European Enlargement Policy


For half a century, the European Union has pursued ever-deeper integration while taking in new members. Most of the time, the two processes took place in parallel. A growing membership has been part of the development of European integration right from the start. Today's EU, with 27 Member States and a population of close to 500 million people, is much safer, more prosperous, stronger and more influential than the original European Economic Community of 50 years ago with its 6 members and population of less than 200 million.


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The governments of the EU Member States, coming together in the European Council, have agreed to extend the EU perspective to countries in South East Europe - Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and Turkey. Membership will only happen when the necessary requirements are met. A gradual and carefully managed enlargement process creates a win-win situation for all countries concerned.


The EU provides financial assistance to candidate countries and potential candidates and helps them reform and adapt their institutions and legislations. Financial assistance takes the form of projects on the ground following phases of programming and contracting. Hundreds of projects are being carried out across all sectors, countries and regions.


More information

ECRAAL - European Centre for Research in Asia, Africa and Latin America
Rond Point Schuman 6, 1040 Brussels - Scotland House
Tel: +32 2 282 84 16