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2003

January

1

Greece takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The EU celebrates 10 years of the Single Market.

15

The first European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina is inaugurated.

26

The European Year of People with Disabilities is launched in Athens.

27-28

An EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting is held in Brussels, Belgium.

February

1

The Treaty of Nice enters into force.

17

An extraordinary European Council is held in Brussels, Belgium.

March

8

A referendum is held in Malta on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

14

The EU and NATO sign a security pact in Athens, Greece.

19

The European Parliament adopts a report giving the green light to the accession of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak and Slovenia in 2004.

20-21

The third annual spring European Council is held in Brussels, Belgium. Ministers decide to step up efforts to implement the strategy for competitiveness, employment and social inclusion agreed in Lisbon.

23

A referendum is held in Slovenia on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

April

9

The European Parliament gives its assent to the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia to the European Union.

12

A referendum is held in Hungary on the country joining the EU. The majority is in favour of accession.

16

The Treaty of Accession between the EU and the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia is signed in Athens, Greece.

May

10-11

A referendum is held in Lithuania on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

16-17

A referendum is held in Slovakia on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

28

An EU-Canada summit is held in Athens, Greece.

31

An EU-Russia summit is held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

June

7-8

A referendum is held in Poland on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

13-14

A referendum is held in the Czech Republic on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

20-21

A European Council is held in Thessaloniki, Greece. EU leaders meet with representatives of the Balkan states and express their intention to include the latter in the European Union provided they promote democratic stability, the rule of law and economic development.

25

An EU-US summit is held in Washington DC. The European Union and the United States decide to cooperate in their fight against terrorism and arms proliferation. They decide to share information on suspect bank accounts, and to set up joint investigation teams.

July

1

Italy takes over the Presidency of the European Union.

September

14

Sweden holds a referendum on the euro. The majority rejects joining the single European currency.
The 5th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico. Supposed to negotiate on a group of proposals for investment, competition, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation, it finishes with the participants unable to reach an agreement.

20

A referendum is held in Latvia on the country joining the European Union. The majority is in favour of accession.

October

4

The Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is held in Rome, Italy. Its principal task is to draft the final version of the EU's first constitution. The IGC should reach an agreement before the next elections to the European Parliament, planned for June 2004.

16-17

A European Council is held in Brussels, Belgium. The summit focused on three issues: the follow-up to the Thessaloniki Council on asylum and immigration; economic policy from the point of view of the growth initiative and external relations.

23-24

The Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq is held in Madrid, Spain. The pledges 28 billion) came in a variety of forms, including humanitarian and reconstruction aid, export credits and project finance, and covered different time periods.

November

1

Change of Presidency of the European Central Bank. Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, former governor of the Banque de France succeeds Dr Willem F. Duisenberg, who was president of the ECB from 1 June 1998 to 31 October 2003.

6

An EU-Russian Federation summit is held in Rome, Italy.

18

Meeting of the European Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the IGC is held in Brussels, Belgium.

25-26

Ministerial conference on sustainable development in fishing held in Venice, Italy.

29

An EU-India summit is held in New Delhi, India.

December

12

The European Commission decides to release a first contribution from the EU budget for reconstruction activities in Iraq.

12-13

A European Council is held in Brussels, Belgium.

19

Signing of an establishment agreement for the opening of a European Commission delegation in Sana'a, Yemen, from January 2004.

 See also

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