- Published: 22 March 2017
This 25th of March 2017 we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which marks the beginning of the process of European integration that led to the creation of the European Union.
What began as a project of peace building through economic integration quickly evolved to be the most ambitious process of peaceful social, political and juridical harmonisation of sovereign nations ever to be found in modern history.
MEDEL – MagistratsEuropéens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, founded in 1985, has since the beginning inscribed within in its goals “the establishment of a common debate among magistrates from different Countries to support European community integration, in view of the creation of a European political union”.
It is therefore within its scope that MEDEL joins all those who commemorate this landmark.
Our commitment to European integration, however, forces us to a more deep analysis, not only celebrating what was achieved until now, but specially drawing the attention to all the challenges that future brings to the European project.
1. Towards a true union of rights
The economic crisis that has affected Europe in the last decade has made Europe shift from that goal and move towards the mere protection of the interests of investors, without considering the real suffering of the most disfavoured of its citizens.
The achievements in the building of the single market of the last 60 years must be met by the establishment of a true community of law with the same level of protection for social and worker’s rights in all member States, protecting and defending the Welfare State, the most valuable of the European post-war achievements.
Economic integration must not be seen as a goal in itself. The founders of united Europe saw the creation of a single market as an opportunity for peace, not for the free and unlimited development of business, without respect for the rights of citizens and workers.
2. For an open and solidary Europe, that fights racism and xenophobia and welcomes immigrants
The tragedy ongoing on the Mediterranean is the biggest challenge to European solidarity and a shame to all the European institutions. Thousands of immigrants that seek in Europe the peace, stability and prosperity they lack in their own countries are dying before our eyes and not enough is being done to save them.
Migrations have built Europe throughout the centuries – either migrations within Europe or migrations of Europeans to other continents in difficult times. It’s a humanitarian and also historical duty for Europe to defend and protect immigrants that wish only to have a decent life in our continent.
Europe must stand together against all forms of racism and xenophobia towards immigrants and must provide them the minimum standards and equal opportunities they need for a decent and honest life within its borders.
In its decision to award the European Union the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, the Nobel Committee stated that “the stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace. The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations" “.
When commemorating this anniversary and although the challenges we face are huge, let’s not forget this cornerstone of the European project – fraternity between nations and between all men.
May the future generations be able to make Europe stand again as a beacon of solidarity and humanity for the whole world.
March 25th, 2017.