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This Day In Market History: Treaty Of Accession Adds 10 Members To The European Union

Elizabeth Balboa

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On April 16, 2003, the European Union added 10 new countries with the signing of the Athens Declaration.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 finished the day at 879.91, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,257.61.

What Else Was Going On In The World

A few days earlier, Baghdad fell to the U.S. military to end the Iraq invasion, and the Human Genome Project was completed with a sequence of 99.99 percent accuracy.

EU Welcomes 10 New Members

The Treaty of Accession expanded the 15-member EU with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

“This Union represents our common determination to put an end to centuries of conflict and to transcend former divisions on our continent,” the declaration read.

The treaty entered into force on May 1, and another three nations have joined the body since.

The enthusiasm to join the EU in the early 2000s contrasts current sentiment in Europe, where the United Kingdom has been crafting its exit strategy. The U.K. parliament has delayed Brexit multiple times since the initial public vote sealed the departure. Its eventual withdrawal will reduce the EU to 27 states and shrink the aggregate economy.

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