Enlargement of the European Union

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The European Union (EU) was created by six founding states in 1957 (following the earlier establishment by the same six states of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952) and has grown to 27 member states. There have been five enlargements, with the largest occurring on May 1, 2004, when 10 new member states joined, and the most recent on January 1, 2007, when Bulgaria and Romania joined.

Currently, accession negotiations are underway with several states. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration. However, this term is also used to refer to the intensification of cooperation between EU member states as national governments allow for the gradual centralising of power within European institutions.

In order to join the European Union, a state needs to fulfill the economic and political conditions generally known as the Copenhagen criteria (after the Copenhagen summit in June 1993). That requires a secular, democratic government, rule of law and corresponding freedoms and institutions. According to the EU Treaty, each current member state and also the European Parliament have to agree to any enlargement.

The present EU Treaty - the Treaty of Nice - does not provide for the voting arrangements to be adopted for more than the present 27 members. Although the proposed European Constitution did provide such a mechanism, the ratification of this Treaty is currently on hold. The newly signed Treaty of Lisbon provides this mechanism, but has yet to be ratified.

Enlargement may lead to negative commercial consequences for other WTO Member States. The EU and the US have agreed in March 2006 to provide compensation for negative consequences associated with the 2004 enlargement.[1]

Contents

[edit] Historical enlargements

Enlargement, 1957 to 2007     European Communities     European Union
Enlargement, 1957 to 2007
     European Communities     European Union

Full timeline of past enlargements (and secessions) along with fixed future events;

Chart of the Population Development of the EU affiliated with the enlargement process.
Chart of the Population Development of the EU affiliated with the enlargement process.

[edit] Criteria and methods

Population and GDP per capita of EU member states and some candidates.
Population and GDP per capita of EU member states and some candidates.

In 1989, the European Community's Phare program was created. It aimed to provide financial support for potential accession countries so that they could expand and reform their economies. To join the EU an applicant country must meet the following Copenhagen criteria established by the European Council in 1993:

  • Stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.
  • The existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.
  • The ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.

In December 1995, the Madrid European Council revised the membership criteria to include conditions for member country integration through the appropriate adjustment of its administrative structures: since it is important that European Community legislation be reflected in national legislation, it is critical that the revised national legislation be implemented effectively through appropriate administrative and judicial structures.

In order to assess progress achieved by countries in preparing for accession to the European Union, the European Commission submits 'Regular Reports' to the European Council. These serve as the basis upon which the Council takes decisions on negotiations or their extension to other candidates. Since 1993, the Commission has presented a complete set of Regular Reports on a yearly basis, covering the 10 now member countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) as well as Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.

[edit] Candidate countries

     current members      candidate countries      potential candidate countries      application frozen, as negotiatons rejected in a referendum      application rejected by EC      accession rejected in two referenda
     current members      candidate countries      potential candidate countries      application frozen, as negotiatons rejected in a referendum      application rejected by EC      accession rejected in two referenda

[edit] Croatia

Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003, and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council (the EU's heads of government) in mid-2004 and a date for the beginning of entry negotiations, while originally set for early 2005, was postponed to October of the same year. Following the opening of accession negotiations on October 3, 2005, the process of screening 33 acquis chapters with Croatia was completed on October 18, 2006.

After Slovenia, Croatia has recovered best from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and so hopes to become the second former Yugoslav state to become a member. It has a stable market economy, and has had better statistical indicators than the ones that joined in 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania).

In late 2005, the EU officials projected that the accession of Croatia would likely happen between 2010 and 2012. In October 2006, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn stated: "If Croatia will be able to reform its judiciary and economy with rigour and resolution, then it is likely to be ready around the end of this decade."[4] In any case, the EU needs to consider its internal problems before accommodating any new member after Bulgaria and Romania; under the current Treaty of Nice, the EU cannot have more than 27 members. The EU Constitution provided one solution to this problem, but its rejection by two member states in referendums means that other solutions are required. The new Treaty of Lisbon would solve its internal issues and therefore clear the way for accession. A likely date for this treaty entering into force after end of negotiations is 1 January 2009.

The finalisation of all chapters of the acquis communautaire is expected in 2008 or 2009,[citation needed] while signing the accession treaty would happen in the year after. Before starting negotiations with Croatia, the acquis was divided into 35 chapters, 4 more than the usual 31; the new chapters, previously part of the agricultural policy, are areas expected to be troublesome, as they were with the other applicants.

[edit] The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied to become an official candidate on March 22, 2004. On November 9, 2005 the European Commission recommended that it become a candidate state. EU leaders agreed to this recommendation on December 17, formally naming the country as an official candidate, but no date for starting negotiations has been announced yet.

The country has a dispute with its southern neighbour and current EU member, Greece, over the name Macedonia (see: Macedonia naming dispute). Because of this, the EU recognises the country as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and this is the only denotation by which the country may hold negotiations with the EU. Resolution of this issue is technically not a precondition for membership,[5] but Greece and Cyprus have repeatedly stated that they will veto the country's accession unless an agreement on the naming issue is reached.

Peace is maintained with underlying ethnic tensions over Albanians in the west that achieved greater autonomy through the implementation of the Ohrid Accords. Unlike Serbia, it has maintained sovereignty over all its territory. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has suggested that the country could join in 2012 or 2013.[6] However, the EU has not come out with any official recognition of this suggested time period.

