Top government officials from the United States of America, West Germany, Japan, France and the United Kingdom formed an informal group known as The Library Group in 1973. It was so called because meetings were held in the White House Library. The formation of this informal and private group was in response to a few major economical crisis in western countries in the 1970s, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 in 1973 which regulated nations” currencies by fixing them to the US Dollar; The first oil crisis, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased prices of crude oil and cut production which had a great impact on the world, especially countries such as the United States of America and Japan, which depended greatly on imported oil. Oil prices skyrocketed. To make matter worse, the western economies were suffering from recession and an increase in unemployment rate.
The Group of 6.
The first Summit, held in Rambouillet, France was initiated by Giscard d’Estaing, then the President of France. The 1975 summit saw the latest inclusion of Italy into the group. The heads-of-state from these major industrial nations were invited to attend the meeting. It was in this summit that the meeting would be annual with the mission to overcome bureaucratic conflict and economic nationalism. The content of the Rambouillet summit was limited to economic and monetary concerns related to the oil crisis of the 1970s.
The Group of 7.
Following the success of the Rambouillet summit, the meetings went on annually with Canada attending the San Juan Summit in Puerto Rico in 1976. The G6 was replaced by the G7 with the new comer. In 1977, G7 became G7+1 when the European Community (currently known as the European Union) was allowed in the London summit, but with limitations. Then in 1978 G7 began dealing with political issues with their statement on Air Hijacking.