Minister of State Treacy addresses European Journalists on the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr. Noel Treacy, T.D., addressed the Irish Chapter of the Association of European Journalists in Dublin this afternoon, on the subject of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which falls next Sunday 25 March.
The Minister said he was confident that this weekend’s anniversary celebrations “will serve to remind us all of what the Union means to Europe. It is not a panacea for all of our continent’s problems, but it is certainly an important instrument for securing key gains for the people of Europe. Its record is unrivalled. No other part of the world has succeeded in creating such an innovative partnership between nations. There are those who question the Union’s future value, but they are in a very small minority here in Ireland.”
He continued: “It is my hope that the 50th anniversary celebrations this weekend will serve to galvanise the Union so that it can answer the doubters and point the way forward for Europe with renewed energy and confidence. We owe it to our people to ensure that the Union of 27 members can continue to pursue, in the changed circumstances of the 21st century, those values and aspirations that have served us so well this past 50 years.”
The Minister argued that the best way for the Union to face the challenges of the future was to return to the Constitutional Treaty, “the product of the most democratic consultation process in the Union’s history.”
Background: The Treaty of Rome, 1957 is the founding treaty of the European Union. European Heads of State and Government will gather in Berlin this weekend to mark the anniversary with a political declaration, the Berlin Declaration. It is hoped that the Berlin Declaration will help generate momentum among Member States to reach agreement on the constitutional question.
The European Constitution was agreed by Heads of State and Government in June 2004, during the Irish Presidency. It has since been ratified by 18 EU Member States, representing two thirds of Member States and 280m Europeans. The Treaty was rejected by voters in the Netherlands and France in 2005. After the French and Dutch “No” votes the European Council initiated a period of reflection. The German Presidency will report to the June 2007 European Council with proposals for future action.
The Irish Government is strongly committed to the European Constitution. However, the Government has deferred holding a referendum on the European Constitution until the uncertainty at EU level has been resolved.Top