Enlargement of the European Union

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Expansion rounds 1973 to 2013
10 euro commemorative coin for the 2004 EU enlargement

The expansion of the European Union (EU expansion) means the admission of one or more states (so-called EU accession countries ) to the European Union . Article 49 of the EU Treaty grants every European country that fulfills the Copenhagen criteria formulated in 1993 the right to apply for membership of the European Union without a legal right to acquire membership. The European Parliament and all previous member states must agree to accession. Before enlargement, the accession country must implement the acquis communautaire , i.e. the entirety of EU law .

“European” is understood in a political and cultural sense and includes the members of the Council of Europe , such as the Republic of Cyprus . The number of stars on the European flag has nothing to do with the number of twelve member states between 1986 and 1995. The flag was introduced by the Council of Europe in 1955 and only adopted by the then European Community in 1986. The flag will therefore remain unchanged regardless of the enlargements of the EU.


In its Copenhagen conclusions of June 22, 1993 (EG Bull. 6/93, p. 13), the European Council established four general requirements, which are aimed at both the applicant state and the EU:

Art. 49 para. 1 sentence 1 TEU specifies the following requirements for a state to join the EU:

Accession process

The accession procedure is initiated by an application from the applicant country. On the proposal of the European Commission and after an agreement in the European Council , the General Affairs Council then grants candidate status by unanimous decision . However, the start of accession negotiations can still be linked to the fulfillment of certain conditions. As soon as these have been met, the Commission will again be given a negotiating mandate by unanimous decision of the Council, in which, among other things, the reforms that the candidate country must carry out before accession are specified. The negotiations themselves, which are being conducted between the Commissioner for Enlargement and the applicant country, primarily concern the timetable and the precise conditions for the introduction of the acquis communautaire , that is to say, the entirety of all European legal provisions. The contents of the acquis itself are non-negotiable, but certain transition periods can be agreed in the negotiations, for example, in order to enable enlargement to proceed smoothly. Other negotiating topics are the future contribution of the acceding country to the budget of the European Union or its representation in the EU institutions, such as the number of European parliamentarians it is allowed to nominate. With the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), the EU can financially support reforms in the candidate country.

The overall duration of the accession negotiations can vary from country to country. It depends, on the one hand, on the country's reform progress and, on the other, on political decisions by the Council , which has to decide to open and close each new negotiating chapter.


For the purposes of the negotiations, the acquis is divided into 35 chapters, ranging from the free movement of goods to security, freedom and justice to institutional issues. At the beginning of the negotiations there is the so-called "screening" that the Commission carries out with the candidate countries. For each individual chapter, the country's existing legal framework is examined and it is determined which reforms are still necessary to adapt to the acquis communautaire. The Commission reports on the screening to the Council of the EU . It then recommends either opening negotiations or first demanding certain advance payments from the acceding country (so-called "benchmarks").


The actual negotiations are opened for each individual chapter by a new decision of the General Affairs Council . During the negotiations, the Council and the European Parliament are kept informed by the Commission of the progress made. As part of what is known as monitoring, the Commission controls the progress of the accession country's reforms.

Certain benchmarks are also established for the conclusion of the negotiations on individual chapters. If the Commission is of the opinion that these benchmarks have been met, it recommends that the Council provisionally close negotiations on this chapter, again by acting unanimously. However, all chapters can be reopened until the overall negotiations have been concluded.

Accession Agreement

After the negotiations on all chapters have been concluded, the Commission and the acceding country draft the accession treaty , in which all transitional provisions and other negotiation results are summarized. This accession treaty has to be approved by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament . It is then signed by representatives of all EU member states and the acceding country. In formal terms, it is therefore an international agreement between the previous member states and the new member. It must therefore also be ratified by all member states in accordance with their national constitutional provisions . Usually this is done by a parliamentary decision; in France , however, a referendum is planned for every future EU enlargement (with the exception of Croatia's accession ) . The acceding country must also ratify the treaty in accordance with its national regulations; this is mostly done through a referendum.

