We wish our fellow parliamentarians of the Union and the Italian Government all the best during the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which began on July 1, 2014.
We want to improve Europe together, we want to return to growth and strengthen the confidence of our citizens in the great European dream, especially at this difficult juncture.
Every six months, Member States take turns in presiding over the regular meetings of EU ministers and in setting and implementing the EU Council's agenda. This presidency role is to all intents and purposes a responsibility of the Government of a Member State but today, in view of the enhanced role vested into national parliaments and the European Parliament by the Lisbon Treaty, also the parliamentary dimension has gained prominence.
For this very reason, the Italian Parliament will organise, alongside regular meetings (namely the annual Speakers' conference and the biannual meetings of committees specializing respectively in European affairs, foreign and security policy, budget and economic governance), also meetings to address such specific issues to which we intend to give our contribution as fundamental rights, agriculture, industrial development and small and medium-sized enterprises, employment, research and innovation.
Pietro Grasso, Laura Boldrini
(Above: Senate President Pietro Grasso and Chamber President Laura Boldrini)