The new European Parliament was in session for the first time on Tuesday, 1 July 2014. 751 MEPs from 28 member states sat in Strasbourg for the reconstitution session and, despite the surge of Euroscepticism in the wake of the EU elections, in a vote widely expected the Socialists' Martin Schulz was re-elected as President of the Parliament.
1st July 2014 was also the official starting of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, taking over the Greek semester. For this occasion, on 3rd July the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shortly presented the programme and focused on the vision for a new Europe. He said European leaders should act with conviction and determination to keep Europe in the lead on global issues and acknowledged that the crisis had left all of us with a "deep wound", saying Europe faced a challenge to rediscover its soul, history and values. Immigration and solidarity, key EU role in the world, Industry, competitiveness and digital and energy and climate are among the priorities of this Presidency, which will run until 31st December 2014.
To visit the website of the Italian Presidency, please follow this link: http://italia2014.eu/en/
To have a look at the priorities of the Italian Presidency, please follow this link: http://italia2014.eu/media/1227/programma-en1-def.pdf