60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome (25 March 1957)
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), which was signed on 25 March 1957. The EEC brought together France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands) in a community whose aim was to achieve integration via trade with a view to achieve peace and economic expansion. The EEC built on the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and paved the way to the European Union. Its objectives were:
- to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe
- to ensure the economic and social progress of Member countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divided Europe
- to achieve the constant improvements of the living and working conditions of the peoples of Europe
- to ensure concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition
- to strengthen the unity of European economies and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less-favoured regions
- to contribute, by means of a common commercial policy, to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade
- to confirm the solidarity which binds Europe and the overseas countries and desiring to ensure the development of their prosperity, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations
- to pool their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and liberty, and calling upon the other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts.
70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan (5 June 1947)
2017 also marks the 70th anniversary of the commencement address by U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall at Harvard University.
In his speech, Secretary Marshall announced the U.S. post-war European Aid Program. The so-called “Marshall Plan” played a critical role in supporting Europe’s recovery following World War 2. It also supported European unity by requesting “some agreement among the countries of Europe as to the requirements of the situation and the part those countries themselves will take”. The Plan aimed at “restoring the confidence of the European people in the economic future of their own” and triggered additional steps in European integration.
The timeline exhibited at the entrance of the building of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in Washington DC actually starts with the Marshall Plan.
Celebrations in Rome, the U.S. and beyond
European Heads of State or Government will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in the Italian capital, where a number of cultural and political events will take place. The European Commission published a White Paper on the Future of Europe to prepare the meeting of the EU27 leaders in Rome and a declaration is expected to be adopted by European leaders on 25 March.
The Delegation of the European Union to the United States, the EU Mission to the United Nations, Member states’ embassies and numerous think tanks and cultural institutions will organize activities to celebrate both anniversaries. Consult our events website for updated information.
Our main outreach activities and events this year will celebrate those anniversaries, including the European Month of Culture, the EU Open House, Conversations in Culture and the EU Rendez-Vous Series.
For more information on those anniversaries: