The renewed relationship will be set out in a initiative called the ‘Rome declaration’
European Council president Donald Tusk is forcing the 27 member states, excluding the UK, to commit to “an ambitious vision” of “political consolidation” for the future.
EU leaders are meeting in Malta today, where prime minister Theresa May is expected to give an update on her plans for Brexit.
In a draft document circulated ahead of the summit, Mr Tusk acknowledges the “unprecedented external threats” facing Europe and is attempting to unite the bloc amid these pressures.
It suggests celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which provided the framework for an “ever closer union”, as a milestone to focus the proposals on.
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan Mon, January 16, 2017
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
Rome itself will celebrate the signing on March 25, and the renewed relationship will be set out in a initiative called the ‘Rome declaration’.
The document was prepared by Mr Tusk in cooperation with Malta, which holds the rotating presidency, and Italy which is organising the event.
It says “The European Union is at a historical turning point”, and is “facing important internal challenges as exemplified by Brexit.”
The aftermath of Brexit saw other countries bolstered by the bold move the exit the bloc
It sets out how the EU can overcome its worst and most damaging period in its history, following the UK’s vote to leave the bloc.
Mrs May will trigger Article 50 in March, starting two years of formal negotiations.
It also identified other global threats coming from terrorism, immigration, Russia, Donald Trump and the fiscal crises in Greece and Spain as issues which could damage and disrupt the EU.
The European Union is at a historical turning point
The aftermath of Brexit saw other countries bolstered by the bold move the exit the bloc, which saw far-right parties gain popularity across the continent, notably in Germany and France.
In response some have called for ‘more Europe’ to combat wavering commitment to the EU.
Mr Tusk acknowledges the “unprecedented external threats” facing Europe
And this was echoed by Mr Tusk, who set out in the document that there should be “further deepening the Economic and Monetary Union,” as he called on leaders to “reflect on “greater unity in foreign policy and more investments in our defense.”
Some diplomats involved in the declaration have claimed it could lay the foundations for a “two-speed Europe”, allowing those wanting to dive in to closer integration to do so, and those who are more reluctant allowed to hang back.
Mrs May will trigger Article 50 in March, starting two years of formal negotiations
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An EU official called the process “pragmatic ambition”.
The Rome declaration will set out the political vision, which will be followed by legislative measures in at a leaders’ summit in June.
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