Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (1 May ) on the fifteenth anniversary of the accession of Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia to the European Union on 1 May 2004:
Happy anniversary to our neighbouring countries! Eastern enlargement of the European Union is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, and thus a great success story.
The division of Europe was only overcome once and for all through enlargement. Those who still differentiate between West and East have not recognised the sign of the times. We are one Europe.
We Germans, who live in the heart of Europe, are particularly committed to strengthening cohesion and equipping Europe for the future.