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EU leaders to debate Europe's future at European Parliament

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-15 09:01

EU leaders to debate Europe's future at European Parliament

A demonstrator wears a European Union themed T-shirt during a protest in favour of amendments to the Brexit Bill outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, March 13, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

STRASBOURG - On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaty which formed the European Economic Community that preceded the European Union (EU), leaders are scheduled to debate the future of the bloc on Wednesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Maltese Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech will join Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to debate the outcomes of the 9-10 March European Council meeting, and discuss the "Rome Declaration".

For many observers, the discussion will be a debate on the future of the European Union, following a similar discussion that European Council meeting earlier this month, as well as the publishing of a European Commission White Paper outlining five possible scenarios for Europe after the conclusion of Brexit negotiations.

With the British House of Lords passing the Brexit bill late on Monday evening and paving the way for Prime Minister Theresa May to formally launch the divorce negotiations, European unity has been under exceptional pressure.

In his first address to the European Council summit as President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani had underlined the need for union.

"Today more than ever we can see how important European unity is," he told fellow leaders on March 9.

On Wednesday's debate with MEPs, though, EU leaders are likely to be faced with difficult questions as parliamentarians representing all 28 current member states -- including Britain -- and the full spectrum of political parties are likely to want more detailed assurances on the future of the bloc.

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