Between signing and joining the European Union, the candidate country already receives certain privileges. It can take part in meetings of the EU institutions as an “active observer” and has the right to speak (but not to vote). After completion of the ratification process, the acceding country will become a member state of the European Union on the date specified in the accession treaty.

Overview of the negotiation chapters

The following table shows the 35 negotiation chapters in detail:

01. Free movement of goods
02. Free movement of workers
03. Right of establishment and freedom to provide services
04. Free movement of capital
05. Public procurement
06. Company law
07. Intellectual Property Rights
08. Competition Policy
09. Financial Services
10. Information society and media
11. Agriculture
12. Food safety and animal and plant health
13. Fisheries
14. Transport policy
15. Energy
16. Taxes
17. Economic and monetary policy
18. Statistics
19. Social policy and employment
20. Enterprise and industrial policy
21. Trans-European Networks
22. Regional policy and coordination of structural policy instruments
23. Justice and fundamental rights
24. Security, Freedom and Justice
25. Science and Research
26. Education and culture
27. Environment
28. Consumer and health protection
29. Customs Union
30. External relations
31. Foreign , security and defense policy
32. Financial control
33. Financial and budgetary provisions
34. Institutions
35. Other questions

Foundation and expansion 1957–2013

Foundation of the EEC in 1957

Development 1957–2020 (animated graphics)

The six founding members of the European Economic Community (EEC) were Belgium , the Federal Republic of Germany , France , Italy , Luxembourg and the Netherlands . These states are often referred to as the “Community of Six” or “Founding States”. The Treaty of Rome, signed by them on March 25, 1957, entered into force on January 1, 1958.

First extension (north extension) EG 1973

Denmark , the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the EC in the so-called northern expansion in 1973 . Norway , which had also applied for membership, could not join because of a negative vote by the population. The negative outcome of the Norwegian referendum can be explained, among other things, by the fact that the Norwegian people had concerns about losing achievements such as the welfare state that they had achieved on their own.

With these accessions, the EFTA (European Free Trade Association), which was promoted in particular by the United Kingdom in the 1960s as a counter-model to the EC, was weakened. Denmark and the United Kingdom left EFTA with effect from January 1, 1973 .

As early as 1963, the United Kingdom had submitted an application to join the EU, but France rejected it - especially at the instigation of Charles de Gaulle . After the government under Prime Minister Edward Heath ( Conservative Party ) was voted out of office in 1974 , the new government under Prime Minister Harold Wilson ( Labor Party ) pushed for a renegotiation of the terms of the treaty. In the course of these re-negotiations he achieved a reduction in the UK's contribution payments. On June 5, 1975, a national referendum took place for the first time in the history of the country , in which the citizens voted to stay in the EU. 67.2 percent voted to stay, compared to 32.8 percent.

The economy of Ireland had lagged behind the economic development of Central and Western Europe. The country was dominated by agriculture. Therefore, the EEC made substantial funding available to Ireland. Another peculiarity of Ireland was that in 1973 it was the only EC country not a NATO member.

Second expansion (southern expansion, part I) 1981

Greece joined the European Community on January 1, 1981 . His admission had been hotly debated; It was not until 1974 that the Greek military dictatorship ended. It was generally feared that the EC would take on a kind of “troublemaker” with Greece. The tense and conflict-ridden relationship with Turkey , which was accepted into NATO together with Greece in 1952 , was discussed . Greece was very poor and agrarian oriented. The sharp comments critical of the USA could also have led to problems.

Greece was the tenth member of the EC.

Greenland Treaty

With the Greenland Treaty in 1984 after a referendum, Greenland was separated from the European Communities as a self-governing part of the Kingdom of Denmark , but accepted as an associated member of the European Economic Community. This procedure established special relations between the European Community and Greenland, following the example of the regulations applicable to overseas territories.

Third extension (southern extension, part II) 1986

1986 was followed by Portugal and Spain in 11th and 12th member. There was no wave of immigration from these two countries, which was partly feared . The accession of Portugal led to a further weakening of the EFTA .

