Enlargement of the European Union

enlargementEU enlargementaccessionEU accessionexpandedaccession statesenlargementsjoin the EU2004 enlargement2004 EU Enlargement
The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the accession of new member states to the Union.wikipedia
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Copenhagen criteria

cannot join the union in its current formcriteriaEuropean Union membership
To join the EU, a state needs to fulfil economic and political conditions called the Copenhagen criteria (after the Copenhagen summit in June 1993), which require a stable democratic government that respects the rule of law, and its corresponding freedoms and institutions.
The Copenhagen Criteria are the rules that define whether a country is eligible to join the European Union.

European Union

EUEuropeanEurope
The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the accession of new member states to the Union.
The Communities and their successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to their remit.

Member state of the European Union

member statesEU member statesmember states of the European Union
The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the accession of new member states to the Union.
The remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements.

Acquis communautaire

acquisCommunity acquisEU acquis
Finally, and technically outside the Copenhagen criteria, comes the further requirement that all prospective members must enact legislation to bring their laws into line with the body of European law built up over the history of the Union, known as the acquis communautaire.
During the process of the enlargement of the European Union, the acquis was divided into 31 chapters for the purpose of negotiation between the EU and the candidate member states for the fifth enlargement (the ten that joined in 2004 plus Romania and Bulgaria which joined in 2007).

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood PolicyEnlargementEuropean Commissioner for Enlargement
These steps are primarily presided over by the European Commission (Enlargement Commissioner and DG Enlargement), but the actual negotiations are technically conducted between the Union's Member States and the candidate country.
The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is the member of the European Commission in charge of overseeing the accession process of prospective new member states and relations with those bordering the European Union (EU).

European Economic Community

European CommunityEECCommon Market
The EU's predecessor, the European Economic Community, was founded with the Inner Six member states in 1958, when the Treaty of Rome came into force.
The 1960s saw the first attempts at enlargement.

Treaties of the European Union

Article 21 of the EU TreatyEU treatiestreaties
According to the EU treaties, membership of the European Union is open to "any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them" ([[s:Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union/Title VI: Final Provisions#Article 49|TEU Article 49]]).
Article 49 deals with applications to join the EU and article 50 with withdrawal.

Serbia

SRBRepublic of SerbiaSerbian
As of 2019, accession negotiations are under way with Serbia (since 2014), Montenegro (since 2012) and Turkey (since 2005).
It received a full candidate status on 1 March 2012 and started accession talks on 21 January 2014.

Withdrawal from the European Union

Article 50Article 50 of the Treaty on European Unionwithdrawal
The most notable territorial reductions of the EU, and its predecessors, were the exit of Algeria upon independence in 1962 and the exit of Greenland in 1985.
The process also occurs in the opposite direction, as formal enlargements of the union occur.

Treaty of Accession 2003

Treaty of Accession2003 Accession Treaty2003 Treaty of Accession
The treaty was signed on 16 April 2003 in Athens, Greece and it entered into force on 1 May 2004, resulting in enlargement of the European Union with 10 states.

European Commission

EU CommissionCommissionEC
To assess progress achieved by countries in preparing for accession to the European Union, the European Commission submits regular reports (yearly) to the European Council.
The Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973.

European integration

integrationEuropean institutionsEU integration
The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration.
Integration and enlargement of the European Union are major issues in the politics of Europe, each at European, national and local level.

Romano Prodi

ProdiPrime Minister ProdiProdi & C.
Former Commission President Romano Prodi favoured granting "everything but institutions" to the EU's neighbour states; allowing them to co-operate deeply while not adding strain on the EU's institutional framework.
The College consisted of 20 Commissioners which grew to 30 following the Enlargement of the European Union in 2004.

European Council

CouncilEU Council2007 EU Summit
To assess progress achieved by countries in preparing for accession to the European Union, the European Commission submits regular reports (yearly) to the European Council.

Inner Six

Outer SevenThe Sixfounding
The EU's predecessor, the European Economic Community, was founded with the Inner Six member states in 1958, when the Treaty of Rome came into force.

Greenland–European Union relations

Greenland and the European Unionexit of GreenlandGreenland
The most notable territorial reductions of the EU, and its predecessors, were the exit of Algeria upon independence in 1962 and the exit of Greenland in 1985.

François Mitterrand

MitterrandFrancois MitterrandPresident Mitterrand
A later French President François Mitterrand opposed Greek, Spanish and Portuguese membership fearing that the former dictatorships were not ready and it would reduce the union to a free-trade area.
He supported the enlargement of the Community to include Spain and Portugal (which both joined in January 1986).

European Coal and Steel Community

ECSCCoal and Steel CommunityEuropean Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was proposed by Robert Schuman in his declaration on 9 May 1950 and involved the pooling of the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany.
The Treaty of Paris was frequently amended as the EC and EU evolved and expanded.

European Communities Act 1972 (UK)

European Communities Act 1972European Communities ActEuropean Communities Bill
Gibraltar joined the Community with the United Kingdom at this point, as can be seen in the long title of the UK European Communities Act 1972.
Denmark and Ireland also joined the Community on the same day, 1 January 1973, as the UK; the Norwegian people had rejected membership in a referendum in 1972.

Central and Eastern Europe

CEECentral-Eastern EuropeEastern and Central Europe
As with the Mediterranean countries in the 1980s, the countries in Central and Eastern Europe had emerged from dictatorships and wanted to consolidate their democracies.
The CEE countries are further subdivided by their accession status to the European Union (EU): the eight first-wave accession countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia), the two second-wave accession countries that joined on 1 January 2007 (Romania and Bulgaria) and the third-wave accession country that joined on 1 July 2013 (Croatia).

Privileged partnership

Partnership
This has in particular been pushed by France and Germany as a privileged partnership for Turkey, membership for which has faced considerable opposition on cultural and logistical grounds.

Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

DG EnlargementDirectorate-General for EnlargementDirectorate-General for Enlargement (European Commission)
These steps are primarily presided over by the European Commission (Enlargement Commissioner and DG Enlargement), but the actual negotiations are technically conducted between the Union's Member States and the candidate country.
The body is responsible for the enlargement process of the European Union and for the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Future enlargement of the European Union

candidate countriescandidate countryEU candidate countries
Past enlargement since the foundation of the European Union (EU) as the European Economic Community by the Inner Six states in 1958 has brought total membership of the EU to twenty-eight.

France

FrenchFRAFrench Republic
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was proposed by Robert Schuman in his declaration on 9 May 1950 and involved the pooling of the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany.