A political agreement to establish the European Food Authority and Community legislation on food was reached by the EU Member States on 28 June. The agreement includes around half the 200 amendments put forward by the European Parliament (EP) on June 12. The regulation follows up on the White Paper on food safety and has three objectives: to set out definitions, general principles and requirements governing foodstuffs and animal feed; to establish the European Food Authority; and to determine procedures for dealing with matters having a direct or indirect impact on food safety. The Commission will redraft its proposal taking into account the Council's Common Position and the Parliament's 200 proposed amendments. The Parliament will most likely hold a second reading on the EFA by the end of 2001. One of Belgium's top priorities for its EU Presidency (started 1 July) is to have the EFA set up and working before the end of 2001. But the location of the EFA is still a hotly debated subject between member states. Leading candidates battling out for the new EFA are Helsinki, Parma, Lille, Luxembourg, Barcelona and Parma. In a bid to push forward Parma's position Italian Farm Minister Gianni Alemanno said on Thursday, ""It is incredible that our country, which has huge international credibility in terms of its food, should not have a specific role in the European Union," he said in a statement."I don't think that Helsinki, despite its great history, can be comparable to Parma in regard to food traditions,". The battle should be over soon as EU Health Commissioner David Byrne has suggested that the decision on the site for the agency could be made next month.