Accession countries

Since its formation in 1954 the European Union has undergone various stages of expansion. In particular, 2004 saw a big increase in the number of EU countries – many of these former Eastern European countries. These are known as ‘accession countries’

To join the European Union it was necessary for these accession countries to undertake certain reforms and agree to follow European law. Turkey is hoping to join but there are more difficulties over its accession because of its different background and dispute with Greece over Cyprus.

Accession countries of 2004

  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia

Countries hoping to join the European Union

  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey
  • Serbia (public opinion divided)

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