What is the purpose of the G8? This weekend the heads of the eight leading industrialized democracies, plus myself and Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on behalf of the European Union, will meet at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg. However, with just the EU and eight countries out of nearly 200 sitting around the table, it is hardly representative. Nor is it a negotiating group. When its members reach a consensus, their decisions are not even legally binding.