Since 1 July 2014 and until 31 December 2014, Italy has presided the EU Council, succeeding to Greece and Lithuania. The EU Council is the institution that represents the governments of the 28 Member States. It has for main mission to negociate and sign EU legislation together with the EU Parliament in the frame of the so-called "ordinary" or "co-decision" legislative procedure.
As the EU Council Presidency rotates every 6 months according to a pre-set order, to ensure the continuity of the EU legislation, a "trio" system has been established since the Lisbon Treaty. Three Presidencies have to prepare a 18 months programme (a common agenda to address the main topics and issues the Council will deal with).
With the Italian Presidency starts a new trio, made up of Italy, Latvia and Luxemburg. The trio has adopted its programme in June 2014. This programme provides in particular that "The three Presidencies shall devote adequate attention to free circulation, traceability and health of animals since it has a direct impact on human health and on the treatment with dignity of all animals and of pets in particular".
The Italian Presidency will have to continue the work started by the previous trio regarding the so-called "Animal and Health Package" including:
– official controls and other official activities intended to ensure the effective application of laws on plant health and phytosanitary production, animal health and food and feed production
– placing on the market of veterinary medicines and medicated feed
– cloning of animals for food production and placing on the market of food from clones
– zootechnical and genealogical conditions for trade in and imports into the Union of breeding animals and their
– revision of the hygiene package
On the basis of the Trio programme, Italy has provided a more detailed programme for its 6 months Presidency. In its programme, Italy specifies that regarding Animal Health, "a global conference will be held in Italy, in agreement with the European Commission and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)".
Next Presidency will start in January 2015 and will be held by Latvia.
Official Website of the Italian Presidency: http://italia2014.eu/
Programme of the Italian Presidency: http://italia2014.eu/media/1220/programma-semestre-en-def.pdf
Programme of the Trio : http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2010948%202014%20REV%201