Ireland celebrates 50th anniversary of signing EU Accession Treaty

Ireland must ‘uphold’ the rule of law and respect for human rights within the European Union (EU), Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the signature by Ireland of the Treaty of Accession to the EU.

The past half-century has been “transformative” for the country, thanks in part to EU membership, he said.

The union had ‘backed Ireland’ following Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, ‘making the aim of keeping the peace, avoiding a hard border and protecting the economy from the whole island a major priority from the start of the negotiations,” he said. .

Ireland is now playing its part ‘to defend’ the common values ​​of the Union, such as ‘respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for the rights of rights”, both within the EU and globally, he said.

In recent years, countries like Poland have clashed with other member states over its approach to the rule of law and human rights.

Ireland signed the Accession Treaty to join the EU, then called the European Economic Community, in 1972, officially becoming a member on January 1, 1973. Mr Martin was marking the 50th anniversary of the moment at an event at the National Archives Friday. .

Speaking about the impact of EU membership, Mr Martin said a fledgling Irish state had ‘transitioned from relative economic stagnation and insularity’ to a competitive economy at the heart of the single market.

The relationships “forged” between Irish and UK government politicians at European level “helped to develop mutual trust and understanding”, which helped the peace process in Northern Ireland, he said.

Membership also gave Ireland the impetus “to strengthen its human rights record”, he said.

Ireland’s success in the years following its accession became a ‘beacon’ for other countries of what could be gained inside the EU, such as the countries of central and eastern Europe which have joined later in 2004, he said.

Ireland’s signing of the Accession Treaty follows a long series of negotiations, which began in late 1970.

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