Sunday, March 26, 2017
The EU At 60 Looks For A New Breath, Despite The Brexit
"Demonstrating today that you are the leaders of Europe," said European Council President Donald Tusk to the 27 heads of state and government meeting in the Capitol in the same room of Horace and Curiace Was the founding treaty of the European Union on 25 March 1957.
But, without British Prime Minister Theresa May, who decided to launch Wednesday the separation procedure with the European bloc.
The heads of state and government of the 27 countries, welcomed under the bright sun by the head of the Italian government, Paolo Gentiloni, have in turn passed through the great square of the Capitol, designed by Michelangelo, before signing a new solemn commitment in In favor of Europe.
"There are signatures that last," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker by initiating this document, the "Rome Declaration", with the same pen used 60 years ago by his Luxembourg predecessor.
- Union "one and indivisible" -
In 1957, Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) pledged to "lay the foundations for an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe".
But "we stopped and this provoked in the public opinion a crisis of rejection, it made flourish the nationalisms that were thought relegated to the forgetful ones," declared before the signing ceremony the head of the Italian government Paolo Gentiloni.
But, he assured, "we learned the lesson, the Union chooses to leave."
In their declaration, the 27 reaffirm that their "Union is one and indivisible", in explicit response to the Brexit. "We will ensure that the Brexit is not done" to the detriment of Europe ", warned on this subject the French President François Hollande.
It is, however, a Europe in full storm that celebrates its 60th anniversary against the winds of discord, doubt, and popular distrust.
More Europe, another Europe or against Europe: thousands of people - pro and anti-EU - parade Saturday in Rome, without incident, in various processions, under high surveillance.
"We are here to demand a Europe that is not that of banks and bureaucracy but of the rights of workers and students," explained 22-year-old international science student Giovanni Zannier.
At the same time, tens of thousands of Europeans took to the streets of London, Berlin or Warsaw to mark their attachment to the Union of 28, which is now weakened by the departure of the British.
Brexit, but also migratory waves, economic slump, jihadist attacks and identity withdrawal: designed six to rebuild Europe after the Second World War, the Union of 27 is going through the worst crisis in its history.
- "Different Rhythms" -
"Today in Rome, we renew the unique alliance of free nations that was launched sixty years ago by our predecessors," Tusk said.
But beyond the pious wishes, Saturday's "Declaration of Rome" itself could not escape the divisions that oppose the Europeans, especially those of the West and the East.
Thus, the Europe with "several speeds", the disputed dispute, has become in the Rome Declaration a Europe with "different rhythms".
The 27 undertake to "act together, if necessary at different rates and with different intensity while moving in the same direction, as we have done in the past, in accordance with the Treaties and leaving the door open To those who wish to join us later ".
A paragraph carefully drafted to try to reassure Poland and the other reluctant countries, who fear to be excluded from the "club" because of their recurrent opposition to the Brussels projects, as for example migration policies.
"A multi-speed Europe does not mean that there is not a Europe that is common to all," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.