What Are the G20 Countries?

In addition to the European Union, the 19 countries that make up the G20 (Group of Twenty) are Japan, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, the United States and India. The group was established in 1999.

The G20 is formed from the member nations of the G8 along with a variety of emerging countries and the European Union. Other organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, also participate in G20 meetings. Host nations also regularly invite additional countries and organizations. The Group of Eight, consisting of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia, existed previously to the Group of Twenty. Developing countries complained of lack of participation, and finance ministers from the G8 plus emerging countries and the European Union met for the first G20 meeting in 1999. G20 countries that not in the G8 are China, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Korea and Turkey.

G20 financial meetings continue every fall. President George W. Bush invited countries to the first ever G20 leaders conference in 2008, in reaction to that year's financial crisis, and G20 leaders meetings continue annually. While the original G20 financial meetings focused on financial matters, G20 leaders meetings discuss any and all issues of importance to G20 countries, including economics, war and natural disasters.

World leaders consider the G20 to have superseded the G8 on global economic matters; however, the G8 or G7 continues to meet on other geopolitical matters, such as security.

Meeting once a year, the purpose of G20 summits is to hold discussions on issues facing the global economy.

In both 2009 and 2010, there were two G20 summits to deal with issues surrounding the economic crisis.

The G20 is egalitarian to the extent that each member state has its say, although there is no formal system of voting.