The second assembly of the renewed Concord Italia National Platform was held in Rome last Friday.

 

The second assembly of the renewed Concord Italia National Platform was held in Rome last Friday. The main priority for the meeting was to establish the 2014 work plan, as 2014 is a crucial year due to the upcoming EU elections and the next EU presidency that will be chaired by Italy from July to December 2014.

The Italian CSOs which compose the platform hosted the vice minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Cooperation Mr. Lapo Pistelli in order to discuss the main challenges of the Italian presidency, and in particular the last steps of the post 2015 process and the organization of the universal exposition that will take place in Milan in 2015 (EXPO Milan 2015 – Feeding the planet, energy for life).

Concord Italia has called the government for an urgent definition of the presidency agenda that should include a strong European commitment on the following issues:

Right to food and food waste

-Post 2015 process

-Migration and development with a Euro Mediterranean perspective

-New narrative on global development and aid

The vice minister Pistelli has pointed out his concern about the peculiarity of the 2014 Italian presidency that will be chaired in a “ short and transition semester” after the EP elections and with the European parliament start up, the election of the new President and the establishment of the new Commission. These could potentially weaken the semester in terms of legislative potential.

In addition, Mr. Pistelli expressed his concerns about the risk that the next European elections will “likely turn into a sort of referendum on Europe in times of crisis, due to a stronger affirmation of Eurosceptic forces, or worse, racist and xenophobic.”

Despite that, he confirmed the will of the Italian government to bring the issue of migration as a European co-responsibility to the EU minister’s table, as well as to push for a stronger European commitment on the Post 2015 process by delivering a specific non-paper under the Italian Presidency .

The presidency will also work to raise awareness on the role of the Expo 2015 as unique opportunity within the European Year for Development (EYD 2015) to strengthen the  European  contribution on food and nutrition issues within the post 2015 process.

The assembly was also the occasion to present the Concord Italia work programme on the EU presidency semester called “More and better Europe – Ensuring the Italian contribution to enhance the EU’s role as a global and consistent player on sustainable development issues”.

The programme aims to provide a strong contribution from the Italian NGOs to the Presidency agenda, increasing CSOs capacity to influence the political debate on development issues and mobilize the Italian public opinion. The main focus will be: the post-2015 process, food and nutrition, migration and development and global mobility under the key message of Policy Coherence for Development. The activities of the programme have been already planned and include several capacity building activities, public events (conferences, workshop, debates) and advocacy activities at national level.