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16 December 2003
Results of the Italian six-month Presidency
On 16 December, President of the Council Silvio Berlusconi, along with Minister for Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini, presented the European Parliament with a summary of the Italian Presidency and reported on the outcome of the European Council and the IGC Summit of 12-13 December. The Italian Presidency found itself managing a series of fundamental challenges for the future of the Union: the identification of mechanisms and an institutional layout adequate to the needs of the new Europe; the re-launch of the European economy after years of stasis; the development of internal policies in view of enlargement; the security and management of common borders; and the confirmation of Europe as a global actor on the international scene. In order to face these challenges Italy has set itself a work programme that has led to concrete results in terms of the reinforcement of Europe for citizens (re-launch of the economy and internal policies, preparation of the Union for enlargement, endowment of the Union with infrastructure adequate for the creation of an "area of freedom, security and justice") and the role of Europe in the world.
Summary of the results of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
External Relations – CFSP/ESDP
Summary of the
The European Union’s role as part of the Quartet of mediators in the Middle Eastern peace process (UN, USA, EU and Russia) and in mediation between the parties concerned was further enhanced. Hamas was included in the European list of terrorist organisations, while the close dialogue with both sides culminated in important meetings being held in Rome on economic and institutional assistance for the Palestinians. The dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian civil society was also encouraged. The existing framework of UN Resolutions on the Palestinian question was rationalised with a decisive contribution from the EU, whose authoritativeness was enhanced as a result, not least within the United Nations itself.