Italian participation in the process of European integration is governed by Law No 234 of 24 December 2012.
Italy participates in the EU process through its main institutions (Government, Parliament, Regions and autonomous provinces), each within its remit. The Government as a whole is involved in such a process, from the Prime Minister to the ministries and theirs cabinets.
In this framework, the Department for EU policies provides support to the Prime Minister or the delegated authority in managing the relations with EU institutions. In the current Government State Secretary Sandro Gozi is entrusted with it.
In particular, the Department ensures:
- networking at national level for the participation in the EU law-making process and the incorporation of EU rules into the Italian legislation system;
- coordination on single market-related positions, especially on issues such as the free movement of persons, services and goods, the freedom of establishment, public procurement, intellectual property and State aid;
- issuing of the Annual Reports to the Italian Parliament on the participation of Italy in the EU building process;
- prevention of EU litigation;
- communication and information about the EU, especially on citizens’ access to EU policies, programmes, opportunities and rights.
It also ensures the functioning of the Inter-ministerial Committee on European affairs (CIAE);
Furthermore, the Department provides
- assistance to citizens and companies reporting cases of incorrect application of the European law by Public Administrations of Member States through the national SOLVIT Centre
- information and assistance to citizens as for the recognition of professional qualifications, as well as for the free provision of services in the EU through the national Centre for professional qualifications,
- smoother administrative cooperation and mutual assistance between member States’ authorities in the single market field through the IMI National Contact Point.
Finally, the Department cooperates with the European Commission and the European Parliament, also through their offices in Italy: The Representation to the European Commission and the European Parliament’s information office.
In carrying out such duties, the Department acts in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Directorate General for the European Union and the Italian Permanent Representation to the European Union, which plays the role of Italian “embassy” to the EU, with the aim of protecting national interests and policies at EU level.
In Brussels, the Department ensures participation of the Italian Government in the EU Council - formations General Affairs and Competitiveness - and participates with its officials in the Council’s working groups.
Member States Ministers participate in the different formations of the Council, each in the field of his remit, in order to agree on common EU policies and rules in the areas of interest.