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Programme of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Programme of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

B. Foreign Affairs
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Fully respecting the competencies foreseen by the Treaties with regard to the High Representative and EEAS, Italy will support them in their role and functions and will actively contribute to the shaping of more coherent and effective EU foreign policy, with a specific focus on promoting democracy, stability and prosperity in the closer neighbouring regions of the Mediterranean and the Western Balkans and on furthering respect for human rights; fostering EU Strategic partnerships with the goal of attaining joint synergies to address more effectively the most pressing challenges of today’s world; supporting a more operational engagement with the EU’s strategic partners, firstly and foremost through the ongoing negotiations in the political (SPAs/FAs) and economic fields (FTAs/EPAs).
The transition process in North Africa and the Middle East requires continuous commitment and support, in order to increase the EU’s visibility and presence through credible offers to those partners. In support of the HR/VP, Italy will encourage the EU in promoting of the respect for human rights and civil liberties and will focus on political, economic and social progress in Egypt. Strong determination will be requested to reduce the uncertainty of the political and security scenario in Libya, ensuring appropriate follow-ups to the March 2014 Rome Conference in order to support and accompany a genuine and inclusive process of national dialogue and reconciliaton, in order to pave the way towards a sustainable stabilisation of the country. In Syria efforts will be strengthened to end violence, provide humanitarian assistance and ensure a viable transition respecting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian population, and in Lebanon, to facilitate the stability of the country, also through appropriate assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces. The recent historical changes in the Mediterranean area have also highlighted the urgent need for progress in the Middle East Peace Process with the objective of achieving a just, viable and lasting solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict based on EU position of support to a two-State solution. Italy encourages the ongoing E3/EU+3 talks with Tehran aimed at reaching agreement on a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
Italy will support the HR/VP in a continued coherent engagement with Asia-Pacific partners on all major global and regional challenges affecting sustainable growth, stability and security by encouraging, inter alia, the strengthening of regional fora. In particular, the Presidency will back efforts to swiftly implement the EU-China 2020 Agenda, to make progress in the negotiations for a Special Partnership Agreement with Japan, to encourage change in Myanmar, and to strengthen ties with the subcontinent and with ASEAN. In supporting the HR/VP, Italy will in its sphere of competence as EU rotating Presidency provide an impetus to the EU-US transatlantic dialogue on Asia-Pacific with the aim of encouraging democratic transition and consolidation in that area.

Source: Programme of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (pg. 20-27)