In the accession referendum held in Poland on 7 and 8 June 2003, 77.45% of Polish voters said "yes" to EU membership, and 22.55% said "no," while the turnout was 58,85%, the National Electoral Commission reported on 9 June. The voters were asked: "Do you express your consent for the Republic of Poland to join the European Union?"
Just after the voting booths closed at 20h00 on Sunday, the Polish State Television reported the first voting result estimates based on the PBS polling agencys surveys. PBS reported that 81.9% of voters said "yes" to EU membership and 18.1% said "no," with the turnout reaching 56.2%. As the voting returns kept coming in, these first estimates were later somewhat revised, with the proportion of "yes" votes slightly falling, the proportion of "no" votes slightly rising and the turnout proving somewhat higher than initially reported.
As it become clear that the majority of Poles voted in favour of accession and that the 50% threshold needed to make the referendum binding had been comfortably surpassed, President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski announced "We are witness to a historic moment. We are coming back to the great European family. We are coming back to the place which Poland and Poles deserve."
Kwasniewski went on to say that the dreams of many Poles have been fulfilled. He appealed for a moment of reflection over those who did not live to see their dream attained. He thanked the Robert Schuman Foundation, which has set up the "Yes" pre-referendum Civic Initiative and all volunteers who had contributed nation-wide to promoting European integration.
Minister of European Affairs Danuta Hübner said "This is our decision and I think that we can be satisfied. Now we must start thinking how to put this decision to our advantage. I think that [with this decision having been made] we may consider ourselves to be in the EU." Prime Minister Leszek Miller said: "We all gave a sign of relief today. I can say with satisfaction that champagne bottles are being opened not only in Warsaw tonight, but in many European capitals as well. This is cause for celebration all over Europe." Head of the European Commission Delegation to Poland Bruno Dethomas welcomed Poland to the European Union. According to Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, Rector of the Papal Theological Academy in Cracow, Poland has turned a momentous page in its history. From now on, tomorrow will never be the same. We will look differently at ourselves and Europe will look at us differently too, he said.
The following results were attained in the accession referenda held to date in the candidate countries:
8 March 2003 Malta: 53.4% in favour, 45% against, 91% turnout;
23 March 2003 Slovenia: 89.61% in favour, 10.39% against, 60.29% turnout;
12 April 2003 Hungary: 83.76% in favour, 16.24% against, 45.65% turnout;
10-11 May 2003 Lithuania: 91.7% in favour, 8.93% against, 63.37% turnout
16-17 May 2003 Slovakia: 92.46% in favour, 6.20% against, 52.15 % turnout.
The accession referendum in the Czech Republic is due on 13 and 14 May 2003, in Estonia on 14 September and in Latvia on 20 September 2003.