Enlargement of the European Union
The process of expanding the European Union (EU) through the accession of new member states began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community (the EU's predecessor) in 1952. Since then, the EU's membership has grown to twenty-eight, with the latest member state being Croatia, which joined in July 2013.
The most recent territorial enlargement of the EU was the incorporation of Mayotte in 2014. 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 1982.
Currently, accession negotiations are under way with several states. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration. This term is also used to refer to the intensification of co-operation between EU member states as national governments allow for the gradual harmonisation of national laws.
To join the European Union, 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. According to the Maastricht Treaty, each current member state and the European Parliament must agree to any enlargement.
- Criteria 1
- Example 2.1
- Success and fatigue 3
Historical enlargements 4
- Founding members 4.1
- First enlargement 4.2
- Mediterranean enlargements 4.3
- Post–Cold War 4.4
- 2004 and 2007 Eastern enlargements 4.5
- Western Balkans enlargements 4.6
- Detail 4.7
- Timeline 4.8
- Future enlargement 5
- See also 6
- References 7
- External links 8
This article is part of a series on the
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" (TEU Article 49). Those Article 2 values are "respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities." This is based on the 1993 "Copenhagen criteria" agreed as it became clear many former Eastern Bloc countries would apply to join;
|“||Membership requires that candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.||”|
—Excerpt from the Copenhagen Presidency conclusions
In December 1995, the Madrid European Council revised the membership criteria to include conditions for member country integration through the appropriate adjustment of its administrative structures: since it is important that European Community legislation be reflected in national legislation, it is critical that the revised national legislation be implemented effectively through appropriate administrative and judicial structures.
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.
Today the accession process follows a series of formal steps, from a pre-accession agreement to the ratification of the final accession treaty. 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.
Before a country applies for membership it typically signs an association agreement to help prepare the country for candidacy and eventual membership. Most countries do not meet the criteria to even begin negotiations before they apply, so they need many years to prepare for the process. An association agreement helps prepare for this first step.
When a country formally applies for membership, the Council asks the Commission to prepare an opinion on the country's readiness to begin negotiations. The Council can then either accept or reject the Commission's opinion (The Council has only once rejected the Commission's opinion when the latter advised against opening negotiations with Greece).
If the Council agrees to open negotiations the screening process then begins. The Commission and candidate country examine its laws and those of the EU and determine what differences exist. The Council then recommends opening negotiations on "chapters" of law that it feels there is sufficient common ground to have constructive negotiations. Negotiations are typically a matter of the candidate country convincing the EU that its laws and administrative capacity are sufficient to execute European law, which can be implemented as seen fit by the member states. Often this will involve time-lines before the Acquis Communautaire (European regulations, directives & standards) has to be fully implemented.
A chapter is said to be closed when both sides have agreed it has been implemented sufficiently, however it can still be re-opened if the Commission feels that the candidate has fallen out of compliance.
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. These serve as a basis for the Council to make decisions on negotiations or their extension to other candidates.
Once the negotiations are complete a treaty of accession will be signed, which must then be ratified by all of the member states of the Union, as well as the institutions of the Union, and the candidate country. Once this has been completed it will join the Union on the date specified in the treaty.
The entire process, from application for membership to membership has typically taken about a decade, although some countries, notably Sweden, Finland, and Austria have been faster, taking only a few years. The process from application for association agreement through accession has taken far longer, as much as several decades (Turkey for example first applied for association in the 1950s and has yet to conclude accession negotiations).
The following is an example of an accession process. This follows Estonia's journey to membership, as a recent example from the 2004 enlargement, however the speed of accession depends on each state: how integrated it is with the EU before hand, the state of its economy and public institutions, any outstanding political issues with the EU and (historically) how much law to date the EU has built up that the acceding state must adopt. This outline also includes integration steps taken by the accession country after it attains membership.
