Rome must mark the start of a new Europe


On 25th March Europe will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome that created the basis of today’s European Union. On this occasion the Heads of State and Government of the EU will meet in Rome in order to adopt the “Rome Declaration” that is supposed to lay the basis for the future developments of the European Union and offer a settlement to the shortcomings that have considerably weakened the Union for the last decade.

The Spinelli Group expresses its concerns about the lack of a broad involvement of the European Parliament in the preparatory work of the Rome Declaration and the risk that the declaration may be long on rhetoric but short on real commitments.

The Spinelli Group recalls the Heads of State and Government, as well as the Presidents of the Commission and the European Council, of the three key resolutions adopted by the European Parliament on 17 February of this year on how to reform and re-launch the Union within and beyond the current Treaties and how to provide the Eurozone with its own budget. These resolutions are the product of a comprehensive debate, which managed to gather consensus and support of a great majority of representatives of the more than 500 million European citizens. Their key demands should be reflected in the Rome declaration and should be taken into account in its implementation.

The in-depth transformations that the European Union needs to undergo in the following years will not succeed if European citizens are not fully involved in the process of reforming the Union, starting with their representatives in the European and national parliaments. The Spinelli Group therefore supports the demand of the European Parliament to be fully involved in the discussions on the future of Europe, starting from greater involvement in the finalisation of the Rome Declaration. Only a process as inclusive as possible will make the EU able to regain the trust of its citizens and re-build a shared vision of a better future together for all Europeans.

The Spinelli Group is witnessing and encouraging a rising pro-European movement among citizens across the continent opposing nationalism and national division and claiming a more united Europe. In this respect, The Spinelli Group celebrates the elections in The Netherlands on 15th March. After the outcome of the presidential elections in Austria last December, this new defeat of anti-European forces show that European citizens will not allow populism and nationalism to tear Europe apart.

More and more Europeans understand the value that Europe brings and want to stand-up to defend it. It is the proof that hope in the European project is still well alive among Europeans, but that they do not want their destinies to be decided behind closed doors. A board and comprehensive engagements with the citizens on the options for the future of the European Union outlined in the recent White Paper on the Future of Europe by the European Commission is a must.

The Spinelli Group calls members of the European Parliament, national parliaments, civil society organisations and citizens from all over Europe to join the “March for Europe” in Rome on 25 March to show support for a relaunch and a change of pace in the integration of Europe.