Italy takes up Council Presidency

matteo renzi credit council of the european union Italy has assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union with new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi keen to put his stamp on the EU’s policy agenda. Renzi (pictured) took office in February and leads the centre-left Democratic Party, which performed well in the European Parliament elections. However, he holds power through a six-party coalition which also includes conservative and liberal parties.

The Council brings together government ministers and Renzi has stated that he wants to work towards a ‘United States of Europe’ – a vision that will be strongly opposed by the large Euro-sceptic wing in the Parliament. Italy is also keen to speed up its recovery and also tackle illegal immigration.

This is first in a ‘trio’ of presidencies, which share broadly similar priorities. These include job creation, deficit reduction, completing the single market, and investment in Europe’s energy and transport infrastructure.

The official Presidency website is www.italia2014.eu and Italy will be succeeded by Latvia and Luxembourg in 2015. At present, 13 EU heads of government are centre-right, 10 are centre-left, three are liberals and two are independents.

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