Accession was a kind of liberation for both countries. He helped out of an isolation that Spain in particular had been in for decades. Admission to the EC was a milestone in overcoming the consequences of the Franco dictatorship . The membership applications from Spain and Portugal found almost unanimous approval in their respective parliaments ( Cortes Generales and Parliament of Portugal ). In Spain, for example, the separatist Basques also agreed to admission; They hoped that the increasing attention paid to Spain would also give the EC more consideration to their interests and their endeavors towards Basque statehood .

German reunification 1990

On October 3, 1990 , the states of the GDR (about 108,000 km² and 16.7 million inhabitants) joined the Federal Republic of Germany, which at that time was a member of the European Communities. This “ German reunification ” was not actually an “extension” of the EC, as the communities did not accept any further state and neither application for or approval for membership nor contracts signed on an EC basis.

With reunification, the entire community law (primary and secondary law as well as the contracts concluded by the community) extended to the German accession area. The transformation of the law applicable in the GDR required - similar to the accession of a state to the Union - numerous transitional and adjustment regulations that were laid down by the community for the German accession area.

With over 80 million inhabitants, Germany has since become the most populous EC member state.

Fourth enlargement (EFTA enlargement) EU 1995

After successful accession negotiations, Austria , Sweden , Finland and Norway had referendums carried out on accession, with majorities in Sweden (52.3%) and Finland (57%) in favor of joining the EU. The turnout was lowest in Finland (74%) and high in Sweden (83%). In the referendum in Austria , 66.6% of the population voted for membership, with a turnout of 82.3%. In the referendum in Norway, however, there was a slim majority against accession.

The EU thus consisted of 15 member states ( EU-15 ).

Fifth expansion (eastward expansion, part I) 2004

Acceding countries 2004

On May 1, 2004, the states of Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania , Poland , the Czech Republic , Slovakia , Hungary , Slovenia , Malta and the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union. These are also known as the Luxembourg Group because it was decided in 1997 in Luxembourg to begin accession negotiations with these countries.

The euro was introduced in Slovenia on January 1, 2007, in Malta and in the Greek part of Cyprus on January 1, 2008, in Slovakia on January 1, 2009 and in Estonia on January 1, 2011. In Latvia, the euro was introduced on January 1, 2014, in Lithuania on January 1, 2015. The other three member states are not yet able to introduce the euro because the criteria of the Stability Pact have not yet been met.

All new Member States are initially net recipients , i. This means that they receive more EU funds for structural funding and the like. when they pay in contributions to the Union.

Joy celebrations took place in many cities on May 1, 2004 , and large fireworks lit the sky in Valletta (Malta) and other capitals. A further step towards the unification of Europe was taken and was celebrated by the heads of state and government in Athens .

So that the regions on both sides of the former external border of the EU grow together more economically, the ARGE 28 was founded in 1998, the working group of the 28 borderland chambers between the Baltic Sea and the Aegean Sea. This association includes all chambers of commerce ( IHKs , HWKs ) in Germany, Austria and Italy that border the acceding countries, as well as a Greek chamber. ARGE 28 has developed into an important contact for the EU in recent years; regular meetings and consultations take place.

The EU thus consisted of 25 member states.

Sixth expansion (eastward expansion, part II) 2007

In February and March 1993, respectively, Romania and Bulgaria concluded Association Agreements with the European Union, which entered into force on February 1, 1995. Romania then submitted an official application for membership on June 22, 1995, Bulgaria followed on December 14, 1995.

Accession negotiations with Bulgaria were concluded on June 15, 2004. Furthermore, the country has unilaterally linked its currency to the D-Mark since 1999; Lithuania and Estonia had pegged their currencies to the euro before joining. Negotiations with Romania were also concluded in December 2004 . Due to the significantly worse economic and legal situation in Romania compared to Bulgaria at the time, strict conditions were imposed on the country until 2007. The accession treaty with both countries was signed on April 25, 2005. Some of the clauses in it would have enabled the EU to postpone its planned accession for January 1, 2007 for one year.

