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Our mission

 

Our mission

The Permanent Representation’s main mission is to promote and defend the Italian positions within the EU, particularly in the preparatory bodies of the Council of Ministers’ meetings which are briefly described below.

 

COREPER

The Coreper (acronym of the French expression Comité des Représentants Permanents, Permanent Representatives' Committee) is charged with the preparatory work of the EU Council (except most of the agricultural matters, which are handled by the Special Committee of Agriculture) as well as any task the Council decides to assign to it.

The capacities of the Coreper are “horizontal”, since the body is tasked to prepare all the sectional EU Councils and discuss the dossiers (proposals presented by the EU Commission) in a pre-negotiating phase.

The Coreper plays a fundamental role in the EU decision-making mechanism, being at the same time a forum of dialogue (dialogue among the Permanent Representatives and between each of them and their respective capital) and a politically monitoring body (with its function of monitoring and supervision of the working groups).

The Coreper is structured into two different formations identified on the basis of their respective competences:

• the Coreper II or “second part”, composed by the Permanent Representatives of the Member States, deals with subjects falling under the umbrella of the following Council formations: General Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Moreover, the Coreper II is the preparatory body of the European Council.
Italy is represented in Coreper II by the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Maurizio Massari;

• the Coreper I or “first part”, composed by the Deputy Permanent Representatives of the Member States, deals with issues which fall under the umbrella of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers’ Policy, Competition, Transportation, Energy and Telecommunications, Environment and, Education, Youth and Culture Councils. Italy is represented in Coreper I by the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Michele Quaroni.

 

Council working groups

The Council working groups have informal character and are attended by representatives of the Member States who have a specific competence in the matters handled by the single groups. The main task of the working groups is to provide the Coreper with essential assistance by focusing on the technical preparatory work in view of the adoption of a certain act.

The working groups’ number changes by time. At the beginning of 2015 more than 150 groups were established. (Click here for the complete list of the Council working groups )

The Italian participation in the working groups is entrusted to members of the Permanent Representation, often assisted by capital-based colleagues.

Approximately 60 functionaries and “experts” belonging to more than 20 national and regional administrations serve at the moment in the Permanent Representation.

PSC

The Political and Security Committee (PSC) , created in 2001 under the provisions of the Treaty of Nice, is the competent body for the External and Common Security Policy (ECSP) and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).

The Committee is tasked to monitor the evolution of the international situation, to contribute to the ECSP definition and to implement the decisions of the EU Council.

Within the ESDP, the PSC exercises, under the Council’s authority, the political control and the strategic direction of the EU crisis management operations.

While executing its tasks the PSC is assisted by a Committee for the civilian aspects of the crisis management (CIVCOM), a Political and Military working Group (PMG), the EU Military Committee (CMUE)  and the Military Staff of the European Union (EUMS).

Italy is represented in the PSC by Ambassador Luca Franchetti Pardo.  

 

Relations with the European Parliament

The Unit for the relations with the EP is in charge of liaising with the European Parliament (EP) within the Permanent Representation.

The main task of the Unit is to monitor the EP activities and maintain close contacts with the Members of the Parliament (MEPs) – notably those elected in Italy – in order to promote the Italian national interests with regards to the matters at the centre of the Parliament’s agenda.

In this framework, the Unit ensures a continuous flow of information (also by ad hoc meetings) between the different sections of the Permanent Representation and the offices of MEPs, Heads of Delegation, Vice-Presidents and President’s Office, as well as the with the EP Services.


 

Relations with the Committee of the Regions and with the European Economic and Social Committee


The Ufficio Relazioni con il Comitato delle Regioni (URCR) and the Ufficio Relazioni con il Comitato Economico e Sociale Europeo (URCESE) follow respectively the activities of the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.

The main task of both units is to awaken the Members of the respective bodies to the Italian national interests with regards to the matters at the center of both the Committees’ agenda.

The URCR and the URCESE entertain regular contacts with the Italian delegations within the respective Committees and promote meetings on a regular basis with the different sections of the Permanent Representation in order to guarantee a mutual exchange of information and opinions.

 

Infringement procedures

In order to cooperate with the relevant national Authorities for a timely and fair implementation of the EU legislation, the Permanent Representation avails itself of a specific Infringement Procedures Unit whose main task are the following:

• acting as contact point between the EU Commission and the national Authorities through the Dipartimento per  il coordinamento delle politiche comunitarie  (European Policies Coordination Department) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the infringement procedures which fall under the provisions of art. 226 and 228 of the EC Treaty, ensuring the necessary exchange of information and closely monitoring the iter of each procedure, from the investigation phase of the complaint or the formal notice, until the decision to bring actions before the Court of Justice;

• providing consultancy and assistance to the specifically concerned subjects, in order to contribute to the solution of the pending controversy;

• facilitating the relations with the EC Commission services, including the possible promotion of specific meetings with regard to the single dossiers;

• maintaining updated the picture of the Italian pending cases and elaborating the related statistical figures;

• acting as national contact point for  electronic notifications concerning the incorporation of directives into national law in the electronic database “Comunicazione di misure nazionali di attuazione – MNA” created by the Secretariat-General of the European Commission.

 

State Aid

In the State Aid sector, the Representation assists national Administrations in notifying the Commission (the Institution having exclusive competence on the matter, as per the CE Treaty) of the measures to be adopted and carries out a final check on notifications before formally forwarding them to the Commission (i.e. validation process).

Moreover the Representation, when deemed necessary, arranges meetings with the Commission prior to the formal notification, in order to facilitate and speed up the subsequent examination of the proposed measures.

During the whole procedure, the Representation carries out a connecting role with the Commission’ General Directorates competent on the issues (Competition, Energy and Transports, Agriculture, Sea) thus helping the adoption of a positive decision.

Representation officials also attend multilateral consultations set up by the Commission during the revision process of the Community policy on the matter.


Legal issues


The Permanent Representation’s legal unit is mainly charged with:

- providing advice on institutional issues, primarily on those linked to Coreper II activities;

- providing advice, limited to the legal side, on files the experts’ dossiers;

- attending the relevant Council working groups, especially the Court of Justice group;

- maintaining regular relations with the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

 

Italian presence in the European Institutions

The Permanent Representation monitors the presence of Italian officials in the European institutions through a specific office, the Bureau for monitoring the presence of Italian officials in the European Institutions, which is responsible for keeping an up-to-date record of all Italian officials currently on duty in the European Institutions.

The unit also oversees the officials’ career developments in order to ensure an adequate Italian presence at all levels, including senior positions.

This effort, combined with similar actions from the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of External Affairs, also covers the Seconded National Experts and  the structural stagiaires.

 

Relations with the media

The Press and Information Office is responsible for the relations with the Italian and foreign press based in Brussels and for the Permanent Representation's website.


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