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EU leaders have met in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the bloc's founding treaty.
The 27 national leaders gathered in the Campidoglio palace where the six founding states signed the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957.
They have signed a new declaration in honour of the 1957 Treaty.
Live now- EU leaders together in Rome to celebrate #EU60 - https://t.co/a3gMlEd74e #FutureOfEurope pic.twitter.com/pgvRSQ3Gxh- European Commission (@EU_Commission) 25 mars 2017
60e anniversaire des trait'es de Rome - https://t.co/B2h2lMGgW0#italie #politiques #ue #eu #trait'e #rome #europe #bruxelles #brexit #crise pic.twitter.com/dG1KeJ9WzW- Edoardo Secchi (@EdoardoSecchi_) 25 mars 2017
Today we celebrate the Treaties of Rome and 60 years of peace in the EU. Watch my speech LIVE in Rome: https://t.co/lwaJvibaDR #EU60 pic.twitter.com/E0keRcGfZO- Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 25 mars 2017
#BREAKING EU 27 sign Rome declaration, 60 years after founding treaty- AFP news agency (@AFP) 25 mars 2017
Quatre pr'esidents de l'UE et un premier ministre italien. #Rome2017 pic.twitter.com/HyUEgU5YRq- Jean Quatremer (@quatremer) 25 mars 2017
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told those gathered in Rome we are not tired of Europe, but we want it to work better.
"There have been too many mistakes, it is not complete, it is often removed from real issues, divided, powerless, too bureaucratic," Tajani said.
"As European Parliament president, the growing disenchantment among citizens worries me. We cannot progress without bringing Europe closer to the people."
A "watered-down" declaration of unity
Without the so-called Brexit looming, the summit in the opulent palazzo where founding members France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg signed the original treaty, might have been modestly hopeful.
All the member states' economies are growing after the slump of the last decade. Recent chaos at Europe's borders has abated as refugees are, for now, held in check.
But the impending Brexit has undermined the Union's self-confidence and has also encouraged eurosceptic nationalist movements.
Leaders have been obliged to water-down a grand birthday declaration of unity.
"We have united for the better," the text concludes. "Europe is our common future."
But it may disappoint those who think more ambition and coordination is the answer to Europe's problems.
EU seeks post-Brexit unity by going back to roots at Rome https://t.co/yVczcHXMdF pic.twitter.com/bwYk6v4NYH- Reuters Top News (@Reuters) 25 mars 2017
Orban waits a few seconds before signing on dotted line for Rome declaration...- Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) 25 mars 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May was conspicuous by her absence.
May will write to EU summit chairman Donald Tusk this coming Wednesday to formally announce that the UK is beginning a two-year period of negotiations to leave the Union.
Britain shunned the new European community when it was created, later joining in 1973. The country voted to leave in a referendum last June.
What the Pope says
At the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis told Europe's leaders the continent faces a "vacuum of values".
The pontiff condemned anti-immigrant populism and extremism that he said posed a moral threat to the Union.
"When a body loses its sense of direction and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks dying," Pope Francis said.
EU Heads of State and Government at an audience with Pontifex on the eve of the #EU60 celebrations and summit in Rome pic.twitter.com/ESWXrlBmVV- European Commission (EU_Commission) 24 mars 2017
Harley the cockatoo enjoys playing games at home with her family. One of her favorites is when she can play throw and catch. She cleverly uses her beak to pick up, throw, and catch the plastic cups she uses. Credit: Harley the cockatoo via Storyful
This volunteer is helping look after animals in the Endangered Primate Rescue center in Cuc Phuong National Park, in Vietnam. Here, she is looking after some lovely and affectionate baby gibbons. Credit: Swiatoczamigoski via Storyful
Regular Canadian YouTuber David Freiheit has decided to create more vlogging-style videos, documenting his days. He started by showing the world a normal day of his in Montreal, which featured some unusual, and later regretted, shopping purchases. Credit: Viva Frei via Storyful
Against the tense backdrop of an impending Brexit, the EU hopes to reaffirm 'a common future' for Europe when its leaders gather in Rome Saturday, 60 years after the Treaty of Rome forged a historic single European bloc.
An ascending escalator packed with shoppers at a Mong Kok shopping mall rapidly reversed direction at around 4pm on Saturday afternoon, leaving at least 17 injured.
Local paper Apple Daily reported that 17 people were injured in the accident, two of them severely. They were sent to Kwong Wah Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The escalator in the busy Mong Kok shopping mall on Argyle Street is one of the longest indoor escalators in Hong Kong.
Cop turns his camera on me in Hollywood. These guys mostly have good
attitudes. It would be interesting to know if they have been promoted or
still working the same spots. I guess I need to ride to Hollywood to
find out. This was one of many made 10-31-2014.
Police Lieutenant accuses well known activist of mentally masturbating. If that is all I am accused of why have I spent so much time in court and in jail? Is it illegal to mentally masturbate?
Full disclosure. I am pretty sure I have never mentally masturbated. I could be wrong about that. I'm not sure what it means to masturbate mentally.
Does mean I am imagining having sex with my woman?
Or does it mean I imagine masturbating?