Romania and Bulgaria were admitted to the European Union on January 1, 2007. This increased the population of the EU to around 501 million and its area to 4,324 million square kilometers. In 2007 European elections took place in both countries . Bulgaria and Romania sent MEPs to the European Parliament ; until the European elections in 2009 they only had observer status.

Seventh enlargement (Croatia) 2013

Croatia was granted official candidate status on June 18, 2004. The Council of the European Union decided on 16./17. December 2004, accession negotiations begin on March 17, 2005. Since the Croatian government's cooperation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague had been inadequate for many member states of the Union, the start of the negotiations had been postponed indefinitely until improvement could be seen. With the declaration by the chief prosecutor of the tribunal that Croatia was fully cooperating, accession negotiations began on October 4, 2005. The link between accession negotiations or accession and cooperation with the war crimes tribunal was rejected by some leading politicians.

In March 2008, high-ranking representatives of the European Commission expected Croatia to join the EU by the end of 2009, but the accession negotiations were then delayed several times. The negotiations with the aim of joining by July 1, 2013 were concluded on June 30, 2011. At the end of June 2011, all 35 negotiating chapters were concluded under the Hungarian EU presidency. The signing of the accession treaty between the EU and Croatia took place under the Polish Presidency on December 9, 2011 in Brussels.

Since the signing of the Accession Treaty, Croatia has been an active observer in the deliberations of the European Council and the Council of the EU and its preparatory bodies. The Croatian Parliament appointed members of the European Parliament on an interim basis to attend parliamentary sessions as observers. As a result of the expansion, the geographic center of the EU shifted to Oberwestern , coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 56 ″ N, 9 ° 14 ′ 31 ″ E

On January 22nd, 2012, the referendum on Croatia's accession to the EU was held in Croatia. The majority of voters (66.3%) voted to join, and the government accepted the referendum even though the turnout was only 43.51%. This made Croatia the 28th member state after ratification by all EU member states on July 1, 2013  and already participated in the 2014 European elections .

Future EU enlargements

At the EU summit in Thessaloniki in 2003, the integration of the Western Balkan countries ( Albania and the successor states of Yugoslavia ) was set as the next big goal in EU enlargement ( promise of Thessaloniki ). Of the Western Balkans, Croatia became a member of the EU in 2013 ( see above ).

On July 15, 2014, prior to his election as Commission President , Jean-Claude Juncker gave a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in which he presented his guidelines for future EU policy. Juncker's guidelines state that the Union and its citizens have to “digest the accession of 13 states in the last ten years”. The EU must “take a break from enlargement”, so there will be “no more enlargement in the next five years”. The ongoing accession negotiations should, however, be continued "as the Western Balkans in particular need a European perspective". The Eastern Partnership with neighboring countries such as Moldova and Ukraine must also be expanded.

Candidate countries

  • Candidate countries
  • Potential candidate countries
  • Population and GDP per capita (2010)
    ! European eurozone countries
    ! Rest of the EU
    ! Non-EU countries


    In April 2009, Albania applied for membership to the EU. On June 24, 2014 the EU awarded Albania candidate status. At the end of March 2020, the decision was made in Brussels to start accession negotiations with Albania (together with North Macedonia).


    Montenegro submitted its application to join the EU in mid-December 2008. On December 17, 2010, the country was granted candidate status. Accession negotiations began at the end of June 2012. Currently, three of the 28 negotiating chapters that have been opened so far have been provisionally closed (as of June 20, 2017).

    A Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) has existed with the EU since 2007 .

    North Macedonia

    North Macedonia was under its then name "Macedonia" on 15./16. December 2005 granted candidate status. An important prerequisite for this was the successful efforts of North Macedonian society to reduce ethnic tensions in the country. Macedonia officially applied for membership in Dublin on March 22, 2004. This was postponed due to the death of then President Boris Trajkovski on February 26, 2004. A date for the start of accession negotiations was not given. A further approximation should be linked to a general EU debate on future enlargement rounds. Accession should also depend on the EU's absorption capacity.

