Skip to content

PM Sipilä "content" with Rome declaration – includes Finnish EU goals

All remaining 27 European Union countries signed an official vote of confidence in the union that leaders put their names to on Saturday, the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Finland's Prime Minister says he is happy with the contents of the declaration.

Juha Sipilä allekirjoittamassa julistusta Roomassa lauantaina.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä signing the Rome declaration. Image: Tiziana Fabi / AFP

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä says he is content with the declaration signed in Rome on Saturday wherein the remaining 27 EU member states committed to adhering to the union's principles for the next decade.

EU leaders signed the declaration in Rome, in the very same room where 60 years previously the Treaty of Rome was signed, creating the European Economic Community (EEC), a precursor to the European Union.

Sipilä says that the three-page-long declaration includes many goals important to Finland, such as developing internal markets and defense cooperation. The declaration states that the EU will commit to "strengthening its joint defense" and better integrating its military industry.

It is likely that not all member states will go along with all of the targets presented in the declaration spanning 10 years.

"It's OK for members to go at different paces, it isn't a threat to the unity of the EU," Sipilä told reporters after the signing ceremony.

Sipilä underlined the EU's victories such as freedom of movement and a joint currency. Unemployment within the union has also decreased to the lowest level in nine years.

"Many things are taken for granted, but they have not always been a given," Sipilä says.

In 60 years the EU has expanded from a six-country coalition to a union spanning 28 countries – 27 after Brexit.

Introducing new members into the union anytime soon seems unlikely, says Prime Minister Sipilä.

"These countries [in the Balkans] are very far from achieving the criteria needed for membership. I don't see it happening in the near future," Sipilä says.

The European Union is currently in talks with Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey about entering. Other candidate countries include Albania and Macedonia.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia