“Growth, citizens and international relations will be the three pillars of the Italian EU Presidency”, according to an announcement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino to the Joint Foreign Affairs and EU Policies Commissions of the two houses of parliament during a briefing on the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union beginning on July 1st 2014.
Spring summit in Rome on youth employment
The Italian Presidency will therefore pivot on Europe as a place of growth, on European policies and citizens, and Europe in its international relations and prospects, both economic and commercial, the minister explained to the joint commissions. And bearing witness to the fact that growth and jobs will be at the top of the presidency agenda, Bonino announced that it would be preceded by “a summit in Rome on youth employment”.
Focus on a Mediterranean in flames
In line with one of the guiding principles of Italian foreign policy, the EU presidency will also turn its focus to the Mediterranean, a region that today, more than ever, is undergoing developments that carry a very high risk. “We must pledge to make an effort to make 2014 the year of the Mediterranean, an urgency that arises from a Mediterranean in flames”, the minister pointed out, citing two areas particularly marked by crisis and instability: Syria and Libya. “The situation in Libya” where another two Italian workers recently vanished, appears “increasingly compromised, and where by now all control has been lost”, Bonino asserted, recalling at the same time the “terrifying drama” of the Syrian crisis that tomorrow will see a key moment in the search for a political solution with the Geneva 2 Conference.