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EU Statement on the accession referendum in Latvia

Summary: September 21, 2003: "Welcome home, Latvia!" (Brussels)

With a clear majority in favour of joining the European Union in 2004, the citizens of Latvia successfully sealed the cycle of referenda on accession which took place in the future new Member States.

"The citizens of nine countries have spoken and voiced a strong YES for the European integration, which should encourage all of us to work even harder in uniting the continent", underlined the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. With a reference to the positive outcome of the referendum in Latvia on 20 September, he added : "We are happy and proud that Latvian citizens decided to join the European Union as well. They will bring their own experiences, talents and good will into our European family."

The outcome of the referendum in Latvia, after intense and hard years of transformation, to become a modern and inclusive democracy and a functioning market economy shows the strong determination on the part of Latvian citizens to safeguard the independence and prosperity of their country within the family of democratic European nations.

"Today is a great day for all Europeans", Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen emphasized. "We welcome a country that naturally belongs to us and we trust, that Latvia as the others future Member States, will enrich and strengthen the European Union. Welcome home, Latvia!"

For further information on Latvia please go to:

  • Ref: EC03-260EN
  • EU source: European Commission
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 21/9/2003

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See also

European Union Member States