The Treaties of Rome at 60
Commission recalls Europe’s achievements and leads discussion on the future at 27
EU leaders will come together in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which were signed on 25 March in 1957.
Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, will participate in the Rome Summit, where a number of events are being organised to mark the occasion and to reflect on Europe’s common future.
The Treaties of Rome – signed by the six founding Member States – paved the way for the European Union that we know today: a reunited continent of peace, founded on the values of solidarity, democracy and the rule of law. Its Single Market ensures freedom of choice and movement, economic growth and prosperity for 500 million citizens. It is the largest trading bloc in the world and the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid. This anniversary is a moment to look back on our collective achievements and to discuss the future of the EU at 27. Following the presentation of the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe, EU leaders are expected to adopt the Rome Declaration, which will feature the Union’s past achievements, present challenges and pledge to work for unity at 27 and strengthen common action in key policy areas, to the benefit of citizens.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Our parents and grandparents founded this Union with one common vision: never again war. It was their strong conviction that breaking down barriers, working together – and not against each other – makes us all stronger. History has proven them right. For 60 years, the values on which this Union is built have not changed: peace, freedom, tolerance, solidarity and the rule of law bind and unite us. They must not be taken for granted and we must fight for them every day. Our democracy, our diversity and our independent and free press are the pillars of Europe’s strength – no individual or institution is above the law. The European Union has changed our lives for the better. We must ensure it continues to do so for those that will follow us. For now, all roads lead to Rome. After Rome and however it is paved, there is only one way forward: European unity.”
On 1 March, ahead of the Rome Summit, the Commission launched a pan-European debate with the White Paper on the Future of Europe, which will enable citizens and leaders to shape the vision of the EU at 27. The White Paper sets out possible scenarios for the future of Europe. Following the informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government on 10 March in Brussels, the Rome Summit is the next opportunity for EU leaders to take this discussion forward. In Rome, leaders will sign the Rome declaration, prepared jointly by Presidents Donald Tusk and Juncker and Prime Ministers Muscat and Gentiloni.
The Rome declaration marks the beginning of a process. After the Rome Summit, the Commission will present a series of reflection papers on key issues for Europe: (1) developing the social dimension of Europe; (2) deepening the Economic and Monetary Union; (3) harnessing globalisation; (4) the future of Europe’s defence and (5) the future of EU finances. President Juncker’s State of the Union speech in September 2017 will take these ideas forward before first conclusions can be drawn at the December 2017 European Council. This will help to decide on a course of action to be rolled out in time for the European Parliament elections in June 2019.
The Commission will also be organising in the months ahead public debates with the European Parliament and Member States, as well as online consultations, so that Europe’s citizens have their say and are able to share their views on the future of Europe via the Commission Representations and a dedicated website, which will be launched on 25 March. These are some of the milestones in the White Paper process.
Commission events in Rome
In cooperation with the Italian authorities, the Commission is organising several high-level events in Rome to mark the anniversary and discuss Europe’s past, present and future.
Digital Day (23/03), Palazzo Doria Pamphilj: Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Günther Oettinger bring together EU ministers and industry leaders to foster cooperation and better prepare our societies and the economy to reap the full potential of Europe’s digital transformation. Member States are expected to make commitments on High-Performance Computing, connected mobility, digitising industry and digital jobs.
Jean Monnet Seminar “The future of Europe: a commitment for You(th)” (23/03-24/03), Hotel Quirinale: More than 100 Jean Monnet professors, policy makers, journalists, civil society, youth association representatives and students will debate the future of the EU and the need to further involve young generations in the construction of the European project.
Citizens’ Dialogue (24/03), Acquario di Roma: High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council, will hold a Citizens’ Dialogue with several hundred young Europeans, including Erasmus students currently studying in Rome.
Meeting with the Social Partners (24/03), Palazzo Chigi: President Juncker, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen, alongside the Presidents of the European Council and European Parliament will meet with trade unions and business associations at an event hosted by the Italian Prime Minister.
Forum and concert (24/03), University La Sapienza: “Happy birthday Europe – Changing course to Europe”.
Concert of the EU Youth Orchestra (25/03), Villa Medici:”The Sound of a Dream”.
Photography by EU