|1991||20 August||Independence from USSR||Recognition from EU in same month.|
|1994||18 July||Free trade agreement concluded|
|1995||1 January||Free trade agreement in force|
|12 June||Europe Agreement concluded|
|24 November||Applied for Membership|
|1998||1 January||Europe Agreement comes into force||Aiding pre-integration|
|March||Membership negotiations open||6 chapters opened|
|1999||17 chapters opened|
|2000||6 chapters opened|
|2002||December||All chapters closed and negotiations concluded||Final chapter (No. 30) was opened and closed at the same time.|
|2003||8 April||Draft accession treaty approved by Estonian government|
|16 April||Treaty of Accession signed|
|14 September||Referendum on membership approved||66.84% in favour, turnout : 64.02%|
|2004||1 May||Acceded to EU|
|28 June||Joined ERM||Requires 2 years in ERM before euro adoption|
|2007||21 December||Entered the Schengen area|
|2011||1 January||Adoption of the euro|
|1 May||Right to limit migration from 2004 countries expires||Only Austria and Germany applied this, the rest of EU countries abolished restrictions before 2011|
Success and fatigue
Enlargement has been one of the EU's most successful foreign policies, yet has equally suffered from considerable opposition from the start. French President Charles de Gaulle opposed British membership fearing US influence. 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.
The reasons for the first member states to apply, and for them to be accepted, were primarily economic while the second enlargement was more political. The southern Mediterranean countries had just emerged from dictatorships and wanted to secure their democratic systems through the EEC, while the EEC wanted to ensure the same thing and that their southern neighbours were stable and aligned to NATO. These two principal forces, economic gain and political security, have been behind enlargements since. However, with the recent large enlargements in 2004, public opinion in Europe has turned against further expansion.
It has also been acknowledged that enlargement has its limits, the EU cannot expand endlessly. 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. 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.
|Albania||2009-04-28||Official candidate |
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||—||Potential candidate |
|Kosovo*||—||Potential candidate |
|Macedonia||2004-03-22||Official candidate |
* Applications to the European Coal and Steel Community,
European Communities and European Union depending on date.
The Benelux and earlier bilateral agreements. These five countries were joined by Italy and they all signed the Treaty of Paris on 23 July 1952. These six members, dubbed the 'inner six' (as opposed to the 'outer seven' who formed the European Free Trade Association who were suspicious of such plans for integration) went on to sign the Treaties of Rome establishing two further communities, together known as the European Communities when they merged their executives in 1967.
In 1962, Spain, ruled by the military dictator Francisco Franco, issued its first attempt to join the European Communities. Spanish Foreign Affairs minister Fernando María Castiella sent the request form to French Prime Minister Maurice Couve de Murville. This request was rejected by all the member countries in 1964; Spain was not a democracy at the time, and thus unable to enter the EEC.
The Community did see some loss of territory due to the decolonialisation occurring in their era. Algeria, which was an integral part of France, had a special relationship with the Community. Algeria gained independence on 5 July 1962 and hence left the Community. There was no enlargement until the 1970s.
The United Kingdom, which had refused to join as a founding member, changed its policy following the Suez crisis and applied to be a member of the Communities. The UK and US were concerned about France attempting to usurp US leadership in Europe and the US encouraged the UK to join to counterbalance French influence. Other EEC members were also inclined to British membership on those grounds. French President Charles de Gaulle feared Britain's US influence and vetoed British membership.
Once de Gaulle had left office, the door to enlargement was once again opened. The EEC economy had also slowed down and British membership was seen as a way to revitalise the community. Only after a 12-hour talk between British Prime Minister
- Enlargement – Europa
- European Union Member States and applicant countries – CVCE
- Archival material concerning the enlargement of the European Union can be consulted at the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence
- Presidency Conclusions, Copenhagen European Council 1993, 7.A.iii http://www.europarl.europa.eu/enlargement/ec/pdf/cop_en.pdf
- Article : A success for Konstantinos Karamanli on CVCE.eu
- Country Profile: Relations with Estonia, Europa
- Timetable for accession negotiations by chapter and by country (1998–2004) CVCE.eu
- Piket, Vincent EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Institute for Strategic Studies
- Beyond Enlargement Fatigue? The Dutch debate on Turkish accession, European Security Initiative 2006
- Bache, Ian and Stephen George (2006) Politics in the European Union, Oxford University Press. p540–542
- Kardas, Saban (13 May 2009) Merkel and Sarkozy Call for Privileged Partnership Angers Turkey, Jamestown Foundation
- Schauble, Wolfgang (2004) Talking Turkey, Foreign Affairs
- "EU candidate status for Albania".
