An exhibition, themed ‘Ever Closer Union: The Legacy of the Treaties of Rome for Today’s Europe’, was inaugurated on March 23, 2017 at the Italian Cultural Institute in Valletta. The exhibition, which will run between tomorrow and April 20, coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome which will be marked on Saturday.
The exhibition has been put up by MEUSAC, the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute and the European Commission Representation in Malta. The Italian ambassador to Malta, H.E. Giovanni Umberto de Vito, MEUSAC Head, Dr Vanni Xuereb and Head of EC Representation in Malta Dr Elena Grech inaugurated the exhibition.
Speaking on the theme of the exhibition, Dr Xuereb started off by referring to the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome.
“Because of its more significant importance, sometimes we forget that 2 treaties were signed in Rome on that day - that setting up the European Economic Community as well as that setting up the European Atomic Agency Community, better known as EURATOM.
“Some would refer to the 25th March 1957 as the EU's birthday. Though undoubtedly a very important milestone in the evolution of the European project, in my view, the 'birthday' of the EU remains the 9th May 1950, which is the day when Robert Schuman made his declaration calling for France and Germany to put aside their centuries old rivalry and embark on a project that would lead to the establishment of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.”
He said that probably we are fed up of hearing that the EU is at a crossroads, we are in a critical juncture for the future of the European project. “The European Commission recently issued a White Paper presenting 5 different scenarios on the EU by 2025 as its contribution to the Rome Summit. The Rome Declaration will pave the way forward for the EU27,” he highlighted.
He also spoke about next Wednesday's dialogue which MEUSAC, the EC Representation and the Strickland Foundation will be organising. The main speakers will be PM Joseph Muscat and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“It will be an opportunity to engage in a much needed discussion on the future of Europe on the very day when the United Kingdom will officially notify the EU that it wishes to withdraw from the EU.” Dr Xuereb also made reference to the fact that MEUSAC will be relaunched this year to strengthen its role in the Europeanisation of this country, as was announced by government.
Ambassador de Vito said that the Rome summit should serve as an opportunity to discuss the EU's future and not simply be just another gathering of leaders.