    The name dispute between Macedonia and the EU member Greece , which vetoed Macedonia's accession to NATO and threatened to veto Macedonian accession to the EU, made the ongoing accession negotiations more difficult, as the solution and settlement of this conflict was the primary prerequisite for Greece were to negotiate the EU accession of its northern neighbor. In 2019, Macedonia was renamed North Macedonia. At the end of March 2020, the decision was made in Brussels to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia.


    In the case of Serbia , negotiations on the Stabilization and Association Agreement were suspended in 2006 due to a lack of cooperation with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal , but were successfully concluded in May 2008.

    In December 2009, Serbia submitted an application to join the EU; Serbia has been an official candidate for membership since March 1, 2012. With the signing of the SAA of all 27 EU countries at the time in June 2013, Serbia became an "Associated Member of the EU", which means that the formal conditions for starting accession negotiations are met.

    After Serbia was granted candidate status on March 1, 2012, accession negotiations began on January 21, 2014. The screening was completed at the end of March 2014. The first two negotiating chapters were opened on December 14, 2015.

    Currently, 2 of the 34 negotiation chapters have been completed and 8 more are open (as of June 30, 2017).


    After Turkey had applied for membership for the first time in 1959, it was officially granted candidate status on December 11, 1999. At the Copenhagen Summit in 2002, the EU decided in December 2004 to decide whether to open accession negotiations as soon as Turkey fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria .

    On 16./17. In December 2004, the European Council decided in favor of opening accession negotiations with Turkey in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission report of October 6, 2004. Accession negotiations have been underway since October 4, 2005. One of 33 negotiation chapters has currently been completed (as of March 2013).

    Since May 2013, the violent crackdown by the Turkish police and "black state militia" against the protests in Turkey in 2013 triggered international criticism. The governments of the Netherlands , Austria and Germany refused to open a new negotiating chapter in June 2013.

    Potential candidate countries

    Countries that have submitted an application for membership that is being pursued can be referred to as candidate countries. However, these countries are not yet “potential accession candidates” in the sense of the legal definition of the EU, since a Council decision is required to be granted this status. The EU officially names Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo as “potential candidate countries”, both states are in the Western Balkans .

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina could join the EU if its economic situation improves and ethnic tensions are reduced; in this country many politicians are in favor of membership. Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU in 2008 , which is seen as the first step towards EU accession. The application for membership was made on February 15, 2016.


    Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, 2008, which is not recognized by numerous states, including the previous mother country Serbia. Officially, Kosovo is counted among the "potential candidate countries " by the EU "according to UN Resolution 1244 ". However, the EU members Slovakia , Romania , Spain , Greece and the Republic of Cyprus have so far refused to recognize Kosovo. The Stabilization and Association Agreement has been negotiated since 2013 and entered into force on April 1, 2016.

    Former applicant countries

    Applications to join the EU
  • European Union
  • Candidate countries
  • Application for membership made
  • Entered and resigned or membership refused by referendum
  • Application withdrawn
  • Application rejected by EC
  • An application for membership by Morocco from the 1980s, a consequence of Spain's trading partner joining the EU, was rejected by the EU. Norway's accession was rejected by the population twice in a referendum - in 1972 (northern expansion) and again in 1994 (EFTA expansion), see Norway and the European Union . Iceland's application for membership was withdrawn in 2015, Switzerland's in 2016.


    Iceland applied for membership on July 17, 2009. The Icelandic government hoped to join in 2012. Once the accession negotiations have been concluded, EU accession should be voted on in a referendum. The Council of the EU passed the Icelandic application for membership on July 27, 2009 with a request for comments.

    On February 24, 2010, the European Commission, through Štefan Füle, recommended that accession negotiations be opened with the Icelandic government. On June 17, 2010, the EU decided to start accession negotiations with Iceland. These were officially added on July 27, 2010. Most recently, 11 of the 33 negotiation chapters were closed and 16 others opened (as of December 18, 2012). Accession negotiations have been on hold since the beginning of the Icelandic election campaign in 2013 . In February 2014, the new government coalition consisting of the Progress Party and the Independence Party announced that it would withdraw its membership application. On March 12, 2015, Iceland withdrew its membership application.


    On May 20, 1992, Switzerland submitted a motion to the European Economic Community , the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community , the predecessor organizations of the EU, to start accession negotiations . The wording of the French-language letter from the Federal President on behalf of the Federal Council to the President of the Council of the European Economic Community reads in German: "Dear Mr. President, the Swiss government has the honor of applying the Swiss Confederation to the European Economic Community with this letter of Article 237 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, i.e. the opening of negotiations in this regard. ”The letter was received by the Secretariat of the Council of the European Communities on May 26, 1992.

    In March 2016, the National Council , and in mid-June 2016 also the State Council of States , voted for a motion by National Councilor Lukas Reimann mandating the government to withdraw the application for membership. Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter confirmed that the EU would be informed that the application was to be regarded as settled.


    A fundamental debate in the European Union is that between enlargement and deepening. As early as the 1969 summit in The Hague , the European heads of state and government discussed the apparent contrast between “vertical” deepening (the inclusion of new policy areas in the Community) and “horizontal” enlargement (the inclusion of new member states). The question of the optimal interconnection of expansion and deepening also came up again and again later. The two options often appeared as competing ideas: extensions only appeared to be possible at the expense of close supranational cohesion. On the other hand, in the historical development of the EU, both goals have mostly been pursued in parallel - resolutions to deepen the agenda were often taken almost simultaneously with those for new rounds of enlargement.

    After the far-reaching treaty reforms of the 1990s, however, the discussion about the future of the EU experienced a new turn. Until then, the development of the Union was seen primarily as an open process that could be steered in a certain direction through deepening or enlargement, since then the debate about the finality , i.e. the ultimate goal and the possible limits of the European unification process , has intensified .

    Members of the EU and other European organizations

    In the vertical dimension, the principle of subsidiarity , according to which decisions should always be made at the lowest possible decision-making level, gained importance in this context . The advocates of national reservations about sovereignty therefore argue that numerous policy areas should be treated more sensibly at the level of the individual member states, not the EU. Proponents of a close political union, on the other hand, are increasingly calling for the goal of a European federal state , as was advocated by the European federalists at the beginning of the integration process and was most recently reflected in the concept of the European constitution . If the deepening process were to be slowed down, many supporters of integration fear that the EU would have to give up its political ambitions (for example in climate and foreign policy ) and concentrate solely on its economic program, the common internal market - although this is exactly the scenario of some more sovereignty-oriented member states, such as the UK, for example, is well supported. The model of a core Europe or a “Europe of different speeds” is being discussed as a solution to this conflict between pioneers and brakes of integration . It is intended to enable a group of member states to take more in-depth integration steps (for example through increased cooperation ), while other members would only be involved in the EU in a less intensive form. However, critics see this proposal as a risk of division for the Union.

    In the horizontal dimension, the debate also revolves around the question of whether the EU can have definitive geographical borders at all or whether it should develop its integrating and satisfactory effect wherever its standards are adopted and its criteria are met. A provisional solution is the European Neighborhood Policy , through which the EU wants to give its neighbors in the east and south the opportunity to take part in certain integration measures even without full membership. A final answer on the future of the EU as an open project or as a model within fixed limits is still pending.

