Troubled EU seeks unity on 60th birthday
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 3:05
A sea of blue EU flags stretched down Piccadilly and past Trafalgar Square, interspersed by signs saying "I am European" and "I'm 15 - I want my future back!" UEMarseille #UEenRegion pic.twitter.com/wiShIzFNUd- European Commission (EU_Commission) 25 mars 2017 Protests While EU leaders met in the opulent palazzo where the original Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, union leaders and agricultural producers joined crowds of people calling for a better Europe on the streets of Rome.
"Today it is not enough to call for unity and to protest against multiple speeds", he said in a speech in front of the 27 European Union leaders (minus Britain's Theresa May who is buy writing a letter to formally trigger Article 50 that will be delivered in Brussels on Wednesday).
The declaration says: "We will act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction".
"We have stopped in our tracks and this has caused a crisis of rejection by public opinion", said their host, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, noting Britons' repudiation of the EU.
To move ahead though, the leaders recognized that full unity on all things will be unworkable.
Alastair Campbell, the first speaker at the rally, said before a moments silence: "Before we talk about Brexit, before we call on any of the speakers, we need to recognise that something really bad happened not far from here just the other day".
The EU has often done this in practice in the past, with only 19 nations in the eurozone and not all members participating in the Schengen zone of borderless travel. It has already extended to social legislation and even divorce rules among European Union nationals.
On the margins of the summit, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was asked about Brexit.
Antonio Tajani, the European Parliament's president, admitted that the EU has a number of internal problems, describing the bloc as inefficient and overly bureaucratized. I want us to all go forward.
The single currency and freedom of movement, the cornerstones of the European Union, have recently been increasingly challenged by the economic and migrant crises.
ROME-Pope Francis has called for unity and solidarity in Europe ahead of the Saturday EU summit in Rome.
"If Article 50 is triggered we'll do everything we can to stop the damage this government is causing".
Mr Tusk urged the bloc to come together following Britain's planned departure. "We have the strength to start out again".
All 27 leaders, along with the heads of Brussels institutions have a signed declaration on renewed unity.
"It helps to keep in mind that Europe is a family of peoples and that - as in every good family - there are different sensitivities, yet all can grow to the extent that all are united".