European Union leaders mark treaty's 60th anniversary

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Most of the people out today were young Italians, 87 per cent of whom, a recent poll by Italian pollster Doxa showed, want to stay in the EU.

The anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which established the Europoean Economic Community, the predecessor...

The celebrations concentrated on reminders of the EU's main achievement of securing peace and prosperity for 60 years after the destruction of the Second World War.

On Friday, 27 of the bloc's leaders will have an audience with Pope Francis, while the commemoration of the 1957 signing of the Treaty of Rome will be on Saturday.

As they acknowledge the challenges, European Union leaders see some indications for hope.

But the declaration flashed out few detailed goals for the next decade to reenergise European integration.

They promised to listen to citizens.

The stars of the European Union could also be seen - or perhaps it was just some makeshift sun protection...

The EU's Rome summit, while vowing unity, could instead be a watershed moment in moving away from it and toward a more practical road of partial alliances on certain issues.

Britain's decision to leave the bloc is one of a host of crises facing an increasingly divided European Union, along with migration, the economy, terrorism and the rise of populist and nationalist parties. Yet, it was embodied in the paper."As a political entity, Europe will either be united, or will not be at all", President of the European Council Donald Tusk said at the ceremony. One prime minister - Theresa May - will not attend because she is expected to hit the Brexit button four days later.

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"At that time we all looked to the West, towards a free and unifying Europe, instinctively feeling that this was the very future we were dreaming about". This is a draft document which will have, probably, insertions from different countries. "Yet today I am told I'm a foreigner and should go back where I come from", said Joan Pons, a Spanish nurse who has lived in Britain for 17 years.

Petru also said the ruling conservative Law and Justice party's stance on Europe doesn't reflect the will of the nation, which is overwhelmingly pro-EU.

At the Sistine Chapel, EU leaders posed with Francis in front of the Michelangelo fresco, which depicts the end of the world.

Pope Francis had earlier warned on the eve of the summit that the crisis-hit bloc "risks dying" without a new vision.

Seventy years ago, the United States helped Europe to rise from the destructions of WWII with the Marshall Plan.

Muscat called Europeans to be ambitious for the future.

"Prove today that you are the leaders of Europe", he told heads of state and government. We will work together at the level that makes a real difference, be it the European Union, national, regional, or local, and in a spirit of trust and loyal cooperation, both among Members States and between them and the EU institutions, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.

"Ours is a time of discernment, one that invites us to determine what is essential and to build on it", the Pope said.

"They did not lack boldness, nor did they act too late", he said.

"We have stopped in our tracks and this has caused a crisis of rejection by public opinion", said their host, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, noting Britons' repudiation of the EU.