On December 17, 2005 the European Council welcomed and congratulated the country's achievements in implementing multiple reforms and agreements (Copenhagen criteria, Stabilisation and Association process, Ohrid Agreement). It supports the continuation of this process. Further concrete steps in the country's EU membership (i.e. commencing of negotiations) will be possible after the debate on the general Enlargement policy of the EU. The Council notes also that the absorption capacity of the EU will be taken into account.[7]

[edit] Turkey

The status of Turkey with regard to the EU has become a matter of major significance and considerable controversy in recent years. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1964 following the signing of the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement (Ankara Agreement) in 1963; the country formally applied for full membership on April 14, 1987, but 12 years passed before it was recognised as a candidate country at the Helsinki Summit in 1999. After a summit in Brussels on December 17, 2004, the European Council announced that membership negotiations with Turkey were officially opened on October 3, 2005. The screening process which began on October 20, 2005 was completed on October 18, 2006.

Turkey, classified as a developed country by the CIA,[8] with the seventh largest economy in the Council of Europe, is part of the common EU customs territory since the entering into force of the EU-Turkey Customs Union in 1996. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe since 1949, a founding member of the OECD since 1961, a founding member of the OSCE since 1973 and an associate member of the Western European Union since 1992. Turkey is also a founding member of the G20 industrial nations (1999) which has close ties with the European Union.

Those opposed to Turkey's accession make diverse arguments. Many opponents argue that Turkey's current and past governments do not respect key principles expected in a liberal democracy because of discrimination against ethnic minorities, particularly Kurds, non-Sunni Muslim religious minorities, political dissidents and critics of the 'Kemalist' nationalism, and because of the significant role of the army on the Turkish political foreground. The EU has expressed concerns about the rise of nationalism in Turkey and the adverse effect thereof on the accession process. Its large population would also alter the balance of power in the representative European institutions. Some oppose the accession of a large Muslim country. Also, only a small fraction of Turkish territory lies in the common geographical definition of Europe, but this is where the country's largest city and its economic and cultural capital, Istanbul, is located. EU member Cyprus is actually located to the south of Anatolia and is geographically a part of Anatolia's continental shelf.

Another concern is that Turkey continues to occupy the northern third of the island of Cyprus, an EU member, with 40,000 Turkish troops stationed on the island, and refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus until a solution is found to the Cyprus dispute under the auspices of the United Nations. Historically though, the UN Security Council, in its Resolution 541 of 18 November 1983, has declared the occupation of northern Cyprus legally invalid and called for the withdrawal of Turkish forces.[9] The UN-backed Annan Plan for Cyprus was actively supported by the EU and Turkey. However, the Annan Plan was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot community and rejected by the Greek Cypriots in separate referenda in April 2004.

Arguments in favour of Turkey joining include the belief that this would bolster democratic institutions in Turkey, strengthen the EU's economy with the addition of an OECD and G-20 member to the bloc, and strengthen the EU's military with the addition of the second largest armed force of NATO. Proponents also argue that it abides by most conditions for accession. Some maintain that the EU can no longer refuse Turkey, as it has had an open candidacy for over 40 years, and has made major improvements in human rights in order to try to satisfy the entry conditions.

Arguments against Turkey joining are continued political crises (1960, 1971, 1980, 1997). A stabilized democracy is crucial for accession into the European Union. Related to this is the military's significant involvement in civil society.

[edit] Potential candidate countries

The EU's relations with the Western Balkans states (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia) were moved from the "External Relations" to the "Enlargement" policy segment. These states currently are not recognised as candidate countries, but only as "potential candidate countries".[10] This is a consequence of the advancement of the Stabilisation and Association process.

The successor states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia) have all adopted EU integration as an aim of foreign policy. Slovenia joined the EU on May 1, 2004. Croatia is currently negotiating its entry. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is recognised as an EU candidate country.

The Republic of Albania in the Western Balkans was for a long period under one of the harshest communist governments in the world, which imposed on the people of Albania an international isolation similar to that of North Korea. The post communist Albanian governments have adopted EU integration as the strategic orientation of the country.

The EU signed an agreement with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 13 April 2007, and Serbia on 15 May 2007, which included visa facilitations for the citizens of these countries. The signing EU Commissioner Franco Frattini was quoted saying that this is the first step toward a full abolishment of the visa requirements and the free movement of the Western Balkans citizens in EU. Negotiations for a visa-free travel regime with the aforementioned countries are expected to start in January 2008. [11]

The 2003 European Council summit in Thessaloniki set integration of the Western Balkans as a priority of EU expansion. A further meeting in Mamaia, Romania, concluded that "Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro are considered likely to join the EU between 2010 and 2015" depending on their fulfillment of the adhesion criteria.[citation needed] This summit was attended by two EU members, seven countries now in the EU, and the eight EU hopefuls (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine). However, this summit was not linked to any EU institution, whatsoever, and the target dates and agreements presented there mainly aimed at encouraging the candidate and potential candidate countries on their way to eventual full membership into the EU.

On November 9, 2005, the European Commission has suggested in a new strategy paper that the current enlargement agenda (Croatia, Turkey and the Western Balkans) could potentially block the possibility of a future accession of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.[12] Olli Rehn has said on occasion that the EU should "avoid overstretching our capacity, and instead consolidate our enlargement agenda," adding, "this is already a challenging agenda for our accession process."[13]

[edit] Albania

Albania was the first of the officially recognized Potential Candidate countries to start the negotiations of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2003. This was successfully agreed and signed on June 12, 2006, completing the first major step toward Albania's full membership in the EU.

However, Albania's admission to the EU depends mainly on the country's economic and political stability. Following the steps of the recently admitted Eastern European countries, Albania has been extensively engaged with EU institutions and NATO, and has maintained its position as a stability factor and a strong ally of Western Europe in the troubled and divided region of the Balkans.

