Expansion is one of the most important opportunities for the European Union preparing to the 21th century. This is a unique historical mission in order to take the consolidation of the continent further by peaceful means by providing the new members with a stability and welfare area. The EU already has a successful expansion background. The Paris Treaty (1951) regarding the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the Roma Treaty (1957) regarding the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) and EURATOM were signed by six founder members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The EU henceforwards went through four successive expansion process:
1957 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (Founder Members)
1973 Denmark, Ireland and England
1986 Portugal and Spain
1995 Austuria, Finland and Sweden
2004 Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Greek Populated Southern Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Hungary
2007 Bulgaria and Romania
The European Council started the process which made the expansion possible at the Luxembourg Summit in December 1997. Within this process, twelve countries specified below gained the candidate country status for the first time: Bulgaria, Greek Populated Southern Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
Upon the recommendation of the European Commission, the negotiations with six countries were started on 31 March 1998: Greek Populated Southern Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.
Malta re-enacted its membership application, which it ‘freezed’ in 1996, in October 1998. The European Council confirmed the comprehensive quality of the accession period at Helsinki Summit in December 1999 and decided to start more official accession negotiations with the six candidate countries based on the recommendation of the European Commission: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovak Republic. The accession negotiations with these six countries were officially opened on 15 February 2000. At Helsinki Summit, the European Council also confirmed that Turkey is a candidate to access to the Union as per the same criteria applied to the other candidate countries.
With the official accession of 10 new members (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Malta and Greek Populated Southern Cyprus) to the EU on 1
May 2004, the EU completed the most comprehensive expansion of its history.
Bulgaria and Romania, however, became the member on 1 January 2007.
Croatia, which made its candidature application in 2003, started the negotiations in 2005 together with Turkey. Upon Croatia, signing the Accession Treaty on 9 December 2011, became a member in 2013, the EU became a Union that consists of 28 members.
In this way, as of 1 January 2015, the approximate population of the European Union with 28 members has reached to 508.2 million and the number of the official languages of the EU has reached to 24.
In the current situation, there are 5 countries in total which are the candidates to be a member of the EU, including Turkey.
Our Association takes an effective charge in the Black Sea Region within the EU consolidation process. It has realized many awareness rising project that will suppor the consolidation process.
These projects are:
In order to request the detailed information about the studies that we had carried out in these fields and the project products, you can contact with our EU Consolidation Process Works Coordinator Ms. Pınar CAN.