Public Lecture on the 10th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement | EUNewsletter

Public Lecture on the 10th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement

23 May 2014
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On 21 May a public lecture dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU enlargement was organised in the “Yerevan Plaza” business centre. In 2004, 10 European countries became a member of the European Union: those countries were Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. On this occasion, the speakers invited from Spain and Great Britain gave lectures on different aspects of the EU enlargement.
Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea and Ambassadors from Poland, France, Lithuania and Czech Republic gave welcome speeches before the keynote lectures. The Ambassadors expressed their delight and excitement about their countries being members of the European Union; each of them presented the individual experience of their country before and after the membership.
Head of the EU Department in Armenia Traian Hristea said: ‘The accession of ten member states has been crucial not only for those countries but also for us in Europe: we are now able to share stability and security and also to contribute to prosperity. This enlargement reunited Europe after decades of artificial division. It was also a way for all of us to contribute to democracy and freedom, and for many people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, it was a moment when their dreams came true’. Ambassador highlighted that enlargement was an efficient tool to strengthen security, prosperity and stability in Europe. He added that the EU, being the world’s biggest single market after the enlargement, became richer, safer and stronger in terms of economy, politics, culture and social issues. It has also reinforced the Europe Union’s weight in the world: as a union of 28 countries with over 500 million citizens, the EU has its voice heard around the globe.
‘Now we have eight countries knocking on our doors; they are eager to become a member of our family at the time when some people within the EU started having doubts. I consider it very valuable, having these countries knocking at our doors, because it might be too late to sound the alarm bell when something goes wrong’, Hristea said.
Head of the European Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Armen Liloyan highly appreciated the opportunity to discuss various aspects European policy and EU-Armenia relations. He said that back in 2004 when negotiations on European Partnership Instrument programme had just started, it was practically unreal to picture that 10 years later Armenia and the EU can achieve such a progress in their bilateral relations. He highlighted a certain advancement in separate fields of cooperation – political dialogue, visa facilitation, educational programmes in which Armenia is eligible to participate and much more.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Republic of Poland to Armenia, Zdzislaw Raczynski presented the current situation in Poland 10 years after accession to the EU. Raczynski started his speech with reciting the course of history for Poland before the EU membership. He noted that before becoming a member state, Poland had suffered from lots of conflicts and political disasters. He urged all those who had any reservations concerning the EU and its activity to look at the example of Poland and consider it as a success story. He ended his speech saying that freedom did not come to this country at a cheap price, so we should not take it for granted and we should struggle to keep it.
Following the official speeches by Ambassadors, questions and answers session began: journalists and participants showed vivid interest towards the EU enlargement concept and future perspectives. The most popular topics among the auditorium were: Armenia entering Customs Union and not signing Association Agreement with the EU, Eastern Partnership related issues and even the EU’s stand on Hungary setting free Ramil Safarov.
After the Ambassadors’ session, keynote speakers gave the lectures.
Raul Hernandez Sagrera, Research Fellow at the Barcelona University of International Studies, covered the issues of mobility and people to people contacts as a major tool for the EU enlargement. Besides, he referred to several tools aimed at fostering mobility within the Eastern Partnership, such as visa facilitation, visa liberalisation and mobility partnership.
Later, Paul James Cardwell from the School of Law at Sheffield University gave a personal perspective on how the 2004 and 2007 enlargements have changed the face of the European Union, including its legal and institutional system. He related to the issue of post-enlargement tensions between ‘new’ and ‘old’ Member States and the important decision for the Union as to what it stands for and where it should head.

Public Lecture on the 10th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement

On 21 May a public lecture dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU enlargement was organised in the “Yerevan Plaza” business centre. In 2004, 10 European countries became a member of the European Union: those countries were Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. On this occasion, the speakers invited from Spain and Great Britain gave lectures on different aspects of the EU enlargement. Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea and Ambassadors from Poland, France, Lithuania and Czech Republic gave welcome speeches before the keynote lectures. The Ambassadors expressed their delight and excitement about their countries being members of the European Union; each of them presented the individual experience of their country before and after the membership. Head of the EU Department in Armenia Traian Hristea said: ‘The accession of ten member states has been crucial not only for those countries but also for us in Europe: we are now able to share stability and security and also to contribute to prosperity. This enlargement reunited Europe after decades of artificial division. It was also a way for all of us to contribute to democracy and freedom, and for many people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, it was a moment when their dreams came true’. Ambassador highlighted that enlargement was an efficient tool to strengthen security, prosperity and stability in Europe. He added that the EU, being the world’s biggest single market after the enlargement, became richer, safer and stronger in terms of economy, politics, culture and social issues. It has also reinforced the Europe Union’s weight in the world: as a union of 28 countries with over 500 million citizens, the EU has its voice heard around the globe. ‘Now we have eight countries knocking on our doors; they are eager to become a member of our family at the time when some people within the EU started having doubts. I consider it very valuable, having these countries knocking at our doors, because it might be too late to sound the alarm bell when something goes wrong’, Hristea said. Head of the European Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Armen Liloyan highly appreciated the opportunity to discuss various aspects European policy and EU-Armenia relations. He said that back in 2004 when negotiations on European Partnership Instrument programme had just started, it was practically unreal to picture that 10 years later Armenia and the EU can achieve such a progress in their bilateral relations. He highlighted a certain advancement in separate fields of cooperation – political dialogue, visa facilitation, educational programmes in which Armenia is eligible to participate and much more. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Republic of Poland to Armenia, Zdzislaw Raczynski presented the current situation in Poland 10 years after accession to the EU. Raczynski started his speech with reciting the course of history for Poland before the EU membership. He noted that before becoming a member state, Poland had suffered from lots of conflicts and political disasters. He urged all those who had any reservations concerning the EU and its activity to look at the example of Poland and consider it as a success story. He ended his speech saying that freedom did not come to this country at a cheap price, so we should not take it for granted and we should struggle to keep it. Following the official speeches by Ambassadors, questions and answers session began: journalists and participants showed vivid interest towards the EU enlargement concept and future perspectives. The most popular topics among the auditorium were: Armenia entering Customs Union and not signing Association Agreement with the EU, Eastern Partnership related issues and even the EU’s stand on Hungary setting free Ramil Safarov. After the Ambassadors' session, keynote speakers gave the lectures. Raul Hernandez Sagrera, Research Fellow at the Barcelona University of International Studies, covered the issues of mobility and people to people contacts as a major tool for the EU enlargement. Besides, he referred to several tools aimed at fostering mobility within the Eastern Partnership, such as visa facilitation, visa liberalisation and mobility partnership. Later, Paul James Cardwell from the School of Law at Sheffield University gave a personal perspective on how the 2004 and 2007 enlargements have changed the face of the European Union, including its legal and institutional system. He related to the issue of post-enlargement tensions between 'new' and 'old' Member States and the important decision for the Union as to what it stands for and where it should head.