- Title: GERMANY: Berlin prepares for the EU's 50th birthday party
- Date: 24th March 2007
- Summary: EU AND GERMAN FLAGS OUTSIDE THE SCHLOSS BELLEVUE
- Embargoed: 8th April 2007 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: European Union
- Reuters ID: LVADJBI0RWJHVXG6XB0K5AXAS0MX
- Story Text: Berlin gets ready for the arrival of EU Heads of State it marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which founded the European Economic Community.
Berlin has been preparing for the EU summit and the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the European Union on Saturday.
Hotels are polishing their plaques and the police have set up fences and sent out sniffer dogs as leaders from the 27 member states gather this weekend in Berlin to celebrate the club's 50th birthday.
The European Union president Germany will set the bloc a two-year deadline to modernise its institutions during the summit. The "Berlin Declaration", to be presented in the German capital on Sunday, vows to give the bloc a "renewed common basis" by 2009 -- wording Berlin hopes will underscore the EU's commitment to overhaul its structures with a new constitution.
But the two-page document, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters before its formal unveiling, makes no specific mention of a new treaty and avoids buzzwords like "enlargement", reflecting deep divisions in the bloc on how to move forward half a century after the founding Treaty of Rome.
Festivities are being staged all over the city, including an exhibition on 50 years of the EU, which will then go on to be staged in 50 other european cities; two days of street parties; all-night museum shows and open nightclubs in a once-divided German capital that was at the heart of the Cold War.
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