(Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands)
The 25th of March 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, a good opportunity to symbolically celebrate the beginning of a process that saw, in the design of a United Europe, the possibility of peacefully sharing a common heritage of values, ideas, traditions and hopes. The celebrations offered the opportunity for European leaders and institutions to confirm the commitment to build a stronger Europe by reaching out to all the Member Countries that share the need to continue the integration process.
In the perspective of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU Founding Countries was held in Rome on 9 February 2016. This strong and inclusive political initiative was promoted by the Founding Countries because the signing of the Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957 was an essential milestone in building a memory of a democratic Europe and of the common political will of the Member States of the European Union. As it was pointed out by the then Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, the support of public opinion will have to be won through tangible challenges such as that of migration, and the demand for more growth, jobs and security. In the meeting, the six Foreign Ministers also agreed that the decisions of single Member States must not undermine the whole Schengen system or the Single Market.
At the end of the meeting, the six Foreign Ministers of the Founding Countries also released a joint communiqué in which they reaffirmed their staunch commitment in favour of Europe and the European project, and invited all the other Member States to join them in this effort.