The EU Delegation in Rome has a bilateral mission with the Holy See, the Order of Malta and the Republic of San Marino, and a multilateral mission with the three UN Organisations based in Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). 

The role of the EU Delegation

The European Union (EU) has 140 Delegations in third countries and five Delegations to international organisations based in Geneva, New York, Paris, Rome and Vienna.

The Delegation of the EU in Rome is working on the basis of four mandates:

  • With the United Nations (UN) system, since 1991, under specific actions and partnerships developed with the three UN specialised agencies based in Rome: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
  • With the Holy See, since June 2006;
  • With the Order of Malta, after the accreditation of the Head of Delegation in June 2007;
  • With the Republic of San Marino, since March 2016

In the context of these mandates, the EU Delegation in Rome aims to promote EU common values and interests vis-a’-vis its partners in the bilateral and multilateral context, especially in the areas of our objectives on peace, human rights, multilateralism, food, agriculture, green deal, digitalisation, humanitarian aid and development.

We are here to cooperate with the Order of Malta on humanitarian action and, with regard to San Marino, mainly to support the negotiations for an Association Agreement with the EU.

Scope of works in the Delegation

UN SECTION: The Delegation of the EU in Rome works essentially in the multilateral framework ensuring, since 1993, the liaison between the Headquarters in Brussels, the 27 EU countries, and the three UN Organizations based in Rome.

Rome is considered as the UN capital for activities in the fields of food and agriculture and has hosted since 1948, the FAO, since 1963 the WFP and since 1976 the IFAD.

The three UN Organizations are complementary and share a common goal to which Member Nations pledged themselves at the first FAO World Food Summit of 1996: the eradication of hunger in the world. This goal was reiterated with the Millennium Declaration in 2000 and with the Declaration of the World Summit on Food Security in 2009, which puts specific emphasis on fighting global hunger and poverty, which is also one of the cornerstones of the EU development policy.

The Delegation’s mandate covers the following main tasks:

  • Representation of the EU in the main bodies of the three UN agencies present in Rome, according to the specific status in each of them.
  • Consolidation of the European Community's positions in Rome, in order to reinforce the EU presence and visibility through regular meetings of the governing bodies, formal or informal donors' consultations, expert meetings, and presentations in both the FAO and WFP, and to give appropriate feedback to the HQs.
  • Coordination with the EU countries, both in Brussels, mainly within the so-called AGRI-FAO Council Working Group, and also within the Council Working Groups on Food Aid, Humanitarian Aid (COHAFA), CONUN* and External Fisheries Policy. The EU and the 27 EU Permanent Representatives to FAO, WFP and IFAD meet regularly (at least once a month) in Rome for EU coordination purposes.

*Council working group for the UN. It monitors UN activities. 

The Holy See

The year 2006 was marked by an addition to the EU Delegation's initial mandate (limited to the UN system in Rome), with the accreditation of the first Head of Delegation as Ambassador to the Holy See on 24 June 2006.

The main objective of this accreditation is to ensure the representation of the EU to the Holy See and to promote the EU values and interests in common with the Vatican.

Subjects of regular discussion with the Vatican include human rights, peace and democracy, freedom of religion in the world, and the dialogue of cultures and religions. Also of importance are matters related to the development and the fight against poverty and hunger in the world. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, work focuses also on how to exit the pandemic and overcome its impact. 

The Delegation of the EU in Rome works to further enhance relations with the Holy See as a like-minded partner, promoting shared objectives related in particular to peace and security, multilateralism with a strong United Nations at its core, Covid-19 recovery, human rights, migration, fighting poverty and corruption, and ethical digitalisation, climate change including the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals-2030.

The Order of Malta

The Delegation of the EU in Rome works to further enhance relations with the Sovereign Order of Malta as a like-minded partner, promoting shared objectives and focusing on the area of humanitarian and health assistance.  

San Marino

On March 3rd, 2016, the first Head of Delegation was accredited as Ambassador to the Republic of San Marino. The European Union is negotiating an Association Agreement with the Republic of San Marino. It will help both - San Marino to access different tools of European policy and funding, and the European Union to enlarge the use of its regulatory framework. Here again, the Delegation is pivotal in ensuring the smooth exchange of views and facilitating the rapid conclusion of the Agreement.