- On 3 October 1990, East Germany joined West Germany through the process of German reunification; since then, the reunited Germany has been a single member state.
- Iceland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-06-13). "Minister Sveinsson meets with Stefan Füle". Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- Referred to as "Kosovo*" by the EU
- "European Commission- Enlargement- Kosovo*". European Commission. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Referred to as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" by the EU
- Staff writer (2006-03-22). "EU Mulls Deeper Policy Cooperation with Morocco". Defense News. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
- European Commission (2005-11-10). "1972". The History of the European Union. Retrieved 2006-01-18.
- European Commission (2005-11-10). "1994". The History of the European Union. Retrieved 2006-01-18.
- The European Offensive. - Government of Castile and Leon. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- The European Offensive. - Government of Castile and Leon
- Spain towards the European Integration, Heidy Cristina Senante Berendes, page 456 - University of Alicante (Spanish)
- European Economic Community Treaty, Art"7
- "1971 Year in Review, UPI.com"
- For more on Ireland's attempts at membership see Michael J. Geary, An Inconvenient Wait: Ireland's Quest for Membership of the EEC, 1957–73 (Institute of Public Administration, 2009) (ISBN 9781904541837)
- Turkey Secretariat General for EU affairs – Current situation in accession negotiations
- Bache, Ian and Stephen George (2006) Politics in the European Union, Oxford University Press. p543–547
- Bache, Ian and Stephen George (2006) Politics in the European Union, Oxford University Press. p549–550
- Giuseppe D'Amato, Viaggio nell'Hansa baltica. L'Unione europea e l'allargamento ad Est Travel to the Baltic Hansa. Greco&Greco, Milano, 2004 ISBN 88-7980-355-7
- Giuseppe D'Amato, L'EuroSogno ed i nuovi Muri ad Est. L'Unione europea e la dimensione orientale The EuroDream and the New Walls to the East. Greco&Greco, Milano, 2008 ISBN 978-88-7980-456-1
- THE NEXT ENLARGEMENT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIESSPEECH BY SIR LEON BRITTAN QC TO EUROPAPOLITISCHER KONGRESS ORGANISED BYTHE CDU/CSU GROUP IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT – BERLIN 11 September 1995 and Günter Verheugen Member of the Commission responsible for Enlargement « Enlargement is irreversible » Debate on Enlargement in the European Parliament Strasbourg, 3 October 2000
- Potential candidates, European Union's official site
- Until the unification of Germany in 1990 the de jure status of West Berlin was that of French, UK and US occupied zones with West German civilian administration. The treaties applied fully during 1952–1990 over the West German and French responsibilities European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, Art.79, and during 1973–1990 over the UK responsibilities.Eur-lex.europa.eu From 3 October 1990 West Berlin was fully integrated in the Federal Republic of Germany along with East Germany.
- Vanuatu was a condominium between the United Kingdom and France until its independence in 1980, and was generally considered to be an overseas territory of both countries
- "The provisions of Part Four of the Treaty were applied to Surinam, by virtue of a Supplementary Act of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to complete its instrument of ratification, from 1 September 1962 to 16 July 1976.", in: eur-lex.europa.eu – Treaty establishing the European Community (consolidated version) – Text of the Treaty
- eur-lex.europa.eu – CONVENTION portant révision du traité instituant la Communauté économique européenne en vue de rendre applicable aux Antilles néerlandaises le régime spécial d' association défini dans la quatrième partie de se traité
- Although Aruba was only added to the OCT list with the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, it was considered an OCT by the European Communities since leaving the Netherlands Antilles: "De eilandgebieden zullen dus de rechten en plichten van de LGO-status van het Land de Nederlandse Antillen overnemen, wanneer dat opgeheven wordt. Hetzelfde gebeurde in 1986 toen Aruba van eilandgebied van de Nederlandse Antillen een apart Land binnen het Koninkrijk werd. Hoewel de LGO-bijlage pas in 1999 aan deze situatie werd aangepast, heeft de Europese Gemeenschap Aruba van het begin af aan als LGO behandeld." in: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Grondwettelijke aspecten: Territoriale werking / Antillen
- The Netherlands Antilles dissolved on 10 October 2010 and contained the islands of Aruba (which left the Netherlands Antilles in 1986), Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius. Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten are autonomous countries in the Kingdom of Netherlands, and remain overseas territories of the European Union. Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, also known as the BES islands, are special municipalities of the Netherlands, and will remain legally overseas territories until at least 2015.
- Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean are listed in the OCT Annex as Madagascar dependencies 1958–1999. After Madagascar independence in 1960 they are transferred to Réunion administration until 2005, when they are transferred to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which they joined in 2007
- An evaluation of the EU's Fifth Enlargement With special focus on Bulgaria and Romania ... The fifth EU enlargement in 2004 and 2007
- Treaty of Accession 2003, protocol 3
- Due to reorganisation in the French overseas territories Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin leave Guadeloupe (with France retaing EU law application in the new territories) and Clipperton is moved from French Polynesia administration to direct Government of France administration
- EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECISION of 29 October 2010 amending the status with regard to the European Union of the island of Saint-Barthélemy
- EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECISION of 11 July 2012 amending the status of Mayotte with regard to the European Union
- "Enlargement - Check current status".
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "EU forges closer ties with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova".
- Enlargement of the eurozone
- Enlargement of NATO
- Future enlargement of the European Union
- Treaty of Accession 2003
- Treaty of Accession 2005
- Treaty of Accession 2011
- Union for the Mediterranean
- Withdrawal from the European Union
- European Free Trade Association
- Switzerland and the European Union
- Schengen Area
In July 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President-elect of the European Commission, announced that the EU has no plans to expand in the next five years.
 All 3 countries signed association agreements on 27 June 2014, which deepened their trade and political links with the EU, however, without prospect of eventual membership.
Albania, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey are all recognized as official candidates, and the latter three are undergoing membership talks. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* are recognized as potential candidates for membership by the EU. Bosnia has concluded a SAA which is undergoing ratification and is preparing an application for EU membership, while Kosovo has completed negotiations on their SAA. The Western Balkans have been prioritised for membership since emerging from war during the break-up of Yugoslavia; Turkey has been seeking membership since the 1980s and Iceland lodged its application following an economic collapse in 2008.
Article 49 of the Maastricht Treaty (as amended) says that any European state that respects the "principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law", may apply to join the Union. The Copenhagen European Council set out the conditions for EU membership in June 1993 in the so-called Copenhagen criteria (see Criteria and process above for details). The Western Balkan states had to sign Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) before applying for membership.
|#||Official name||Date||Community countries and OMR||Associated territories||Excluded territories|
|1||ECSC Foundation||1952-07-23||Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Saarland, Italy, West Germany, West Berlin||Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Tunis, Morocco, Guinea, French Cameroon, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, DR Congo, Italian Somaliland, Benin, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Burundi, Rwanda, Netherlands New Guinea, Algeria, Comoros, Suriname, French Somaliland, French-administration of Vanuatu, West Berlin, Réunion, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, St.Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, Netherlands Antilles|
|1953–1957||the above, Saarland joined West Germany||the above without the newly independent: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Tunis, Morocco|
|2||EEC and EURATOM Foundation||1958-01-01||the above, Algeria, Réunion, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe||Guinea, French Cameroon, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, DR Congo, Italian Somaliland, Benin, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Burundi, Rwanda, Netherlands New Guinea, Comoros, French Somaliland, Mayotte, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean||Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, West Berlin|
|1958–1962||the above||the above, without the newly independent: Guinea, French Cameroon, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, DR Congo, Italian Somaliland, Benin, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Burundi, Rwanda, Netherlands New Guinea||the above|
|1962-07-03||the above, without the newly independent: Algeria||the above||the above|
|1962-09-01||the above||the above, with Suriname||the above, without Suriname|
|Netherlands Antilles Association Convention||1964-10-1||the above||the above, with the Netherlands Antilles||the above, without the Netherlands Antilles|