    See also

    Portal: European Union  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of the European Union


    • Jean-Claude Juncker: A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change. Political guidelines for the next European Commission; Speech at the opening of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 15, 2014 ( PDF )
    • Spiridon Paraskewopoulos (ed.): The eastward expansion of the European Union. Opportunities and Perspectives (= series of publications by the Gesellschaft für Deutschlandforschung . Vol. 75). Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-428-10143-X .
    • Roland Sturm , Heinrich Pehle (ed.): The new European Union: The eastward expansion and its consequences . Barbara Budrich Verlag, Opladen 2006, ISBN 3-86649-004-6
    • Barbara Lippert (Ed.): Balance sheet and consequential problems of the EU enlargement . Nomos, Baden-Baden 2004, ISBN 3-8329-0864-1
    • Matthias Chardon (ed.): EU eastward expansion: opportunities and perspectives . Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach im Taunus 2005, ISBN 3-89974-121-8

    Web links

    Commons : Enlargement of the European Union  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. Geiger / Kahn / Kotzur, EUV / AEUV, Commentary, 5th Edition, Munich 2010, Art. 49, Rn. 2
    2. European Commission : European Neighborhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations: Conditions for membership
    3. a b European Commission: European Neighborhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations: Steps towards joining
    4. European Commission: European Neighborhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations: Monitoring of the negotiations
    5. a b c European Commission : The Enlargement Process: The Conclusion of Negotiations and the Accession Treaty ( Memento from November 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
    6. European Commission: European Neighborhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations: Chapters of the acquis
    7. ^ "Great Britain says yes" by Andrew Manderstam (RTL, June 5, 1975) CVCE
    8. Deutsche Welle : June 5, 1975: "British Vote for Europe"
    9. ^ Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty: later amendments to the treaty
    10. see also the declaratory regulation in Art. 10 Unification Agreement
    11. France has over 64 million and Italy over 62 million inhabitants, see also this list (sortable)
    12. EU referendum: referendum on Austria's accession to the European Union on June 12, 1994 (PDF), p. 13.
    13. ^ Romania and Bulgaria before joining the EU , bpb.de June 29, 2006
    14. Archive link ( Memento of August 21, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) EU website
    15. ^ "Croatia should become a member of the EU at the end of 2009" BRF Nachrichten, March 13, 2008.
    16. ^ Wiener Zeitung , June 30, 2011: Green light for Croatia .
    17. press release. European Council on December 9, 2011 (PDF; 129 kB)
    18. K. Antonia Schäfer: EU expansion: the center of Europe lies on a meadow in Bavaria. In: welt.de . July 12, 2013, accessed October 7, 2018 .
    19. spiegel.de: “Croatians vote to join the EU” , January 22, 2012.
    20. Declaration on the EU - Western Balkans Summit, press release of the European Commission, Thessaloniki, June 21, 2003, see point 2.
    21. Jean-Claude Juncker: “A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change.” Political guidelines for the next European Commission; Speech at the opening of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 15, 2014 ( PDF ), p. 12.
    22. "European Union: Albania now officially candidate for EU membership" , Spiegel Online , June 24, 2014.
    23. a b "Commission welcomes the green light for the start of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia" , press release of the European Commission, 25 March 2020.
    24. European Commission: European Neighborhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations: Montenegro
    25. Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro: The European Union in Montenegro , accessed on September 27, 2017.
    26. tagesschau.de: EU suspends negotiations with Serbia . May 3, 2006.
    27. tagesschau.de: Serbia and Brussels back at the negotiating table . June 13, 2007.
    28. Serbia to become an "associate member of EU" on Sept 1 (English). On: www.b92.net, July 29, 2013
    29. zeit.de: An inkling of Tahrir in Istanbul.
    30. Turkey's rapprochement with the EU is stalling
    31. Konrad Clewing: The clocks tick differently in Kosovo. In: Mittelbayerische Zeitung. Peter Esser, March 18, 2018, accessed on November 21, 2019 : "A Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, which is intended to lead to membership in the Union, came into force on April 1, 2016."
    32. ^ European Commission backs Iceland EU membership bid , independent.co.uk, February 24, 2010
    33. ^ Status of the accession negotiations
    34. Iceland renounces EU membership. zeit.de, accessed on March 4, 2014 .
    35. Iceland withdraws membership application , accessed on March 13, 2015
    36. facsimile
    37. Simon Gemperli: “Switzerland withdraws application for EU membership.” NZZ , June 15, 2016, accessed on the same day.