The Rome Treaty 60th anniversary must give birth to a European political core
According to Marielle de Sarnez, EDP Secretary General, the European Union – Confronted with the Brexit and Donald Trump, – must pull itself together. On March 25th, Member States willing to share an upper level of ambition will must take their responsibilities.
In 1957, when the Treaty of Rome was signed, the Middle East was already on fire and the cold war was in full swing. France was in the midst of the Algerian war, yet without a name. Another world, at once so distant and so close. Although challenges and threats have changed in nature, their reality is nonetheless tangible: a migration challenge, fueled by a galloping demographic and chronic underdevelopment at our borders; a climate challenge with these disturbances affecting the entire planet and of which we are just starting to come to grips with; Security and terrorist threats; And threats to our economy as the world's largest economic power is engaging in a beak with its trading partners.
Indeed, the most important change compared to 1957 is that the United States, our strategic ally for 60 years, the one who helped us to defeat Nazism and restore Democracy in Western Europe, is about to wipe the transatlantic relations out. He triggered a “currency war”, threatens the European industry with taxes, dramatically stopped the transatlantic debate on fiscal and financial regulations. Even more worrying, he shows ambiguity on the future of NATO while getting closer to Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump openly takes position in favour of Brexit and makes no mystery of his intention to support those who aim to weaken the Single Market and to destroy the euro. It is no coincidence if every populistic force applauded his election, starting with Marine Le Pen.
On March 25th 1957, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, signed the Treaty of Rome. Given the world’s problems, these six founding States decided to give themselves a common future, to build a European union, developing it up to 28, before the United Kingdom started its backward step.
On next March 25th, we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty in a great ceremony in Rome.
This must be the occasion of an awakening instead of a picture of a family at the brink of collapsing. For once, heads of States and governments have recently shown clear thinking in validating the idea of a multi-speed Europe on the occasion of the EU Summit of Valetta. In this almost unnoticed declaration, we can find – at last! – the credible perspective of a political core, probably starting with the Euro zone.
A new founding text has to be written. It must remind all the principles, the values that we all share. It must call the willing Member States to share an upper level of ambitions.
France has to be at the forefront of this initiative, which must address challenges and threats of our time. Political governance of the Euro zone, social and fiscal harmonisation, genuine investment policy benefiting all Europeans, migration policy, defence policy, these are the goals for this vanguard, with a precise timetable.
The historical, economical, geopolitical stakes are so high and so urgent that, if we want to prevent Europe and the values it embodies from being dismantled, it is now or never!