Extracted 07JUN2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_union and various other sources
The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. We measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends. We set international standards on all sorts of things, from the safety of chemicals and nuclear power plants to the quality of cucumbers.
The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The inaugural meeting of the G-20 took place in Berlin, on December 15-16, 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers. The G-20 is the premier forum for our international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international co-operation, and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps to support growth and development across the globe.
The Group of Eight (G8) is an economic and political forum for the leaders of eight of the world's most industrialized nations, aimed at finding common ground on key topics and solutions to global issues. The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. While these countries leaders are in regular contact, they meet in summit format as the G8 once a year, usually in mid-year, to discuss world economics and politics. The G8's origin stems from meetings held in the 1970s between France's Valéry Giscard D'Estaing and Germany's Helmut Schmidt when they were finance ministers. Each subsequently assumed the leadership of their respective countries, just as the mid-1970s oil crisis was buffeting the world's largest economies. French President Giscard D'Estaing urged the leaders of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom to meet in 1975 to discuss how to respond to the oil crisis. Canada joined the group the next year, and Russia became a full fledged member of the G8 in 1998.
Both France and the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, People's Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5