Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, on 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, 25 March 2017
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has on the sixtieth anniversary of the signature of the Treaty of Rome, highlighted the achievements of the European Union.
Minister Flanagan said
“Sixty years ago today, with a view to ensuring stability, prosperity and peace on our continent, the six founding members of the European Union came together in Rome to sign the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community. The Treaty of Rome set Europe on a path of unprecedented unity and progress.
“In 1973 Ireland, along with the United Kingdom and Denmark, joined the EEC so it could participate in this remarkable and unprecedented venture. We immediately began to work alongside our fellow members of the EEC to further the goals of this community. The EEC’s goals were also our goals and we strove to achieve them with our European partners by our side.”
The Minister continued:
“The benefits to Ireland of membership of what has become the European Union have been, and continue to be, vast. Ireland’s natural place was, is and will remain at the heart of Europe. Membership of the European Union has given Irish citizens the right to move, work and reside freely throughout Europe. It has transformed our economy and our society. Irish views and interests are reflected in the relationships and policies of the EU towards the rest of the world and the Union has strongly supported peace and reconciliation in Ireland.”
Minister Flanagan concluded:
“In 1957, when the founding members of the European Union put pen to paper, they laid the foundations of an inclusive, progressive, forward thinking and peaceful Europe. The Union faces many challenges, and we are under no illusions about the urgent need to address them effectively, and about what we need to do as political leaders to communicate its achievements. But this sixtieth anniversary is a day to mark the importance of the journey which began in Rome, and we do so with an understanding of where we have come from and with an optimistic vision of where we are going.”