The Directorate General for European Countries handles bilateral political, economic and cultural relations with 53 European countries and various regional organisations, coordinating a network of 43 embassies and one permanent representation.
The Directorate General for European Countries carries out a range of activities such as organising periodic summits of the highest-ranking officials from the member states of the European Union and frequent meetings with candidate countries. It also manages Italy's dynamic relations with the Russian Federation and ongoing interest for Balkan countries.
The Directorate also provides support for missions, visits and meetings of other exponents of the Italian government, first and foremost the two Under-Secretaries of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for the countries within the province of the EU Directorate General
Special attention is paid to Parliamentary relations with the countries within the Directorate General's province. The EU Directorate General provides the Commission delegations and MEPs with support material.
The Directorate General helps apply the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy CFSP, ensuring participation in CFSP meetings within its authority. In addition, within the sphere of its duties in managing financial resources, the Director General is responsible for several budget chapters, including 4020 (economic and trade promotion), 4040 (financing of COMITES activity), the funds for the Council of Europe, the European Youth Programme, initiatives for Italian ethic minorities in the former Yugoslavia and those exiled from Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia.
The Directorate General for Europe is also manages resources for development cooperation with Eastern and Central European countries and the Balkans Law 212/92, Law 180/92 and Law 84/01.