European Enlargement - introduction

Thus far there have been four main waves of EU Enlargement:
• 1973 (UK, Ireland and Denmark)
• 1981 (Greece)
The European Union (“EU”) has enlarged several times since the "Common
Market" (Eu ropean Economic Community) was set up with just six Member
States in 1957.
• 1986 (Portugal and Spain)
• 1995 (Austria, Finland and Sweden)

The current enlargement process now brings the EU to its current membership of 15
through the
accession of ten countries.

As many as twenty-seven countries may be full members of the EU by the end of 2010 in
the current process of enlargement.

The enlargement process represents a widening of the EU, at the same time as existing
countries are considering a further deepening of economic and social integration.
The key issues to consider in your study of the enlargement process are:

• The economic structure and macro-economic performance of accession countries
• The requirements for entry to the EU – the road map to joining the EU
• The advantages for accession countries of becoming a member of the EU
• The potential risks and costs of joining the EU
• The potential benefits and costs for the EU and the UK from enlargement

Accession Countries
The countries joining the EU in 2004 are

Czech Republic

The main aim of enlargement is political rather than economic – but enlargement will
have major long term consequences for all European and British businesses and

Is British business geared up to exploit the opportunities for foreign direct investment and
exporting that enlargement creates?