[edit] Montenegro

In the independence referendum of May 21, 2006, the Montenegrin people voted for Montenegro to leave the state union of Serbia and Montenegro and become an independent state. It is not yet clear how this will affect Europe's newest independent state but it is believed that negotiations with the EU will allow quick implementation of an SAA agreement and speedier entry to the club of European nations than had it stayed tied to Serbia's EU bid. Montenegro is experiencing ecological, judicial and crime-related problems that may hinder its bid. Montenegro has unilaterally adopted the euro as its currency since its launch in 1999, and before that had used the German mark. SAA negotiations started in September 2006.[14] The Agreement was initialled on 15 March 2007 and officially signed on 15 October 2007.

[edit] Serbia

Serbia has to deal with ethnic tension in the region of Kosovo as well as poverty in the south and widespread corruption. Serbia began the reform process in 2000, back then as part of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.

The government of Serbia wants to prepare the country for EU accession between 2012 and 2015. However, it seems much more likely that it would happen around 2015 due to many domestic problems and extensive reforms that should be implemented, and the current institutional crisis in the EU. Negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement started in November 2005.

The fact that accused war criminals Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić still have not been captured is an obstruction in these negotiations. On May 3, 2006, the European Union suspended SAA talks with Serbia over its failure to arrest Ratko Mladić. This is likely to severely hinder the pace of EU entry and the reform process in Serbia. In July 2006, an action plan for the arrest of Ratko Mladić was issued by the government, aimed to locate and bring the former general to justice, which is expected to improve relations with EU. Subject to resolving this issue, SAA negotiations are expected to conclude in 2007.[15] Likewise, on June 13, 2007 the association talks between Serbia and the EU have resumed.[16]

On 7 November 2007 Serbia initialled an SAA with the European Union, i.e. agreed on the final version of the text to which no or little changes are to be made, which is the step immediately preceding the official signing that is expected to take place in 2008. This is a milestone in Serbia's accession negotiations, and was executed following the advice of chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte which advised the EU that the country was complying adequately with the tribunal, though that Ratko Mladić must be in The Hague prior to any official signing being able to take place.[17]

[edit] Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina still has many economic as well as political problems. Recently it has been making slow but steady progress, including co-operation with the war crimes tribunal at The Hague, so the outlook is positive.

Negotiations on Stabilisation and Association Agreement started during the year 2005 and concluded December of 2007. This is the first step before making an application for candidate status and membership negotiations. The negotiations were expected to be finalised in late 2007,[15] but due to the failure of the government to decide in time on police reform in line with EU principles they could be finalised in late 2008 at the nearest. Due to this setback and the hard-line positions of most Bosnian politicians High Representative Miroslav Lajčák has stated that he will shift more of his focus for the time being from EU accession to reforms which would improve the standard of living in the country.

The Union may show some leniency regarding its economy due to the political issues at stake. Former President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, has stated that Bosnia has a chance of joining the EU soon after Croatia, but it is entirely dependent on the country's progress.

The SAA was initialled on Tuesday, 4th December 2007 by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and caretaker Prime Minister Nikola Špirić. The initialling came in the wake of successful negotiations by Miroslav Lajčák in regards to passing his new quorum rules laws and also the commitment of Bosnian and Herzegovinian politicians to implementing police reform.

[edit] Progress of future enlargements

It was previously the norm for enlargements to see multiple entrants join the Union at once. The only previous enlargement of a single state was the 1981 admission of Greece.

However, EC members and EU ministers have warned that, following the significant impact of the fifth enlargement in 2004, a more individual approach will be adopted in the future, although the entry of pairs or small groups of countries may yet coincide. Croatia may be expected to join first, possibly around 2009 or 2010, Macedonia possibly around 2012, and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey following, either together or in smaller groups.

The timing of smaller-wave enlargements is subject to many variables and the dates given in the table below are the earliest possible ones - procedures do not allow speedier admission in most cases (for example, it takes at least two years to move from a membership application to the start of negotiations).

Countries Candidates Potential candidates Reference states

Event
Turkey Croatia FYR Macedonia Albania Montenegro Serbia Bosnia
and
Herzegovina
Czech
Republic
Slovakia Bulgaria
SAA1 negotiations start 1959 (AA) 2000 2000 2003 2005 2005 2005 1990 1990 1990
SAA signature 1963 (AA)
1995 (CU)
2001 2001 2006 2007 (2008)3 (2008)3 1993 1993 1993
SAA entry into force 1996 (CU) 2005 2004 (2008) (2010) (2010) (2010) 1995 1995 1995
Membership application submitted 1987 2003 2004 (2008) (2008) (2008) (2008) 1996 1995 1995
Candidate status received 1999 2004 2005 (2009) (2009) (2009) (2009) 1998 1999 1999
Membership negotiations start 2005 2005 (2008) (2010) (2010) (2010) (2010) 1998 2000 2000
Membership negotiations end (2012) (2008) (2012) (2012) (2012) (2012) (2012) 2002 2002 2004
EU joining date (2015) (2010) (2015) (2015) (2015) (2015) (2015) 2004 2004 2007
Acquis chapter
1. Free Movement of Goods f fs -
2. Freedom of Movement for Workers fs fs -
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom to provide Services f o -
4. Free Movement of Capital fs fs -
5. Public Procurement fs fs -
6. Company Law fs o -
7. Intellectual Property Law fs o -
8. Competition Policy fs fs -
9. Financial Services f o -
10. Information Society & Media fs o -
11. Agriculture & Rural Development f fs -
12. Food safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy fs fs -
13. Fisheries f fs -
14. Transport Policy f fs -
15. Energy fs fs -
16. Taxation fs fs -
17. Economic & Monetary Policy fs o -
18. Statistics o o -
19. Social Policy & Employment2 fs fs -
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy o o -
21. Trans-European Networks o o -
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments fs fs -
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights fs fs -
24. Justice, Freedom & Security fs fs -
25. Science & Research x x -
26. Education & Culture fs x -
27. Environment fs fs -
28. Consumer & Health Protection o o -
29. Customs Union f o -
30. External Relations f o -
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy fs fs -
32. Financial Control o o -
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions fs o -
34. Institutions - - -
35. Other Issues - - -

1 Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) for the Western Balkans states, Association Agreement and Customs Union for Turkey, Europe Agreement for the reference states.
2 Including anti-discrimination and equal opportunities for men and women.
3 Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina both initialled the SAA in 2007 but are yet to sign it.


