Ireland and Denmark - 45 years of membership of the EU
On January 1, 2018, it will be 45 years since Denmark and Ireland - together with Britain - became members of the EC. Hear how Mairead McGuinness, Vice President of the European Parliament and her Danish colleague Jeppe Kofod assess the importance of EU membership for their own countries in a new video.
The first enlargement of the EC took place on 1 January 1973, when Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom entered into what would then develop into the EU. Much has happened since then. But in both countries, an overwhelming majority of residents are happy to live in the EU.
Mairead MCGUINNESS: "All in all membership of the EU gave us a voice at the EU table. It gave us greater independence by being part of something bigger. It's almost worrying to think how different we would be today had we not joined. Ireland was a much poorer country when joined and we have greatly benefited from the financing of our infrastructure and agriculture, but EU membership has also meant a lot for women, gender equality and rights. "
Jeppe KOFOD: "We have united Europe again after the Cold War with new member states so it brings peace and stability, democracy and rule of law. So for Europe and Denmark, it is a great advantage to live under much safer and more peaceful conditions. We have contributed a lot to the EU. Denmark is a welfare state with a high level of social protection, high taxes, but also good and free services and education, health and good and generous unemployment benefits, and a very active labor market policy. "