Remarks following the Accession Day Press Conference

"A day to acknowledge what has been achieved and to pledge ourselves to working together for the future" - remarks following meeting of the three Presidents
Dublin Castle, 1 May 2004

Source: www.eu2004.ie

"Today is a day of welcomes, it's a day of celebration, it is a hugely historic day particularly for the countries who have worked so hard to achieve it", the Taoiseach and President of the European Council Mr. Bertie Ahern said this morning at a joint press conference with President Cox and President Prodi to mark Accession Day.

Mr. Ahern said that May 1 2004 is a day for European leaders and people to "acknowledge what has been achieved and to pledge ourselves to working together for the future".

Responding to press queries on the subject of a European Constitution, both Mr. Ahern and President of the European Commission Mr. Romano Prodi said it was important to reach an agreement and that the decision making process would be a key issue in the newly enlarged Union.

"I honestly believe, and I think all my colleagues do, that we need to make changes and have an effective system to make decisions, to process the enormous challenging issues that are always in front of us", Mr. Ahern said.

President of the European Parliament Mr. Pat Cox said that discussions about enlargement of the EU and about agreement on a Constitution "must be evidence led and not prejudice led".

"It does not require of us a single army, it does not require of us a single policy. But it does demand of us a common capacity to resolve to do more together, pooling our respective sovereignties where we choose to do so", Mr. Cox said.