(bracketed date): approximate and most probable nearest possible date as at economic and political situation of December 2007. Dates subject to increases/decreases as things change and time passes. Situation of policy area at the start of membership negotiations, according to [8].

s - screening of the chapter
fs - finished screening
o - open chapter
x - closed chapter
f - frozen chapter

     non-acquis chapter - nothing to adopt      no major difficulties expected      further efforts needed

     considerable efforts needed

     very hard to adopt      situation totally incompatible with EU acquis

[edit] Future enlargement possibilities

In the Treaty of Maastricht (Article 49), it is stated that any European country that respects the principles of the European Union may apply to join. The Copenhagen European Council set out the conditions for EU membership in June 1993 in the so-called Copenhagen criteria. Whether a country is European or not is a subject to political assessment by the EU institutions, but countries in the Council of Europe that fall onto the border between Europe and Asia all have a significant claim for EU membership, as shown with the accession of geographically Asian, but culturally European, Cyprus.

The European Union has tended to enlarge along regional lines, adding groups of nearby nations. Currently, the EU is very interested in the integration of the Balkan states. Of Eastern Europe, Heather Grabbe of the Centre for European Reform has said, "Belarus is too authoritarian, Moldova too poor, Ukraine too large, and Russia too scary for the EU to contemplate offering membership any time soon."[18] Due to the 2004 "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine, and the 2003 "Rose Revolution" in Georgia, both countries have started and already implemented extensive reform programs, and the perspectives for both countries have become more positive. Armenia has also shown interest in joining the EU.

The following sections discuss the situation of those states and entities concerning which the issue of EU membership has been discussed in official circles.

[edit] The European Free Trade Association

[edit] Switzerland

Switzerland took part in negotiating the EEA agreement with the EU and signed the agreement on 2 May 1992 and submitted an application for accession to the EU on 20 May 1992. A Swiss referendum held on 6 December 1992 rejected EEA membership. As a consequence, the Swiss Government decided to suspend negotiations for EU accession until further notice, but its application remains open. The popular initiative entitled "Yes to Europe!", calling for the opening of immediate negotiations for EU membership, was rejected in a 4 March 2001 referendum. The Swiss Federal Council (which is in favour of EU membership) had advised the population to vote against this referendum since the preconditions for the opening of negotiations had not been met. It is thought that the fear of a loss of neutrality and independence is the key issue against membership among eurosceptics. EU membership however continues to be the objective of the government and is a "long-term aim" of the Federal Council. Furthermore, the Swiss population agreed to their country's participation in the Schengen Agreement. As a result of that, Switzerland joined the Schengen area in 2007 with the Eastern European countries.

The Swiss federal government policy has recently undergone substantial U-turns in policy, however, concerning specific agreements with the EU on freedom of movement for people, workers and areas concerning tax evasion have been addressed within the Swiss banking system. This was a result of the first Switzerland-EU summit in May 2004 where nine bilateral agreements were signed. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, said the agreements "moved Switzerland closer to Europe." Joseph Deiss of the Swiss Federal Council said, "We might not be at the very centre of Europe but we're definitely at the heart of Europe". He continued, "We're beginning a new era of relations between our two entities." [9]

[edit] Norway

Norway, per capita the second richest country in the world is, like most other Scandinavian states, reluctant to surrender sovereignty to a supranational entity. The Norwegian government also wishes to keep control of oil, gas and fishery resources in their territorial waters. Norway has applied four times for EEC and EU membership. In 1962 and 1967 France vetoed Norway's entry, while the later 1972 referendum and the 1994 referendum were both lost by the government. In late 2004, then Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik suggested that the debate about joining the EU might be restarted in 2007. The 2005 constitution referendums in France and the Netherlands have however made this less likely, and in mid-October 2005, after the elections, the new Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stated that there would not be a new attempt at EU membership under his government.

A large issue for Norway is its fishing resources, which is a significant part of the economy of Norway and which would come under the Common Fisheries Policy if Norway joins the European Union. Norway has high GNP per capita, not so much agriculture, and few underdeveloped areas, meaning they would have to pay a lot to the budget and get little back from the union. However, Norway annually loses out on €180 million by not being an EU member, according to reports by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.[citation needed] High seas fishermen especially would gain from membership as the cost of entering the EU market would disappear and they would be able to fish in all EU waters.

Thorbjørn Jagland, President of the Parliament, has proposed that Norway and Iceland should prepare a common strategy before launching membership negotiations with the EU. His Icelandic counterpart has expressed agreement.

Norway is also a member of the European Economic Area (the EU common market), the Schengen treaty and an associate member of the Western European Union as well as other areas normally considered as under the EU umbrella of treaties and agreements. Norway has been a member of NATO since 1949.

Further reading: *History of Norway-EU relations from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

[edit] Iceland

Iceland has never applied for EU membership but is already associated with the union through the EEA where it has access to the Single market. Iceland is also a member of the Schengen treaty and has expressed interest in joining the euro whilst still remaining outside the EU.

