Minister Roche - Ireland can take pride in significant role in historic Englargement
Minister Dick Roche speaking on the European Communities Bill 2003, allowing for enlargement of the EU, said that this event represents “one of the most exciting and positive developments since the foundation of the EEC in 1957.”
Roche said, “The process of taking in these countries has been described rather poetically as the ‘soul' of the European Union. The EU is righting a past wrong: the artificial division of Europe which lasted for too long after the Second World War.”
“Accession will allow these countries to turn their backs on years of the threat of chaos, tyranny and poverty which ended hardly a decade ago. It will underpin their achievement of transforming their societies and economies, and basing them on democratic principles and the rule of law. This will be the cast-iron assurance they are all looking for: that there will be no going back to the dark days.”
“New friendships will develop among new and older member states. New alliances will form around common interests and values.
The addition of a large number of small Member States with whom we have interests in common can only be to our advantage. We are already aware of the synergy and cooperation between our countries in the deliberations on the Convention.”
Minister Roche concluded,
“Ireland can take some pride in the role it played in this whole process. From convening the EU Summit in 1990 which started it off their path to membership, to the clear endorsement by the Irish people of this momentous development last year when voting in favour of the Nice Treaty. How appropriate therefore that the act of completion of this enlargement takes place next year when Ireland holds the EU Presidency.”