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Italy presents Milan Expo 2015 in European Parliament

'Who better to guide Europe to better future?' says Van Rompuy

31 January, 15:13
Italy presents Milan Expo 2015 in European Parliament (By Emily Backus) (ANSA) - Brussels, January 31 - Italy officially presented Milan Expo 2015 Wednesday at the European Parliament in Brussels, where European leaders described it as a chance to improve the world as well as an opportunity for Italy and Europe. Italian Premier Enrico Letta commented, "It will not only be an opportunity to exhibit and create jobs for five months" but "will put dramatic themes in discussion and their most positive solutions" which have the power to "make the difference between the life and death for millions of people".

The theme of Milan Expo 2015, which runs from May 1 to October 31 next year, is "Feeding the planet: Energy for Life", and deals with food security, combating hunger, and promoting global food-production practices that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. "Expo 2015 addresses one of the most important themes of our time and calls us to great responsibility towards future generations," said Gianni Pittella, vice-president of the European Parliament.

Pitella said the theme requires participants to "bear the extraordinary novelty of globalization: international competitiveness, access to raw materials, changes in lifestyle".

"World population increase will produce various effects including, even today, new inequalities," he added. "If there is a challenge for the European Union in the 21st century, it is the one we have in front of us: sustainable agriculture and environment," Pitella went on, calling also for the redistribution of international trade to reduce socioeconomic inequalities, and for the creation of global governance.

"Only if we know how to elaborate these policies with foresight, will we be able to say we are up to the challenges".

"With Milan Expo 2015, the entire world is watching Europe and Italy," said European Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso.

"Europe has so much to share and can contribute a lot toward facing the global challenges in development and food security themes," continued Barroso, adding that the European Commission will be one of the 140 official participants among countries, international organizations and business groups exhibiting at the World's Fair. Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni, who also spoke, warned against global food fraud, and said the event aimed to wage a worldwide political war against the phenomenon, which he said caused "60 billion euros in damage to the Italian food industry" alone, and "risks endangering consumers' health". European Council (EC) President Herman Van Rompuy declared,"The European Union is proud that the Universal Exposition 2015 is to be held in Milan, five years after Shanghai, just as it is proud that Italy will preside over the destiny of the European Council (EC) in July". "Who better than Italy, a marvellous country that gathers half of humanity's cultural legacy, can guide us toward a better and more serene future?" Van Rompuy asked. Italy's ambassador to the European Union Stefano Sannino and Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia also attended the event.