Like in Norway, fear of losing control over the fishery resources in its territorial waters is the single largest issue keeping Iceland reluctant to join the EU. Since these two countries have so much in common it is generally expected that they would join together, as it would not be easy for Iceland to be the only Nordic country to remain outside the EU. The government has established a committee to look into ways to protect fishing privileges in case of an EU accession.

Application for EU membership is not on the current centre-right government's agenda, and none of the political parties have explicitly expressed that Iceland should join the union although the Alliance remains in favour of negotiations. The Left-Green Movement has been firmly opposed to membership and the same goes for the conservative Independence Party, a member of the ruling coalition, although its former chairman Davíð Oddsson indicated in a speech in January 2005 that a policy change was not ruled out depending on how the EU will evolve in coming years.

Former Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson of the Progressive Party has predicted that Iceland will join the EU by 2015, and said that the decisive factor for Iceland would be the future and the size of the Eurozone. He admitted however that the right political situation doesn't exist at the moment to take a decision on the issue.[19]

[edit] Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is, like Norway and Iceland, a member of the European Economic Area. It might consider joining the EU if Switzerland joins. If it attained membership it would be by far the smallest member state of the European Union — this might require a significant rearrangement of voting arrangements in the European Parliament.

[edit] Former Soviet republics

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus have been looked upon as potential candidates for EU enlargement. All are or have been closely linked to Russia and would need to concentrate more on other European partners to attain candidate membership. Russia itself has also been brought up for consideration as well as Kazakhstan (which has a portion of its western territory in Eastern Europe). However, these states will probably remain outside the Union, at least for a significant amount of time. They are not currently on any enlargement agenda as the Union is currently focused on the Balkan states and Turkey.

A summit in Mamaia, Eastern Romania, in May 2004 has shown enlargement to Eastern Europe to be a definite possibility, though only Ukraine and Moldova were present, as Belarus is currently not concerned with membership.

The three South Caucasus states of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have been the site of much instability in the 1990s. Currently, there seems to be a feeling of hope in the region's future. Their EU membership would be conditional on the political assessment by the European Council about whether or not they are considered European. Nevertheless all three states are admitted as full members into the Council of Europe (like Cyprus) after similar assessment process. Before the first official visit of external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner to the three Caucasus states, it was stated that if she were asked about enlargement, she would not rule it out.[10] It is unclear as to when they may move towards membership but they are part of the European Neighbourhood Policy and are often referred to as part of "a wider Europe". Since their only land contact with European states is through Russia and Turkey, it is possible that they would only join after Turkey did so first.

[edit] Ukraine

Many political factions of Ukraine advocate joining the EU and developing ties with Europe. However, some in the EU are more doubtful concerning Ukraine's prospects. In 2002, EU Expansion Commissioner Günter Verheugen said that "a European perspective" for Ukraine does not necessarily mean membership in 10 or 20 years, however, that does not mean it is not a possibility. A Ukraine-EU Troika meeting in April 2004, on the eve of the newest wave of expansion, dealt a blow to Ukraine's European aspiration when the EU ministers failed to grant market economy status to Ukraine; however, this was before the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

For the time being, Ukraine will most likely develop intermediate relation with the EU as it is strongly backed by all major political forces in Poland, an EU member with strong historical ties with Ukraine (through the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).

The Orange Revolution of late 2004 improved Ukraine's European prospects: Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko hinted that he would press the EU for deeper ties, and described a four-point plan: the acknowledgment of Ukraine as a market economy, entry in the World Trade Organization, associate membership with the European Union, and lastly full membership.[20] In a similar way, the Ukrainian government asked Brussels to give Ukraine a clearer prospect for membership, saying that "The approved Action Plan reflects only the level of Ukraine-EU relations that we could have reached before the presidential elections in 2004."[21]

On January 13, 2005 the European Parliament almost unanimously (467 votes to 19 in favour) passed a motion stating the wish of the European Parliament to establish closer ties with Ukraine with the possibility of EU membership. Though there is still a long way to go before negotiations about EU membership can start, the European Commission has stated that future EU membership will not be ruled out. Yushchenko has responded to the apathetic mood of the Commission by stating that he intends to send an application for EU membership "in the near future" and that he intends to scrutinise Ukraine's relationship with the CIS in order to assure EU integration is possible and if not to make it possible. Several EU leaders have already stated strong support for closer economic ties with Ukraine but have stopped short of direct support for such a bid. On 21 March 2005, Polish Foreign Minister Adam Daniel Rotfeld noted that Poland will in every way promote Ukraine's desire to be integrated with the EU, get the status of a market-economy country and join the WTO. He also said "At the present moment, we should talk concrete steps in cooperation instead of engaging in empty talk about European integration".[citation needed] Three days later, a poll of the six largest EU nations conducted by a French research company showed that the European public would be more likely to accept Ukraine as a future EU member than any other country that is not currently an official candidate.

In October 2005, Commission president José Manuel Barroso said that the future of Ukraine is in the EU. On November 9, 2005, however, the European Commission has in a new strategy paper suggested that the current enlargement agenda (Croatia followed by the other ex-Yugoslav countries and Albania) could block the possibility of a future accession of Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova. Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the EU should avoid overstretch, adding that the current enlargement agenda is already very heavy.[22]

[edit] Moldova

The government has stated that Moldova has European aspirations but there has been little progress. In 2005 the ruling Communist party reoriented their foreign policy towards Europe.[citation needed]

On October 6, 2005 the EU opened its permanent mission in Chişinău, the capital city of Moldova.

[edit] Belarus

The EU's relations with Belarus are strained as the EU's institution have several times condemned the government of Belarus for authoritarian and anti-democratic practices, and even imposed sanctions on the country.[23] Under its current president, Belarus has instead sought a close confederation with Russia, short of political reunion.

