As the political dust continues to settle from the recent European elections, Italy is preparing itself to take over the Presidency of the EU from July. The country’s six-month stint as the executive arm of the EU comes at a critical time as a new European Parliament and new European Commission establish their agendas for the next 5 years.
On top of the usual Presidency role of overseeing the running and legislative mandate of the EU, the Italian presidency begins the next ‘presidency trios’, a cooperation over an 18-month period to provide continuity by sharing common political programmes, with Latvia and Luxembourg taking over next. Talk in Brussels is of an agenda moving on from the post-crisis focus on stability and reform to one looking at economic growth and job creation.
At a recent industry briefing a representative from the Italian team outlined the likely areas of priority for financial services which included:
Beyond the immediate Presidency mandate Italy also finds itself with an increased influence within the European Parliament with the largest number of MEPs in the Socialist & Democrats political grouping which came only just behind the centre right European Peoples Party.
Over the coming weeks we can expect the Commission President to be confirmed, for the MEP political groupings to be established and the process of agreeing Committees Chairs and members including the crucial ECON Committee. Further ahead is clarity on what the Commission’s priorities will be and what the legislative programme will look like.
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Our third video in this series explores the outstanding issues that your business needs to be aware of when preparing for the 2015 VAT changes.