Europe will celebrate on Thursday the 10th anniversary of the most extensive EU enlargement ever. Ten years ago, on 1 May 2004, ten countries joined the EU: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta.
“The reality is that ten years on, Europe is stronger, richer and safer – politically, economically and culturally. Enlargement has made the EU the world's biggest single market. Increased trade between member states brings new jobs, new investment, more growth. Enlargement has also further strengthened Europe's weight in the world. As a Union of now more than 500 million citizens, we make our voice heard across the globe.” said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.