[edit] Georgia

Under Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili, the wish to join the EU has been explicitly expressed on several occasions and the links to the EU and the USA are being strengthened, while attempts are being made to move away from the Russian sphere of influence. Disputes continue over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In Ajaria, a significant hurdle in protecting the territorial integrity of the country was overcome when the authoritarian leader Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign in May 2004.

Georgia is considered the most favoured Caucasus country to join the EU, especially after the Rose Revolution, but territorial disputes and corruption are still an issue. It has not, as yet, applied for EU membership, but the President has said the country would be ready in three years' time.[citation needed]

[edit] Armenia

The first nation to adopt Christianity in the year 301,[24] Armenia is geographically located entirely within Western Asia. However, like Cyprus and Georgia, it has traditionally been regarded as culturally associated with Europe because of its deep historical connections with European society, including an old and large diaspora.

Several Armenian officials have expressed the desire for their country to eventually become an EU member state,[25] some predicting that it will make an official bid for membership in a few years.[26] However, the current president, Robert Kocharyan, has said he will keep Armenia tied to Russia and the CSTO for now, remaining partners, not members of the EU and NATO.[27]

Public opinion in Armenia suggests the move for membership would be welcomed, with 64% out of a sample of 2,000 being in favour and only 11.8% being against.[28]

Armenia is still in conflict over the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh with neighbouring Azerbaijan. Since 1994, a ceasefire has been in place, but tensions remain very high between the two countries. Although the country's economy had one of the world's fastest growth rates in the past few years, this comes off a low base and many years of near-continuous recession.[29] The Metsamor nuclear power plant, which is situated some 40km west of the Armenian capital Yerevan, is built on top of an active seismic zone and is a matter of negotiation between Armenia and the EU. Armenia's chances of membership perhaps would be increased if Georgia were to join first.

[edit] Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, a majority-Shia Muslim but secular country with a Turkic population, would need to overcome several obstacles in order to be considered a potential EU candidate. The oil-rich country has made improvements to its infrastructure but much of the money from its very high GDP growth still does not seem to find its way into the lower echelons of society, despite being larger and more technologically modernised than its neighbors Armenia and Georgia. Its economy is also suffering from the "Dutch disease," as oil is becoming its primary export, rendering the manufacturing sector less competitive.[30] Corruption is another serious issue and recent presidential elections in Azerbaijan were disputed by the opposition and have been criticised for not being free, fair or democratic by international observers. The country also needs to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh with neighbouring Armenia. Azerbaijan's vast military spending and the warlike rhetoric of the country's leadership is becoming somewhat of an alarm to the EU, which wishes to ease tensions in the area.

These are the main obstacles ahead of a possible EU application from Azerbaijan. The country itself has not expressed a desire to join the EU but it is not unreasonable to assume that integration could be delayed, with Azerbaijan likely facing difficulties similar to Turkey's.

[edit] Russia

Among the most vocal supporters of closer ties between Russia and the EU has been former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In an article published to Italian media on 26 May 2002 he said that the next step in Russia's growing integration with the West should be EU membership.[31] More recently, on 17 November 2005, he commented in regards to the prospect of such a membership that he is "convinced that even if it is a dream ... it is not too distant a dream and I think it will happen one day."[32] Berlusconi has made similar comments on other occasions as well.[33]

At present, however, the prospect of Russia joining the EU any time in the near future is slim. Analysts have commented that Russia is "decades away" from qualifying for EU membership.[34] Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has also said that though Russia must "find its place both in NATO, and, in the longer term, in the European Union, and if conditions are created for this to happen" that such a thing is not economically feasible in the near future.[35]

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia joining the EU would not be in the interests of either Russia or the EU, although he advocated close integration in various dimensions including establishment of four common spaces between Russia and the EU, including united economic, educational and scientific spaces as it was declared in the agreement in 2003.[36][37][38][39]

The Kaliningrad exclave is still an issue between the EU and Russia as well as the fact that Russia and Estonia have not yet ratified a border treaty.

[edit] Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, which has a portion of its territory in Europe is considered a European nation by the Council of Europe, as expressed in an official CoE statement in 1999 and therefore qualifies for full membership in the CoE.[40][41] Despite this, the subject of joining the EU has not yet been even remotely discussed. This may be strongly related to Russia's membership.[citation needed]

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has also expressed interest in the European Neighbourhood Policy.[42] Some MEPs have also discussed Kazakhstan's inclusion in the ENP.[43] Kazakhstan's President has also proposed a Central Asian Union as an alternative to EU membership.

[edit] Microstates

There are three very small European microstates that are bordered only by the European Union — San Marino, Vatican City and Monaco — and use and mint their own Euro coins. Andorra, also surrounded by the EU, uses the euro but does not mint coins. Their economies have always been tightly related with their neighbours. However, their existence as sovereign nations is tightly bound up with their special economic laws which are not compatible with EU standards.

[edit] San Marino

The left-wing opposition Popular Alliance has been reported to be in favour of joining the EU, which the ruling San Marinese Christian Democratic Party opposes.[44]

[edit] Andorra

The government has said that "for the time being" there is no need to join the EU;[45] however, the opposition Social Democratic Party are in favour.[46] A major disadvantage of membership would be the cost, and the EU was not designed with microstates in mind.

[edit] Vatican

The Vatican City has a unique status in the European continent as a theocracy, which would be inconsistent with EU membership.

