Speech by Vice-President Jyrki KATAINEN on behalf of President Juncker at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament on the debate on the Future of Europe with Giuseppe Conte, President of the Council of Ministers of Italy.

European Commission
Press Release
Strasbourg, 12 February 2019


President Tajani, Il Presidente del Consiglio Conte, Honourable Members, Italy holds a very special place in the heart of our Union. It has given Europe so much and has been there from the very start, shaping our Union every step of the way. It was Spinelli and Rossi, imprisoned on the island of Ventotene, who set out their dream of a “Free and United Europe”. They called on the nations of Europe, so long adversaries, to come together to ensure that the mistakes of the past would never happen again. After the war, De Gasperi became one of the great pioneers of European unity. And in 1957, it was on the Capitoline Hill that the Treaty of Rome was signed and our Union was born with six founding Member States.  Sixty years on in 2017, it was once again on those same steps in Rome that the Leaders of our Member States stood side-by-side to renew their vows for our Union. This time there were 27 of them from right across our Continent – a sign of how far we have come. I say this...
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