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Representation in Ireland
News article1 May 2024Representation in Ireland1 min read

Dublin joins celebrations of the 20th anniversary of EU's 'Big Bang' enlargement

Dublin's Samuel Beckett Bridge was illuminated last night as part of the celebrations across the EU of the 20th Anniversary of the European Union's biggest enlargement which welcomed 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe as new Member States.

Illumination of Dublin's Samuel Beckett Bridge for the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU Enlargement
European Commission

On 1 May 2004, the citizens of Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia became citizens of the EU. 

Twenty years ago Dublin was at the centre of this historic enlargement as it took place during the 2004 Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Photographs of the official ceremony during the special ‘Day of Welcomes’ in the Phoenix Park with the heads of state and government  of the new Member States have a prominent place on the pages of EU history.

Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission representation in Ireland said:

"The decisions that all Europeans took together in the 90s and 2000s led to that very special Day of Welcomes in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. And this has led to one of the great European success stories as this enlargement benefitted hugely the citizens and businesses of both the new Member States and older established EU members such as Ireland". 

Landmark buildings across the EU capitals will be illuminated tonight as part of an European Commission campaign to mark the anniversary.


More information:

- on the celebrations of the 20th Anniversary 

- on the benefits of the 2004 Enlargement


Publication date
1 May 2024
Representation in Ireland