|3||First Enlargement||1973-01-01||the above, Ireland, United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Denmark, Greenland||the above, Bahamas, Grenada, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, St. Lucia, Kiribati, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Brunei, St. Helena, the Pitcairn Islands, the Falkland Islands, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, Anguilla, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda||the above, the Faroe Islands, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong|
|1973–1980||the above||the above without the newly independent Bahamas, Grenada, Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tuvalu, Dominica, St. Lucia, Kiribati, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Comoros and French Somaliland||the above without the newly independent Zimbabwe|
|4||Second Enlargement||1981-01-01||the above, Greece||the above||the above|
|1981–1984||the above||the above without the newly independent Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and Brunei||the above|
|1985-01-01||the above without Greenland||the above, Greenland||the above|
|5||Third Enlargement||1986-01-01||the above, Spain, Portugal, Azores, Madeira, Plazas de soberanía||the above, with Aruba, formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles||the above, Macau, East Timor|
|1990-10-03||the above, East Germany and West Berlin join to form Germany||the above||the above without West Berlin|
|6||Fourth Enlargement||1995-01-01||the above, Austria, Sweden, Finland||the above||the above|
|1997-07-01||the above||the above||the above, without Hong Kong (transferred to China)|
|7||1999-05-01||the above, Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean||the above, without Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean||the above|
|1999-12-20||the above||the above||the above, without Macau (transferred to China)|
|2002-05-20||the above||the above||the above, without the newly independent East Timor|
|8||Fifth Enlargement||2004-05-01||the above, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Akrotiri and Dhekelia||the above||the above without Akrotiri and Dhekelia|
|9||2007-01-01||the above, Bulgaria, Romania||the above||the above|
|10||2007-02-22||the above, Clipperton, without Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean||the above, Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, without Clipperton||the above|
|2010-10-10||the above||the above, without the now-dissolved Netherlands Antilles, with Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba||the above|
|2012-01-01||the above without Saint Barthélemy||the above, Saint Barthélemy||the above|
|2013-07-01||the above, Croatia||the above||the above|
|12||2014-01-01||the above, Mayotte||the above, without Mayotte||the above|
Albania and the several successor states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have all adopted EU integration as an aim of foreign policy. Slovenia joined the EU during the first wave of the fifth enlargement on 1 May 2004. Croatia joined on 1 July 2013, following ratification of the 2011 Accession Treaty by all other EU countries.
The 2003 European Council summit in Thessaloniki set integration of the Western Balkans as a priority of EU expansion. The EU's relations with the Western Balkans states were moved from the "External Relations" to the "Enlargement" policy segment in 2005. Those states which have not been recognised as candidate countries are considered "potential candidate countries". The move to Enlargement directorate was a consequence of the advancement of the Stabilisation and Association process.
Western Balkans enlargements
In the end, eight Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia), plus two Mediterranean countries (Malta and Cyprus) were able to join on 1 May 2004. This was the largest single enlargement in terms of people, and number of countries, though not in terms of GDP. The less developed nature of these countries was of concern to some of the older member states, who placed temporary restrictions on the rights of work of the citizens of these states to their countries. The movement westward of some of the labour force of the newly acceded countries that occurred in the aftermath of the enlargement initially spawned clichés among the public opinion and media of some western countries (such as the "Polish plumber"), despite the generally conceded benefit to the economies concerned. The official EU media (the speeches of the European Commission) frequently referred to the enlargement to the CEE region as "an historical opportunity" and "morally imperative", which reflected the desire of the EU to admit these countries as members, even though they were less developed than the Western European countries. Following this Romania and Bulgaria, though were deemed initially as not fully ready by the Commission to join in 2004, acceded nevertheless on 1 January 2007. These, like the countries joining in 2004, faced a series of restrictions as to their citizens not fully enjoying working rights on the territory of some of the older EU members for a period up to seven years of their membership.