[edit] Monaco

Monaco currently applies certain policies of the European Union through its special relationship with France, a member state.[47] Monaco is a full part of the EU's customs territory, and applies most EU measures relating to VAT and excise duties. Monaco is a full member of the Schengen area and the Euro currency zone and has implemented the EU Directive on the taxation of savings interest. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004,[48] a move that required it to renegotiate its relations with France, which previously had the right to nominate various ministers.[49] This was seen as part of a general move toward Europe.[50]

[edit] Dependencies of EU member states

There are multiple Special member state territories, some of them are not fully covered by the EU treaties and apply EU law only partially, if at all. See also the territories not covered by the Schengen treaty. It is possible for a dependency to change its status regarding the EU and/or some particular treaty or law provision. The territory may change its status from participation to leaving or from being outside to joining.

[edit] Greenland

Denmark's Greenland is a well-known example for a member state special territory that changed its status in regard to coverage of EU treaties and laws. After the establishment of Greenland's home rule in 1979 (effective from 1980), a second referendum on membership was held, where the people decided to leave the community. On February 1, 1985, Greenland left the EEC and EURATOM. Danish nationals residing in Greenland (i.e. all native population) are nonetheless fully European citizens; they are not, however, entitled to vote in European elections.

There has been some speculation as to whether Greenland may consider rejoining the European Union. On 4 January 2007 the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten quoted the former Danish minister for Greenland, Tom Høyem, as saying "I would not be surprised if Greenland again becomes a member of the EU... The EU needs the Arctic window and Greenland cannot alone manage the gigantic Arctic possibilities".[citation needed]

[edit] Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands, an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark, are not part of the EU, as explicitly asserted by both Rome treaties. The relations with the EU are governed by a Fisheries Agreement (1977) and a Free Trade Agreement (1991, revised 1998). The main reason for remaining outside the EU is disagreements about the Common Fisheries Policy.[51]

There are however some politicians, mainly belonging to the right-wing Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin), such as their chairman Kaj Leo Johannesen, who would like to see the Faroes as a member of the EU. However, the chairman of the Republican Party (Tjóðveldisflokkurin), Høgni Hoydal, has expressed concerns, that if the Faroes were to join the EU as is, they might vanish inside the EU as an outskirt of an outskirt (Faroe Islands being an outskirt of Denmark, and Denmark being an outskirt of the EU), and wants the local government to solve the political situation between the Faroes and Denmark first.

[edit] UK Sovereign Base Areas

The UK Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus did not join the European Union when the United Kingdom joined. Cyprus' Accession Treaty specifically stated that this would not change with the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. However, currently, some provisions of the EU Law are applicable there - mainly border management, food safety and free movement of people and goods.

[edit] UK Crown Dependencies

Special terms were negotiated for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man on the UK’s accession to the European Economic Community. These are contained in Protocol 3 to the Treaty of Accession 1973. The effect of the protocol is that the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are within the Common Customs Area and the Common External Tariff (i.e. they enjoy access to European Union countries of physical exports without tariff barriers). Other Community rules do not apply to the Islands.

[edit] Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Réunion

The territories of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Réunion are overseas departments of France and at the same time mono-departmental overseas regions. In other words, they are integral parts of France in the same way Hawaii is of the United States. According to the EC treaty (article 299 2), overseas departments are outermost regions (OMR) - hence provisions of the EC treaty apply there while derogations are allowed.

[edit] New Caledonia

New Caledonia has a unique status inside France and is not even a collectivité territoriale, unlike all other French subdivisions. Currently, in regard to the EU, it is one of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and thus the EU Law does not apply there.

As a result of the 1998 Nouméa Accord, New Caledonians will vote on an independence referendum scheduled between 2014 and 2019 . This referendum will determine whether the territory remains a part of the French Republic as a "sui generis collectivity", or whether it will become an independent nation. The accords also specify a gradual devolution of powers to the local New Caledonian assembly.

[edit] Netherlands Antilles and Aruba

The Netherlands Antilles are currently part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (as are the two countries Aruba and the Netherlands per se) and they are an Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) entity, listed under Annex II of the EC treaty. OCTs are not considered part of the EU and EU law does not apply there.

The Netherlands Antilles will be restructured on 15 December 2008. Curaçao and Sint Maarten will become two separate countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius will become part of the Netherlands as special municipalities.

The government of the Netherlands is currently investigating the consequences of a change of status within the European Union for these islands. Annex II of the Treaty of Rome currently lists the Netherlands Antilles as an OCT. The islands would like to become an outermost region of the EU - the same status as the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and the French overseas departments. European commissioner Danuta Hübner has said before the European Parliament that she doesn't expect many problems to occur with such a status change, as the island's population only consists of some 30,000 people. However, it will require an amendment to the Treaty of Rome before the new status can take effect.[3]

Under the proposed European Constitution, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten could change their status to outermost region by means of a unanimous decision of the European Council. This ability is retained in the Treaty of Lisbon, which reads (excerpt):

Article 311 shall be repealed. A new Article 311a shall be inserted, with the wording of Article 299(2), first subparagraph, and Article 299(3) to (6); the text shall be amended as follows:
[...]
(e) the following new paragraph shall be added at the end of the Article:
"6. The European Council may, on the initiative of the Member State concerned, adopt a decision amending the status, with regard to the Union, of a Danish, French or Netherlands country or territory referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. The European Council shall act unanimously after consulting the Commission."

Treaty of Lisbon Article 2, point 293

[edit] Northern Cyprus

Officially, the island nation Cyprus is part of the European Union, under the de jure sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and thus of the European Union, and were entitled to vote in the 2004 European Parliament election (though only a few hundred registered). The EU's acquis communautaire is suspended indefinitely in the northern third of the island, which has remained outside the control of the Republic of Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of 1974. The Greek Cypriot community rejected the Annan Plan for the settlement of the Cyprus dispute in a referendum on 24 April 2004. Had the referendum been in favour of the settlement proposal, the island (excluding the British Sovereign Base Areas) would have joined the European Union as the United Cyprus Republic.

