The Constitutional Moment Of The 1st Of May 2004

Christophi & Associates


Christophi & Associates
On 1 May 2024, ten new Member States, including Cyprus, joined the European Union.
European Union Government, Public Sector
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On 1 May 2024, ten new Member States, including Cyprus, joined the European Union.

The 2004 enlargement has been heralded as a constitutional moment for Europe, due to the unification of Eastern and Western Europe. This is the biggest enlargement in the history of the Union both in terms of population and in terms of number of Member States.

To mark this important anniversary, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) organized on Friday 3 May 2024, at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, a conference entitled '20th anniversary of the accession of 10 States to the European Union: A new constitutional moment for Europe."

The purpose of the conference was to examine the contribution of the 2004 enlargement to the promotion of the European integration project. In this context it was attempted to answer the following questions:

  • Did the enlargement help to bring about greater uniformity of EU law and to regulate further areas falling within the Union's competence?
  • What lessons do we draw, 20 years later, in terms of extending and deepening the project of European integration?
  • Has this enlargement, the biggest in the history of the Union, with its successes and difficulties, contributed to the strengthening of the Union of European citizens?

The conference was divided into 3 major sessions.

The first , examined the history of the largest enlargement in the history of the Union. It analyzed the challenges of the 2004 enlargement and the contribution of the ten new Member States to the development of Union law over the last 20 years.

The second, dealt with common European values. In particular, the contribution of the 2004 enlargement to the development of the Union as a 'Union of values' was examined.

The third session dealt with the issue of economic integration and how Union law has ensured, over the last 20 years, under the supervision of the Union's judicial bodies, coherence and convergence of the economies of the Union Member States and in particular of the new Member States.

All CJEU Judges, former CJEU Judges, Union Member Supreme Courts Presidents and other guests attended the conference.

I had the opportunity to follow the proceedings of the conference within which the opportunity was given to record for LegalMatters Podcast, 4 podcasts with the Cypriot Judges serving at the CJEU.

These are:

Cyprus, despite its small size, is deservedly represented in the CJEU, taking into account that the Cypriot Judges have been elected to the posts of Presidents of Chambers or to the Vice-Presidency of the General Court. The election to these posts is made by the respective Judges' Corps, which means that there is recognition of their work and contribution by their own colleagues.

In the podcasts we talked about their personal path, the jurisdiction of the Courts they serve, about important cases they handled and the development and course of Union Law. The duration of each podcast is 30 minutes.

The 4 podcasts are available on this page:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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