The European Union turned 60 on 25 March, marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which were signed in 1957. EU leaders came together in Rome to celebrate the anniversary and mark the signing of the Treaties of Rome by the six founding Member States, which paved the way for the European Union we know today – reunited continent of peace, founded on the values of democracy, solidarity and the rule of law.
The EU’s single market ensures freedom of choice and movement, economic growth and prosperity for half a billion people. It is the largest trading bloc in the world and the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid. EU leaders see the anniversary as a moment to look back on the collective achievements and discuss the future of Europe. Ahead of the Rome summit, the Commission had 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 bloc without the United Kingdom.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took the occasion and reminded Europeans of what Europe really is and why it was founded: “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.“