Fianna Fáil Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that today’s 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is an important date in the history of the European Union and serves as a reminder that it stands for unity, peace and prosperity.

“The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is an important milestone and my Party and I remain steadfast in our commitment to the European project and the principles upon which it was founded,” he commented.

“The European Union has been a catalyst for peace and prosperity. It has enabled countries which were once rival nations to forge common bonds and build relationships based on ideals of unity and interdependence.

“Our membership of the EU has transformed Ireland into an outward looking, dynamic society with an open and diverse economy. The benefits of the EU can be seen in our improved labour laws and working conditions; in our transport infrastructure; in the access that our businesses enjoy to a market of over 500 million people; in the freedom in which we can travel, work and study in other member states; and in the peace process in Northern Ireland in which the EU played a significant financial and diplomatic role.

“Undoubtedly, the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome comes at a difficult time for the European Project. Brexit, the ongoing threat of terrorism and extremism, and a widening gulf between the EU and its citizens cannot be overlooked.

“It is clear that the EU is in need of reform and a period of reflection is required to determine how the EU can be modified and improved to best serve its citizens.

“Nevertheless, we must remember that the Treaty of Rome was the beginning of what is now the European Union. Its significance in sowing the seed for a peaceful and prosperous Europe is something that we should celebrate and I and Fianna Fáil Party strongly believe that although imperfect, the European Union has been a transformative force for socio-economic good.”