What is G6?
G6 or “Group of Six” refers to the six member countries of the European Union with the largest populations, and consequently the largest number of votes in the Council of the EU. In 2003, it was originally established as G5 with 5 member countries namely Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. Poland became part of the group in the year 2006 to make it six countries.
The European Union has a total of 27 member countries and is founded to improve and/or enhance social, political, and economic cooperation between the member countries. G6 meanwhile, represents only 6 countries of the EU but accounts for three-fourths of the total EU population. G6 is an informal group of interior ministers from each of the six member countries and they deal with matters such as law and order, terrorism, and immigration. The members agree to certain rules and there is no monopoly in making or proposing laws. The powers of the member countries are said to be intergovernmental. This means states are allowed to cooperate in specific fields but still retain their own sovereignty.
In issues like terrorism, the G6 member states have agreed to crack down on tax frauds that may lead to fund terrorist activities and share valuable information on terrorist threats. Cooperation is also expected in monitoring Internet use by radicals to stop them from organizing terrorist crimes and recruit new members.
On the immigration front, G6 member states agree to fight human trafficking and take a common action towards African countries like Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea which are involved in illegal immigration.
In a 2006 gathering of G6 members, concerns were also raised regarding the “alienation” of European Muslims and member states vowed to continue the fight against extremism.
Issues agreed upon by G6 member states do not necessarily become formal decisions at their level, but matters are still easily elevated to EU-level discussions.