Sixty years after the EU’s founding treaty, leaders have signed the Rome Declaration during anniversary events in the Italian city.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo had threatened not to put pen to paper, fearing any idea of a multispeed Europe would consign the east to second-class status.
The final document does not contain any reference to a multispeed Europe, instead setting the principle that countries continue all together.
“This is something that we are to be very careful about, because I think all countries in the EU should be ready to continue together,” said Robert Fico, Slovakia’s Prime Minister.
“Because I really cannot imagine that this mechanism where some countries will go faster can be the principle of the functioning of the European Union.”
As Europe marks its milestone, Donald Tusk, born in Gdansk, reflected on his childhood – and made a dig at those now ruling in Warsaw.
“I lived behind the Iron Curtain for more than half of my life, where it was forbidden to even dream about those values. Yes, back then, that really was a two-speed Europe,” he said.
Looking ahead, the Rome Declaration concludes: “We have united for the better, Europe is our common future.”