On the 30 June 2014, the new Italian Presidency published a document setting out the Council’s work programme as established by the future trio of Presidencies (Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg), covering the period July 2014 to December 2015.
The most relevant information contained within document includes the following:
- Institutional transition: With the EU embroiled in important institutional changes, the trio will try to ease this transitional process. The three Presidencies intend to build up close and constructive relations with the new institutional actors in order to allow for an early return to a normal working rhythm and legislative activity.
- Main objective for the next 18 months: to fully overcome the economic and financial crisis and to boost Union's growth.
- Research and innovation: of strategic importance for economic growth, competitiveness and employment, investment in this strategic sector will be boosted and the European Research Area further developed through the smooth and efficient implementation and the full use of the potential of Horizon 2020. The endorsement of research and innovation is of particular note given the enormous benefits which can be achieved through the advancement of the implementation of the Horizon 2020 work programmes. Moreover, the endorsement of Horizon 2020 gives an indication of the prioritisation of the Horizon 2020 by the Council.
- Health: “particular attention will be paid to the necessity to find responses to the demographic change, the increase of chronic diseases, the development of new healthcare technologies as well as to the changing expectations of the patients and to achieve the objective of sustainable healthcare systems”. The new Public Health Programme 2014-2020 will play a major role in this regard.
The Operational programme section of the document outlines extensive priorities of the trio pertaining to public health and innovation including the following:
Public Health: the trio will promote action to improve the health of EU citizens, in line with the EU Health Strategy and the indications forthcoming from World Health Organisation and using the actions set out in the third Union Programme for action in the field of health (2014-2020), while taking due account of the current economic situation.
The trio will stress and support the identification and adoption of innovative approaches, including cost-benefit assessments that could potentially have a positive impact on the health of citizens, as well as on the economy.
Research and innovation: The trio intends to promote links among research, innovation and growth (in terms of competitiveness and employment), investigating any possible measures to boost investments in these strategic sectors. It will focus on the enhancement of the European Research Area and will address issues such as the implementation of the ESFRI roadmap or the advancement of the EU digital agenda and the development of an e-infrastructure (including a data infrastructure).
Of particular note for EAMBES is that the three Presidencies will raise awareness of a "Science with and for society", with the aim of fostering social and economic inclusiveness and competitiveness enabled by research and innovation in the context of addressing major societal challenges such as bio-economy health, including through social innovation, open science and socially led technological innovation.
The link to the provisional calendar of the Italian Presidency is available here