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Ireland celebrates tenth anniversary of largest ever EU Enlargement

European Union flags

Ireland celebrates tenth anniversary of largest ever EU Enlargement

On 1 May 2004 ten new countries joined the European Union in its largest ever enlargement: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Ireland, which held the Presidency of the European Union at the time, celebrated the enlargement with a special Day of Welcomes in the Phoenix Park. They were followed two years later by the entry of Romania and Bulgaria. With Croatia’s accession last year, there are now 28 EU Member States.

 

Seamus Heaney wrote a poem specially commissioned for the occasion titled Beacons at Bealtaine.

Ireland’s trade with Central and Eastern Europe has gone from strength to strength:

 

In the last ten years, Ireland has been changed by the arrival of many people from the ten member states on our shores:

 

Irish culture is flourishing in the ten countries: