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October 20, 2002: Ireland backs European Union expansion

Nearly 50 per cent of Ireland’s 1.9 million registered voters turned out to vote

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Hungarian Abigeil Shiridan celebrates with other supporters after Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced the result of the referendum on the Nice Treaty at Dublin Castle.
Gulf News

2002 - Removing the biggest obstacle to the post-Cold War dream of European integration, Irish voters backed the European Union’s eastward expansion in a resounding 63-to-37 referendum vote, keeping on track plans to push the Union to the borders of Russia. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and leaders across western and eastern Europe welcomed the referendum result after warnings that another Irish “no” could have derailed the EU’s growth plans. Nearly 50 per cent of Ireland’s 1.9 million registered voters turned out to vote. Final results showed 906,292 people voted ‘yes’ and 534,887 voted ‘no, ‘ making Ireland the last of the 15 EU nations to endorse an expansion treaty that Ahern and his 14 EU colleagues signed in Nice, France.

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