(Vatican Radio) A high-level forum of dialogue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the “Treaty of Rome”, that established the European Community, will take place in the Vatican end of October, in which Pope Francis will participate. Organized by the Holy See and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the October 27-29 congress on the theme, “(Re)thinking Europe” will see hundreds of high-level Church and European Union political representatives join other grassroots actors to contribute to a constructive reflection on the fundamental challenges facing the European project.
Organizers said the meeting will be in the form of a dialogue, with workshops and debates, to facilitate a frank and open discussion between stakeholders of different geographic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds, putting in practice the motto of the EU: “unity in diversity”. “Willing to work for the common good and to put human dignity at the center of public policies, the participants will be called to look for new ways to involve all actors in the society in their respective religious or political responsibilities,” organizers said.
Pope Francis will address the participants on 28 October to reiterate his sincere engagement to a common reflection on the future of the EU and recall the commitment of the Church to this Peace project.
What is the European Community today was born as the European Economic Community (EEC) with the signing of the “Treaty of Rome” on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. It came into force on 1 January 1958. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 established the European Community and introduced the European citizenship. The 2009 Treaty of Lisbon renamed it the “Treaty on the functioning of the European Union”. Since its inception, the EU has expanded to include new members. Today it has 28 member states with an estimated population of over 510 million.