The Group of Six (G6) was an unofficial forum which brought together the heads of the richest industrialized countries: France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. This summit, and the others which would follow, were not meant to be linked formally with wider international institutions; and in fact, a kind of frustrated rebellion against the stiff formality of other international meetings was an element in the genesis of cooperation between France's President and West Germany's Chancellor as they conceived the first summit of the G6.
Later summits in what could become a continuing series of annual meetings were identified as the Group of Seven (G7) summits and then the Group of Eight (G8) summits—but this informal gathering was the one which set that process in motion.
|1st G6 summit|
Château de Rambouillet
|Dates||15–17 November 1975|
|Precedes||2nd G7 summit|
This was an unofficial forum (retreat) for the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and a chance for them to get to know one another.
|Core G6 members
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
|France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||President|
|West Germany||Helmut Schmidt||Chancellor|
|Italy||Aldo Moro||Prime Minister|
|Japan||Takeo Miki||Prime Minister|
|United Kingdom||Harold Wilson||Prime Minister|
|United States||Gerald Ford||President|
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. Rambouillet had no easy answers to what was then the most serious recession since the 1930s; but the main themes of what would later become known as the "1st G8 summit" will remain for decades on the world's agenda—avoiding protectionism, energy dependency and boosting growth.
Issues which were discussed at this summit included: