriate forum for managing the global economic and financial crisis, as the G7 and G8 were seen as lacking legitimacy due to the absence of large emerging countries, while the IMF’s governance structures were deemed unsuitable for managing this type of global emergency. On 15 November 2008, the heads of state and government of the G20 members met for the first time at an exceptional summit in Washington.

The premier forum for international economic cooperation

As of 2008, the G20 was officially upgraded to the level of heads of state and government, and its agenda was expanded to include cross-border economic and financial issues.

It organised the collective response to the last financial crisis, and is now seeking to extend its international cooperation and coordination role to other areas. One notable example is its international tax agenda, which aims to create a global tax system that fosters growth by, inter alia, tackling tax base erosion and profit offshoring, and automating the exchange of information.

The G20 was established to foster dialogue between advanced and emerging economies. Its goal is not to accurately reflect the global economic hierarchy, but rather to bring together countries whose contribution to the global economy and financial stability can be qualified as systemic. Its member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the USA and the European Union.

The Banque de France and the G20

The Governor of the Banque de France and the Minister of Finance represent France at meetings of the Finance Track, which remains one of the primary focuses of the G20 (alongside the Social G20 and the Agriculture G20). These meetings are preceded by a number of technical preparatory meetings.

The Finance Track examines economic issues, with the aim of fostering global financial stability and finding solutions to global challenges.

International financial bodies

The Banque de France plays an important role in the central banking community via its participation in various institutions:

The Banque de France’s role in the BIS

As a founding member of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Banque de France takes part in all bimonthly BIS meetings, which bring together the governors of 63 central banks representing around 95% of world GDP. The Governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau, has chaired the BIS Board of Directors since January 2022.

Two of the BIS’s principal bimonthly meetings are the Global Economy Meeting (GEM) and the All Governors' Meeting, where governors of member central banks examine the global economic and financial situation and discuss current affairs.

The BIS also fosters coordination among central banks via the Basel process, which directly supports the work of international groups – six committees and three associations – engaged in standard-setting and the pursuit of financial stability.

The Banque de France is represented on all committees directly under the BIS umbrella, in particular the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

The Banque de France’s role in the IMF

The Banque de France participates in the two main IMF decision-making bodies.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors comprises a governor (most frequently the finance minister or head of the central bank) and an alternate governor for each member country. It approves the main decisions of the IMF, such as quota increases, allocations of special drawing rights (SDR), and the admittance of new members.

The Governor of the Banque de France is currently the alternate. He also takes part as alternate in meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), which is responsible for examining proposed amendments to the Articles of Agreement submitted by the Executive Board and any other questions of shared interest at the two annual meetings, the IMF Spring Meeting and its Annual Meeting in the autumn.

Executive Board

The Banque de France also participates in the work of the IMF. It appoints an advisor to the executive representing France, enabling it to share its views, via the executive’s office, on all questions addressed at meetings of the IMF Executive Board.

All relations between France and the IMF are conducted by the Banque de France, in accordance with an agreement with the French government setting out the Banque de France's operational role in IMF financial operations.

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