Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties

The building of the European Union is the result of a complex integration process which started 60 years ago with the Rome Treaties. Striking a pause and taking the time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of these Treaties will enable us as European citizens to reflect on the past, take stock of the EU’s key achievements and contribute to shaping the EU’s future.

The birth of the European Union

On 25 March 1957, representatives of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed two treaties in Rome that gave birth to the European Economic Community (EEC) and to the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

The signature of these two treaties, which are known today as the ‘Rome Treaties’, took place only a few years after the French foreign minister Robert Schuman made his famous Declaration. On 9 May 1950, he shared his dream to establish long-lasting peace in Europe and declared that ‘the pooling of coal and steel production... will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims’. He also warned that Europe would ‘not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.’

 

EU achievements over the past sixty years

The European Political Strategy Centre has published a brochure which highlights the EU’s key achievements over the past sixty years. The brochure reminds us that 'the European story is one of peace, democracy, solidarity and freedom, but also of prosperity, equality, well-being and sustainability'.

 

Shaping Europe’s future

On 1 March 2017, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, presented the ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’ at a plenary session of the European Parliament. It maps out the challenges lying ahead for the EU, for the security and well-being of its citizens, and for the role the EU will play in the next decade on the global scale.

The White Paper outlines five scenarios with regard to the potential evolution of the EU by 2025: 1) Carrying on, 2) Nothing but the single market, 3) Those who want more do more, 4) Doing less more efficiently and 5) Doing much more together.

 

Celebrations of the 60 Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome

  • The main event organised by the European Commission is the Citizens' Dialogue with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, on 24 March in Rome. The Dialogue will focus on the options for the future of the EU (the debate around the Commission's White Paper) and the difference that the EU should make for future generations.