The former communist states persisted and eventually the above-mentioned issues were cleared. The US also pressured the EU to offer membership as a temporary guarantee; it feared expanding NATO too rapidly for fear of frightening Russia. Although eventually trying to limit the number of members, and after encouragement from the US, the EU pursued talks with ten countries and a change of mind by Cyprus and Malta helped to offset slightly the influx of large poorer member states from Central and Eastern Europe.
As with the Mediterranean countries in the 1980s, the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe had emerged from dictatorships and wanted to consolidate their democracies. They also wanted to join the project of European integration and ensure they did not fall back into the Russian sphere of influence. The EU and NATO offered a guarantee of this, and the EU was also seen as vital to ensuring the economic success of those countries. The EU's desire to accept these countries' membership applications was however less than rapid. The collapse of communism came quickly and was not anticipated. The EU struggled to deal with the sudden reunification of Germany with the addition of its poorer 17 million people and, while keeping its monetary union project on track, it was still at that early stage pointing the EFTA countries in the direction of the EEA rather than full membership.
2004 and 2007 Eastern enlargements
The Community later became the European Union in 1993 by virtue of the Maastricht Treaty, and established standards for new entrants so their suitability could be judged. These Copenhagen criteria stated in 1993 that a country must be a democracy, operate a free market, and be willing to adopt the entire body of EU law already agreed upon. Also in 1993 the European Economic Area was established with the EFTA states except Switzerland. Most of the new EEA states pursued full EU membership as the EEA did not sufficiently satisfy the needs of their export based corporations. The EU has also preferred these states to integrate via the EEA rather than full membership as the EEC wished to pursue monetary integration and did not wish for another round of enlargement to occupy their attention. However with the EEA's credibility dented following rejection by businesses and Switzerland, the EU agreed with full membership. This was more readily accepted with the prospect of poorer countries wishing to join; contributions from richer countries would help balance the EU budget. On 1 January 1995 Austria, Finland, and Sweden acceded to the EU marking its fourth enlargement. The Norwegian government lost a second national referendum on membership.
common foreign and security policy would be incompatible with that. With the end of the Cold War in 1989, that obstacle was removed, and the desire to pursue membership grew stronger. On 3 October 1990, the reunification of East and West Germany brought East Germany into the Community without increasing the number of member states.
After the 1970s, Europe experienced a downturn which led to leaders launching of the Single European Act which set to create a single market by 1992. The effect of this was that EFTA states found it harder to export to the EEC and businesses (including large EFTA corporations such as Volvo) wished to relocate within the new single market making the downturn worse for EFTA. EFTA states began to discuss closer links with the EEC despite its domestic unpopularity.
Morocco and Turkey applied for membership in 1987. Morocco's application was turned down as it was not considered European, while Turkey's application was considered eligible on the basis of the 1963 Ankara Association Agreement, but the opinion of the Commission on the possible candidate status was by then negative. Turkey received candidate status only in 1999 and began official membership negotiations in 2004, which are still in progress as of 2013.
The year 1985, however, saw the only time a territory had voted to leave the Community, when Greenland was granted home rule by Denmark and the territory used its new powers and voted to withdraw from the Community (See member state territories).
Greece joined the EU in 1981 followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986.
The next enlargement would occur for different reasons. The 1970s also saw Greece, Spain, and Portugal emerge from dictatorship. These countries desired to consolidate their new democratic systems by binding themselves into the EEC. Equally, the EEC was unsure about which way these countries were heading and wanted to ensure stability along its southern borders. However François Mitterrand initially opposed their membership fearing they were not ready and it would water the community down to a free trade area.
As part of the deal for British entry, France agreed to allow the EEC its own monetary resources. However France made that concession only as Britain's small agriculture sector would ensure that Britain would be a net contributor to the Common Agricultural Policy dominated EEC budget. Applying together with the UK, as on the previous occasions, were Denmark, Ireland, and Norway. These countries were so economically linked to the UK that they considered it necessary to join the EEC if the UK did. However the Norwegian government lost a national referendum on membership and hence did not accede with the others on 1 January 1973. Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, 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.
"For my part, I have no doubt at all that the discussions which we have had will prove of real and lasting benefit, not only to Britain and France, but to Europe as a whole."
After Britain was accepted Prime Minister Edward Heath said: