On 22 January 1972, the Treaty of Accession was signed at a ceremony in Brussels by Taoiseach Jack Lynch and Minister for Foreign Affairs Patrick Hillery. Then, on 10 May 1972, the Irish people voted emphatically to join the European Communities (EC) in a referendum, which meant that on 1 January 1973, Ireland officially became an EC Member State.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Ireland will celebrate 50 years since that pivotal moment in Irish history.

The history of the foundation of European Movement Ireland is intertwined in Ireland’s journey to joining the EC (now the European Union (EU) in 1973. Over the next 18 months, EM Ireland will be celebrating 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the EU.

Through events, publications and much more, EM Ireland will be exploring the transformative impact of 50 years of membership and Ireland’s emergence as a modern, open economy and society.

Ireland EU50 Podcast Series

As Ireland commemorates in 2022 the 50th anniversary since voting to join the EEC in a referendum on 10 May 1972, EM Ireland is producing the de facto ‘Ireland EU50 Podcast Series’, revisiting the voices and memories of a transformative moment in our history as a country. In this special referendum anniversary EM Ireland podcast series, we will speak to individuals from across media, politics, academia and beyond, to recall and remember the Ireland of the decades leading up to the Referendum and to hear of their experiences and reflections of the Referendum itself.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

50 Steps to 50 Years

To mark the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s referendum to join the EEC (today the EU) in 1972, and becoming an EEC member state in 1973, European Movement Ireland has produced a digital timeline series of 50 steps to highlight the key moments that have defined Ireland’s journey since joining the EU.

By collating stories, imagery, and documentation from a variety of sources, EM Ireland presents key moments along Ireland’s journey to EU membership.






50 Years of EU Membership in Ireland

Signing of the Treaty of Accession

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