Greece-EU Anniversary

Thursday 27th May marks one of a programme of celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of Greece's accession to the European Economic Community (EEC), the predecessor to the European Union (EU).  The anniversary will be commemorated at a special event to be held in the Zappeion Hall in Athens.  The event will also mark the official launch of the European Commission's Conference on the Future of Europe, which is a citizen-led series of debates and discussions about the bloc's future.  Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou will be attending, while speeches are expected by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, European Parliament President David Sasoli and European Council President Charles Michel.  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will address attendees via recorded messages.

The journey of Greece to the EU started in 1959 when the country applied for association with the newly established EEC.  The agreement was suspended after a military coup in Greece in 1967 and was re-activated after the restoration of democracy in July 1974.  The accession negotiations concluded in May 1979 with the signing of the Treaty of Accession in Athens at the Zappeion Megaron (pictured right).  The Accession took place two years later, on 1st January 1981.  EU membership has helped Greece modernize its state and infrastructure, strengthen its economy and accelerate social progress.  These last 40 years have given Greece an uninterrupted period of political stability, peace, democracy and prosperity despite the recent economic crisis.  'Greece-EU: stronger together for 40 years'.