What is C7?
The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal political forum of Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States of America. Their heads of states come together at an annual summit to discuss global issues and co-ordinate their decisions. In 2022, Germany will take over the annually rotating Presidency following the United Kingdom. Personal representatives of the respective government, known as Sherpas, are responsible for the preparation and follow-up of the summit. The Federal Government’s Sherpa staff is based in the Chancellery.
An important part of the G7 process is the dialogue with various interest groups, called Engagement Groups. Civil7 (C7) is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G7 and represents positions from the international civil society, particularly from non-governmental organisations. The other groups are Women7 and Youth7, Business7, Labour7, Thinktank7 and Science7. Each interest group organises their communication and positioning processes with the G7 independently. VENRO, the Association of German Development and Humanitarian Aid NGOs, and the NGO Forum on Environment and Development were mandated by the Chancellery to co-ordinate the C7.
The C7 sees itself as a platform through which civil society organisations and actors worldwide can network in order to enter into a dialogue with the G7. The aim is to represent civil society interests regarding the G7 and to develop policy recommendations that will be included into the G7 summit decisions. In particular, the concerns of civil society organisations outside the G7 countries, notably from the Global South, are to be taken up. Besides various events and exchange formats, the international Civil7 Conference, scheduled for May 2022, marks the highlight of the C7 process.
Structure and Principle of Work
The C7 process under German presidency is co-ordinated by VENRO and the NGO Forum on Environment and Development. With the goal to support networking activities and facilitate the strategic positioning of the C7, an international Steering Committee comprising of 18 representatives was set up for the first time.
C7 offers all interested national and international civil society actors the opportunity to get involved in Working Groups and shape the process. The Working Groups are formed by co-ordinating with the Steering Committee on various priorities and are led by co-ordinators from German and international organisations. Recommendations and demands for the G7 are drawn up within the working groups. A joint political declaration (Communiqué) is composed across all working groups and is officially presented to the governments of the G7.
Information in German
For selected information on the Civil 7 process in German, please visit venro.org/themen/civil-7.