Cowen welcomes ratification of Treaty of Nice by Ireland
Speaking today, following the deposition by Ireland of its Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty of Nice with the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen T.D. said:
I am delighted that, in formally ratifying the Treaty of Nice, Ireland has today made it possible for the Treaty to enter into force on 1 February. This is a further vital step towards enlargement, which will now take place on the basis of this weekend's historic agreement at Copenhagen.
In voting for Nice last October, the Irish people played their part in making it possible for ten new Member States join the Union. They will now sign an Accession Treaty in the spring and become full Member States during Ireland's Presidency of the EU in 2004. Over fifty years of painful division will be at an end and a new and exciting era in the history of the Union will begin”.
Note to editors:
Following the referendum on the Treaty of Nice of 19 October a number of technical steps have been taken to enable Ireland to ratify the Treaty. These include amendment by the Oireachtas of the European Communities Act, 1972, to make appropriate reference to the Treaty of Nice.
The Instrument of Ratification, signed by the President and Taoiseach on 10 December, was deposited at 11 o'clock this morning by Ireland's Ambassador to Italy, Mr Frank Cogan, with the Italian Foreign Ministry. Since the Treaty of Rome, the Italian Government has acted as depository of the EU Treaties and Instruments of Ratification relating to them.
Under its terms, the Treaty of Nice will enter into force “on the first day of the second month following that in which the instrument of ratification is deposited by the last signatory State to fulfil that formality”. As Ireland is the last signatory State to do so, it will now enter into force on 1 February 2003.