The big four, also known as g4 or eu4, refers to france, germany, italy and the united kingdom. these countries are considered major european powers and they are the western european countries individually represented as full members of the g7, the g8, g10 and the g20. france, britain, italy and germany have been referred to as the big four of europe since the interwar period.
the term g4 was used for the first time when french president nicolas sarkozy called for a meeting in paris with italian prime minister silvio berlusconi, prime minister of the united kingdom gordon brown and chancellor of germany angela merkel to consider the response to the financial crisis during the great recession. the organisation for economic co-operation and developmentdescribes them as the "four big european countries".