Today we celebrate 60 years since the signature of the Rome Treaties, which were the first step towards a united Europe. Since the establishment of the European Communities in 1957, the citizens of our Member States have enjoyed six decades of unprecedented peace, prosperity and security. This achievement is in stark contrast to the terrible suffering during the two World Wars which marked the first half of the last century and in which our European home was the biggest victim.
For countries that had long been at war European integration has proved to be the most successful peace project in our history. During these 60 years, our Union has grown from six to 28 members; it has become the second strongest economy in the world, the largest global market and the leading foreign investor in many parts of the world. Our founding principles – multilateralism, human rights, international cooperation, sustainable development, inclusive societies, democracy and solidarity – have been acknowledged around the world. In Europe, countries that have embraced these values are now our Member States, while others – including Serbia – are working towards membership based on these common values.
Whatever events may bring in the future, one thing is certain: the EU will continue to put promoting international peace and security, development cooperation, human rights and responding to humanitarian crises at the heart of its foreign and security policies.