Parliament celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU’s most ambitious enlargement

Parliament celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU’s most ambitious enlargement
Parliament celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU’s most ambitious enlargement

On Wednesday morning, MEPs, representatives of member states, as well as young people born 20 years ago celebrated the accession of ten new member states, including Latvia, to the European Union.

Parliament’s ceremonial sitting to mark the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU enlargement was attended by EP President Roberta Metsol, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, former EP President Pat Cox and former Commission President Romano Prodi.

Addressing those present at the gala event, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said:

“Europe has faced unprecedented challenges in the last two decades. With joint forces, we have succeeded in facing them with honor. I know how great the temptation has been in the most difficult moments for everyone to act on their own, but we have resisted it. Because we understood that the European The Union, despite its frustrations and imperfections, provides the greatest security for all our citizens.

There is no doubt about the transformative impact of EU enlargement on the lives of Europeans for generations. It is clearly visible in each of our member states. Starting with new, practical rights for citizens and ending with opportunities for both young and old. From the Single Market, which strengthens our economy, to Cohesion Policy, which delivers on our commitment to equality for Europeans. The European Union is not just about transposing legislation. Its influence reaches far deeper and wider.

Unity does not mean homogeneity. Europe does not try to make everyone equal. We are proud of our differences. We are proud of our unique traditions, cultures, languages ​​and diversity. We have proven this over the past 20 years.

Europe means accepting the different while providing equal opportunities. Everyone should have the same opportunities, but not necessarily the same views. That’s where our strength lies. This is our Europe. EU membership is beneficial for all parties. Since 2004, Europe has probably changed every one of its member states. But each of these member states has also changed Europe.”

In the solemn ceremony, current and former EU leaders were joined by former European Union Enlargement Commissioner Günther Verheugen and representatives of the ten member states that joined the European Union 20 years ago:

  • Former Cypriot Foreign Minister Georgs Iakovu
  • Former Prime Minister of Hungary Pēters Medgeši
  • Former President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
  • Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antans Valionis
  • Former Prime Minister of Malta Lawrence Gonzi
  • The former negotiator for Malta’s accession to the European Union, Richard Kashia Caruana
  • Former Prime Minister of Slovenia Anton Rops
  • Former Prime Minister of Slovakia Mikulas Dzurinda
  • Former Prime Minister of Poland Leszek Miller
  • Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Kristina Ojulanda
  • Pavels Telička, the former Czech negotiator for joining the European Union

During the ceremony, the guests answered the questions asked by the young people present in Strasbourg from the “new” Member States born on or around May 1, 2004.

The ceremony ended with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” performed by “Voix de Stras” a cappella choir.

See the eventSee the video recording of the event.a video recording.

General information

The Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia joined the European Union on May 1, 2004. It has been the most ambitious enlargement in the history of the EU so far.

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The article is in Latvian

Tags: Parliament celebrates #20th anniversary EUs ambitious enlargement


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