The European Union will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome
As Britain prepares to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May turned down her invitation to the celebrations on Saturday March 25.
EU leaders will come together in Rome tomorrow to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which was signed on March 25 1957.
The Treaty of Rome was signed by the six founding members in Rome and came into force the next year, paving the way for the development of the EU that we know today.
The union traces its very first origins back to the European Coal and Steel Community, which was established in 1951 as way to integrate coal and steel industries.
The treaty led to the formation of a common market for goods and services and it marked the start of the longest period of peace in European history.
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The EEC later changed its name to the European Union (EU) to reflect its growing involvement in policy areas such as development aid and the environment.
The Treaty of Rome was later amended by the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty signed in 2009.
To mark the 60th anniversary, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Our parents and grandparents founded this Union with one common vision: never again war.
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The Treaty of Rome was one of the building stones of the EU
"It was their strong conviction that breaking down barriers, working together – and not against each other – makes us all stronger.”
[The summit] is a wake that is being portrayed as a celebration
Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister
He added: "The European Union has changed our lives for the better. We must ensure it continues to do so for those that will follow us. For now, all roads lead to Rome.
"After Rome and however it is paved, there is only one way forward: European unity.”
But Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minster of Greece, said there was no reason for the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary.
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“[The summit] is a wake that is being portrayed as a celebration,” he told the Telegraph.
“We are not Eurosceptics but what the establishment is doing will only accelerate the disintegration of the EU.”
Mr Varoufakis argued that the EU is in a “great state of disrepair” and that its legitimacy has died in the public eye.
He added: “Europeans watching on their TV screens their leaders celebrating here in Rome will be asking themselves: what exactly are they celebrating?”