The 29th G8 summit was held in Évian-les-Bains, France, on June 1–3, 2003. As is usual for G8 summits, there were a range of protests.

29th G8 summit
Logo EVIAN 2003.png
29th G8 Summit official logo
Host countryFrance
DateJune 1–3, 2003
Follows28th G8 summit
Precedes30th G8 summit



Jacques Chirac, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi during the G8 Summit

The Group of Seven (G7) was an unofficial forum which brought together the heads of the richest industrialized countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada starting in 1976. The G8, meeting for the first time in 1997, was formed with the addition of Russia.[1] In addition, the President of the European Commission has been formally included in summits since 1981.[2] The summits were not meant to be linked formally with wider international institutions; and in fact, a mild rebellion against the stiff formality of other international meetings was a part of the genesis of cooperation between France's President Giscard d'Estaing and West Germany's Chancellor Helmut Schmidt as they conceived the initial summit of the Group of Six (G6) in 1975.[3]

The G8 summits during the twenty-first century have inspired widespread debates, protests and demonstrations; and the two- or three-day event becomes more than the sum of its parts, elevating the participants, the issues and the venue as focal points for activist pressure.[4]

Official G8 Summit magazines which have been published under the auspices of the host nations for distribution to all attendees since 1998; the 2008 edition was published by Prestige Media.[5]

Leaders at the summitEdit

The G8 is an unofficial annual forum for the leaders of Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.[2]

The 29th G8 summit was the last summit for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.


These summit participants are the current "core members" of the international forum:[6][7][8]

Core G8 members
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
Member Represented by Title
  Canada Jean Chrétien Prime Minister
  France Jacques Chirac President
  Germany Gerhard Schröder Chancellor
  Italy Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister
  Japan Junichiro Koizumi Prime Minister
  Russia Vladimir Putin President
  United Kingdom Tony Blair Prime Minister
  United States George W. Bush President
  European Commission Romano Prodi President
Guest Invitees (Countries)
Member Represented by Title
  Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika President
  Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President
  China Hu Jintao President
  Egypt Hosni Mubarak President
  Greece Costas Simitis Prime Minister
  India Atal Bihari Vajpayee Prime Minister
  Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad Prime Minister
  Mexico Vicente Fox President
  Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo President
  Saudi Arabia Abdullah Regent
  Senegal Abdoulaye Wade President
  South Africa Thabo Mbeki President
  Switzerland Pascal Couchepin President
Guest Invitees (International Institutions)
Member Represented by Title
International Monetary Fund Horst Köhler Managing Director
  United Nations Kofi Annan Secretary-General
  World Bank James Wolfensohn President
World Trade Organization Supachai Panitchpakdi Director-General


Traditionally, the host country of the G8 summit sets the agenda for negotiations, which take place primarily amongst multi-national civil servants in the weeks before the summit itself, leading to a joint declaration which all countries can agree to sign.

Reconciliation amongst the G8 leaders was the top priority in the wake of the beginning of the Iraq War. The G8 had sharply divided[9] over the American-led invasion.[10] Chirac's broad agenda was organized under four main themes — solidarity, responsibility, security and democracy.[11]


The summit was intended as a venue for resolving differences among its members. As a practical matter, the summit was also conceived as an opportunity for its members to give each other mutual encouragement in the face of difficult economic decisions.[3]

Demonstrations, riots and authorities responsesEdit

Martin Shaw after his fall from the Aubonne bridge

During the protests, some manifestations went out of order as Swiss towns have been sacked by rioters. An accident also occurred during protest at the Aubonne bridge in Switzerland between Lausanne and Geneva, in which two activists suspended themselves from the bridge via a rope, with the rope stretching across the bridge, displaying a banner and obstructing traffic on the highway with the highest traffic density of Switzerland. Some protestors were arrested. One of the policemen, unaware people were attached to the rope, cut it. As a result, one of the protestors, Briton Martin Shaw, to plunge 20m into a rocky river and suffered multiple fractures. The other activist, German Gesine Wenzel, was caught by other protestors and could later abseil safely. In a ruling on 17 February 2006 a judge acquitted the two police officers found responsible on the grounds that their actions had been based on "a series of unfortunate misunderstandings" and therefore were not criminal. Indeed, as the anti-G8 manifestations were difficult to handle by their scales and by the seriousness of the disorders they caused many policemen (including the one who cut the rope) came from the German speaking part of Switzerland. The linguistic barriers, added to the stress of the situation (a blocked highway that could have resulted in many deaths) were considered by the court as critical in the misunderstandings that generated the accident 1 2.



  1. ^ Saunders, Doug. "Weight of the world too heavy for G8 shoulders," Globe and Mail (Toronto). July 5, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Reuters: "Factbox: The Group of Eight: what is it?", July 3, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Reinalda, Bob and Bertjan Verbeek. (1998). Autonomous Policy Making by International Organizations, p. 205.
  4. ^ "Influencing Policy on International Development: G8," Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development). 2008.
  5. ^ Prestige Media: Archived 2009-05-19 at the Wayback Machine "official" G8 Summit magazine Archived 2009-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Rieffel, Lex. "Regional Voices in Global Governance: Looking to 2010 (Part IV)," Archived June 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Brookings. March 27, 2009; "core" members (Muskoka 2010 G-8, official site). Archived June 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ 2003 Evian G-8, delegations.
  8. ^ 2003 Evian G-8, delegations; "EU and the G8" Archived February 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ According to Romano Prodi, invited as President of the European Commission, during the dinner Vladimir Putin shouted to Tony Blair: "You are not God": Giampiero Calapà, "Volevo pacificare la Libia, mi dissero no e ora c'è l'Isis", 1 dicembre 2015, Il Fatto Quotidiano.
  10. ^ Bayne, Nicholas. (2005) Staying Together: the G8 Summit Confronts the 21st Century, p. 141., p. 141, at Google Books
  11. ^ Bayne, p. 142., p. 142, at Google Books


  • Bayne, Nicholas and Robert D. Putnam. (2005). Staying Together: the G8 summit Confronts the 21st Century. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-4267-1; OCLC 217979297
  • Reinalda, Bob and Bertjan Verbeek. (1998). Autonomous Policy Making by International Organizations. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-16486-3; ISBN 978-0-203-45085-7; OCLC 39013643

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