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Get ready for the Italian Presidency of the European Union 2014

On 1 July 2014, Italy will take over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The official work programme is currently being finalised by the Italian Government and should be published in mid-June. Italy wants to make Rome and Milan the two centres for its presidency. The main reason for this is that the Expo 2015 is taking place in Milan, one of the EU major financial and business centres.  Italy views the Expo 2015 that will take place in Milan between May and October as a significant opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), a top priority for the new government. Consequently, Italy plans to create organisational and thematic synergies between its EU Presidency and the Expo. Most of the informal Council meetings and also the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) will therefore take place in Milan. Furthermore, Italy wants to make the theme of the Expo “Feeding the planet, energy for life” the leitmotif of various Council meetings, especially for the Agriculture (Agrifish), Energy (TTE) and Environment (ENVI) formations. Regarding energy, the European Council is expected to decide on the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policies in October 2014 at the latest.  The informal meeting of environment ministers is scheduled to take place on 16 July and the full environment council on 21 October 2014. The Italian website www.it2014.eu will be online within the next few weeks.

Photo: Yanni Koutsomitis

Issue 34