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The final expansion of the European Union

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The enlargement of the EU on 1 May 2004 reunited the European continent formerly torn by the antagonism between East / West dating from the Cold War. This expansion is due to the nature of the European Union, which is open to any democratic European state able to meet the economic challenges posed by membership, apply its rules and share the values of democracy and freedom. This integration, which hosted eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus, was the largest and most ambitious in the history of the European Union. Indeed, the number of Members States has increased from 15 to 25 and the European Union now has over 450 million people, more than Russia and the United States combined.

It is obvious that this expansion has brought changes in the organization of the European Union and has led to changes in relations both internally and externally, in fact, the ten countries, that is to say, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, are poorer than the European average and one of the priorities of the Union is to raise their standard of living to be closer to that of other member states.

We can ask ourselves the process of integrating the latest enlargement of the European Union was and the different issues from the integration. To meet this problem, we will see in the first part the appeal exuded by the European Union, and secondly, we will study the various issues of enlargement.

The deepening of European integration and the increasing number of Member States have been inseparable since the creation of the Union. Each new expansion, it is the fifth since 1973, has enabled countries to enter a coveted circle and establish the power of the European Union.

The European Union has come a long way since the original six member states joined forces to create, in 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community and, in 1957, the European Economic Community. From 1950 to 1970, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and the Netherlands are trying to establish their institution. Their main objective is to maintain peace in the continent.

In 1973, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark entered the group, followed by Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986. Then a big step was achieved with the Single Act and the Maastricht Treaty that set up a single currency and strengthened the single market and the expansion of economic and social agenda in foreign policy and security. In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden arrived in the European group. From 1997, work began on the development of the European Constitution which was rejected by several countries in 2005 and is currently on hold.

The latest enlargement has its roots in the collapse of communism, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, then offered the opportunity to extend European integration in Central and Eastern Europe. It reflects the will of the fifteen members of the peaceful unification of Europe in order to turn over one of the darkest pages of history of the continent. The prospect of stabilization of Europe led to search for a continued expansion of the Union, and thus to further expand its borders.

Tags: European integration, European Constitution, European Coal and Steel Community,

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