Message from the Ambassador of Ireland, Ms. Thelma M. Doran
On Saturday, May 1, Ireland, as Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2004, has the honour of welcoming Poland and the other Accession Countries as full partners into the Union. It is with great pleasure for me to be in Poland as we approach this historic enlargement and I would like to take this opportunity to send a special greeting to the readers of The World of English© at this exciting time.
There will be celebrations throughout the Union on May 1. In Ireland, we are calling it the Day of Welcomes. There will be an official ceremony in Dublin attended by the Heads of State of twenty five nation states. In addition, special daylong street festivals will be held throughout the country in the ten cities and towns that have been selected to welcome the new member states.
Poland will be welcomed by the town of Letterkenny, County Donegal. They have chosen as their theme, European Melodies and will feature Polish musicians playing alongside Irish traditional musicians. Polish and Irish theatrical groups and visual artists will also work closely together to make this a very special day. We hope that these partnerships will provide wonderful opportunities for new friendships and new ways of working across cultures.
EU membership will open up many opportunities for the people of Poland, as it has done for Ireland. For young Poles, in particular, it will offer new educational opportunities. EU cooperative frameworks, such as the Erasmus programme, facilitate those students who wish to spend time studying in another Member State, giving them the opportunity to experience at close hand other countries and cultures. There are also EU-funded schemes involving secondary schools level students. Our two countries, Ireland and Poland, have a great deal in common and I hope that this new and closer relationship within the Union will lead to an intensification of educational exchanges between our young people.
Her Excellency Thelma M. Doran,