60 years of the Treaties of Rome – Europe, a success story

European Union flag Enlarge image (© colourbox)

On 25 March, the whole of Europe is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties establishing the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, the Treaties of Rome. In signing these documents in Rome in March 1957, the Heads of Government of Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg laid the foundations for a project which, along with the European Coal and Steel Community, was to develop over six decades into the world’s biggest project for freedom, peace and prosperity: the European Union.

European Union means peace

The celebrations provide an opportunity to look back on this grand project and to remind ourselves of what it actually means to be a citizen of the European Union. 

For us, firstly and most importantly, it means peace. Never before has there been such a long period of peace in Europe – 70 years now. This was made possible by the decision of the European states, in the wake of two devastating World Wars, to focus on what they had in common, to prevent war in Europe for good and to find a peaceful form of cooperation. Differences of opinion are no longer resolved on the battlefield, but in an institutional framework. For this, the founding members transferred some of their sovereignty. 

The European Union: an attractive trading partner

The EU is also celebrating great success as an economic area. The EU single market is the world’s largest internal market. From a global perspective, the EU member states in concert are a major economic player and can shape globalisation. With its 500 million people, the single market is an attractive trading partner. “Our children and grandchildren will only be heard in the world if Europe speaks with one voice,” stressed Gabriel. 

The EU single market is a key instrument to secure employment and prosperity for Europe’s citizens. It also ensures equal opportunities and protection for the individual: workers enjoy comprehensive protection against discrimination at work and in the application process. Expectant mothers enjoy special protection, and companies are not allowed to form cartels to dictate prices. All this is guaranteed, thanks to the EU. 

The EU is a success story. That is why we want to continue along the path of cooperation, working together to find solutions. To mark the anniversary, the 27 Heads of State and Government of the member states and the EU institutions will gather in Rome to reaffirm their commitment to the joint European course. They will acknowledge the achievements made in the process of European integration and formulate a perspective for the coming years. At the beginning of this month, the European Commission presented its White Paper on the Future of Europe , which looks at Europe’s greatest challenges and opportunities and sketches out five scenarios for the development of the EU over the next ten years. The European Commission has also marked the anniversary with the publication of 60 Gründe für die EU (60 Reasons for the EU).

Source: Federal Foreign Office

Last updated 24.03.2017

Gruppe Jugendlicher Enlarge image (© European Commission Audiovisual)

60 years of the Treaties of Rome

Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (l.) and the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, Walter Hallstein, sign the Treaties of Rome

European Policy

After centuries of bloody conflict, the integration of states and their interests has defeated nationalism and brought Europe an unparalleled period of peace, prosperity and stability.  That is why the completion of European integration is our top political objective.