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Summary: September 15, 2003: "Welcome and congratulations Estonia!" (Brussels)
The European Commission warmly congratulates Estonia on the success of the referendum on EU accession. Yesterday’s decision clearly marks Estonia’s return to its rightful place in Europe, and sets the seal on a process of change that has been both difficult and hard-won. “In the dark days of its history, Estonia experienced first-hand what the Iron Curtain did to Europe. Now it can harvest the fruits of a united Europe. The Commission is convinced that Estonia’s unique experience, qualities and talents will be a strong asset in this process,” stressed President Prodi.
The outcome of the referendum confirms the wisdom of Estonia’s leaders and it's people in pursuing accession - the key foreign policy objective over the last ten years. It is also a tribute to the enormous efforts of all people in Estonia to rebuild a home in which they have the freedom to determine their own destiny. “The yes-vote pays tribute to all those who have put so much energy into Estonia’s remarkable transition,” underlined Commissioner Verheugen. “But this is just the beginning. The result demonstrates that Estonia is ready to play its full and active role in building the new enlarged Europe.”
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