Today begins the Italian Presidency of the EU. This is a special Presidency for me as Italy is my home country, and during the last Italian Presidency in 2004, I was active in helping to make that Presidency a success.
Italy takes over the Presidency at a time of transitions – a recently formed Italian government, a newly elected European Parliament and other institutional changes. New beginnings provide new opportunities. Over the next six months, my country will have a unique chance to help shape the future of Europe.
Italy has special strengths that it brings to the European Union. It has been a strong supporter of closer cooperation and integration since the founding of the EU. Italy’s pro-EU stance has been vital in helping shape EU policy for the benefit of all Member States and it will be a key factor in continuing to guide the EU toward economic growth.
Two weeks ago, I led the AmCham EU’s trip to continue our meetings with leading Italian political stakeholders. Throughout our discussions, it was clear we share a number of policy objectives, and in some areas we have strong alignment on how to create the momentum Europe needs. AmCham EU’s priorities for the Italian Presidency – which you can find here –identify key factors needed to boost the investment climate, as well as to favour economic growth and job creation.
Given the current economic challenges facing the EU, we should focus on:
- Driving innovation: The digital economy is at the leading edge of our overall economic growth. It’s important for both our economies and our societies to accelerate its development.
- Negotiating bilateral trade agreements: The Italian Presidency should continue to help facilitate talks between the U.S. and EU on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Open trade drives market opportunity and economic growth.
- Creating financial stability through structural reform: Uncertainty stifles investment for business of all sizes. As we begin to turn the corner on Europe’s recession, sound policy decisions will be essential.
- Completing the Single Market: We need to minimize fragmentation and barriers among the European Member States in the digital market to ensure Europe is a leader in the mobile revolution. To do this, we need to get the relationship between business imperatives and regulation right to help drive innovation.
All of these points can be translated in an easy message: we must support policies that promote growth. Indeed, without economic growth, we don’t have any safety nets. And we have to remember a real truth: to grow our economies and create new jobs it takes investments. So this is an ambitious program but we need to be ambitious if we want to re-launch the EU. I look forward to working with the Italian presidency and wish them a successful Presidency.
– See more at: http://www.attglobalpolicy.com/italy-takes-over-the-eu-presidency/#sthash.foZ3adRZ.dpuf