Enlargement of the European Union: milestones and future outlook

The European Union has grown from six to currently 28 members – a highly attractive and successful model


Parameters of the enlargement process

According to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European country can apply for membership of the Union. more

Helping countries prepare for accession

Candidate countries receive support from the EU through accession partnerships and the Instrument for Pre‑Accession Assistance (IPA). more

The EU enlargement: Turkey

On 3 October 2005, the European Union opened accession negotiations with Turkey, which has had candidate status since 1999. The European Council had previously decided in December 2004 that “Turkey sufficiently fulfils the Copenhagen political criteria to open accession negotiations.” more

EU enlargement: Montenegro

Montenegro applied for membership of the EU in December 2008 and has had the status of a candidate country since 2010. Accession negotiations were opened on 29 June 2012.

EU candidate country: Serbia

On 22 December 2009 Serbia submitted an application to join the European Union and was granted the status of candidate country on 1 March 2012.


EU accession candidate: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

In 2004, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied for EU membership; in December 2005, it was granted candidate country status by the European Council. more

EU prospects for Albania

Albania applied to join the EU in 2009 and has been an official candidate country since June 2014. more

EU prospects for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Like all other countries in the Western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina also has a prospect of joining the European Union – as was expressly stated by the European Council in 2003. more

Kosovo’s EU perspective

Like all other Western Balkan countries, Kosovo was offered the prospect of joining the European Union by the European Council in Thessaloniki in 2003. more

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