On 25 March, EU leaders celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which paved the way for a Union of peace, solidarity and democracy.
The Treaties of Rome – signed by 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. 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.
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.
Factsheets "The road to Rome":
A union that is big on big issues and small on small ones
A strong, connected single market
Enhanced cooperation – already a reality today
A stronger Europe on the global scene
A social Europe
Delivering on our positive agenda: the Rome agenda
Commission Brochure: "60 Good Reasons for the EU" (Ireland)
Commission Brochure: "60 Good Reasons for the EU" (Cyprus)
EPSC Brochure: "The European Story: 60 Years of Shared Progress"
EEAS webpage: 60 Years of the EU in the World
Audiovisual Portal: 60 video testimonials about Europe
24 March 2017