The European Union's relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community are handled by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement.[52]

[edit] Non-European states

In the Treaty of Maastricht (Article 49), it is stated that any European country (as defined by the EU political assessment) that respects the principles of the European Union may apply to join. No mention is made of enlarging the EU to include non-European countries, but the precedents of turning down Morocco's application and speaking about Israel's closest integration, "just short of full membership" suggests that currently it is impossible for non-European states to get full EU membership.

However, some non-European states have different degrees of integration with the EU stipulated by agreements, always short of membership. Alternatively such countries could be integrated into a larger regional block or an overlapping block such as Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to create a Mediterranean Union, or a lesser organisation such as the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. The current frameworks for development of such agreements are the Barcelona process and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

[edit] Morocco

Morocco submitted an application to join the EU (then EEC) in July 1987, but it was turned down by the Council later in the year. The application was rejected on the grounds that it did not consider Morocco a European country. Although there are factors such as the developing economy or unresolved border issues with several of its neighbours and the occupation of Western Sahara, a European Union Association Agreement similar to that applied to Tunisia and Algeria is implemented between Morocco and the EU.

[edit] Israel

The principle of Israel joining the European Union has been supported by politicians in both Israel and Europe, including the former Israeli Foreign Minister. Silvan Shalom,[53] Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman[54] and the former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi[55] Two Italian MEPs are currently campaigning in favour of Israeli membership.[56] An opinion poll in 2004 showed that 85% of Israelis would support an application for membership.[57]

The Israeli government has hinted several times that an EU membership bid is a possibility, but the EU itself proposes instead the closest possible integration "just short of full membership." Faster advancement of such plans is somewhat hampered by the current instability in the Middle East and conflicts in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Lebanon. European public opinion of Israel is poor.

The European Council has not been asked to take a stance regarding whether or not Israel is an [sic] European state, but similar circumstances to Morocco (being geographically outside Europe and without exceptional features such as CoE membership) will most likely preclude its inclusion as a full member into the EU as well. However, it can obtain a large degree of integration through the current and future EU Neighbourhood Policies — the Spanish foreign minister Moratinos spoke out for a "privileged partnership, offering all the benefits of EU membership, without participation in the institutions". On 11 January 2005, industry commissioner and vice president of the commission Günter Verheugen even suggested the possibility of a monetary union and common market with Israel.

An argument [11] for the inclusion of Israel into the EU as a full member is that it has a mostly European (or perhaps Europeanised) culture and thus forms an exclave in a largely Arab region. Israel also has a GDP per capita similar to many European countries. Allowing Israel into the EU would create a precedent for other geographically non-European countries to apply for membership.

[edit] Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an island nation of the Atlantic Ocean and formerly a Portuguese colony. In March 2005 former Portuguese president Mário Soares launched a petition urging the European Union to start membership talks with it, saying that Cape Verde could act as a bridge between Africa, Latin America and the EU.[58]

Cape Verde's per capita GDP is lower than any of the current member states, accession countries, or candidate countries. However, it is higher than that of some of the EU-designated "potential candidate countries" of the Western Balkans. Most of the imports and exports of Cape Verde are for and from the European Union, and it has a service-based economy. Its currency, the escudo, is pegged to the euro.

Although the Cape Verde archipelago is geographically in Africa, there have been similar situations before. Cyprus is an island nation which, despite being geographically in Asia, has already joined both the Council of Europe and the EU. Furthermore, the Cape Verde islands are part of the same island group as the Canary Islands (part of Spain) and Madeira Islands (part of Portugal), known as Macaronesia. There is currently no political recognition by the EU of Cape Verde as a European state, but unlike in the case of Morocco, there is no formal rejection either.

Recently Cape Verde has been distancing itself from its regional African partners and forging closer ties with the EU. In a move signaling its preparation to loosen ties with the West African regional bloc, the government of Cape Verde in September 2006 declared its intentions on suspending the ECOWAS free movement of goods and trade. Prime Minister José Maria Neves announced that his country will start imposing restrictions on the entrance of citizens from all ECOWAS member states. This is also an effort to limit the recent rise of illegal immigration of other West African nationals using Cape Verde and its proximity to the Canary Islands as a springboard towards Europe.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ USTR Website
  2. ^ According to the official website of the European Commission, the signature of the Accession Treaty of Romania and Bulgaria "marks the completion of the fifth enlargement of the EU". Consequently, the enlargement in 2004 was only the first part of the Fifth Enlargement. Also, recently Elmar Brok, a German member of the European Parliament and the chairman of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, added "We do not think that Croatia is a part of the future wave of the (European Union) enlargement. Croatia is the last part of the ongoing process of the enlargement according to the formula 10 plus two plus one." http://www.vlada.hr/default.asp?gl=200608250000011
  3. ^ a b (Dutch) Radio Netherlands - Bonaire, Saba en St. Eustatius bij de EU?
  4. ^ Europe's Next Frontiers - Lecture at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs by Olli Rehn, EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases, 31 October 2006
  5. ^ EU Commission Report on fYROM, 2005PDF
  6. ^ Mazedoniens Premier Gruevski im Interview: "Beitrittsverhandlungen ab 2008". Der Standard (November 7, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
  7. ^ Presidency Conclusions – Brussels, 15/16 December 2005, 15914/05 7, EN: [1]
  8. ^ CIA World Factbook
  9. ^ http://www.un.int/cyprus/scr541.htm
  10. ^ Candidate countries, European Union's official site
  11. ^ Europe Offers Dialogue on Visa-free Regime with Balkans, BIRN, 26 June 2007
  12. ^ 2005 enlargement strategy paper, European Union's official site
  13. ^ EU enlargement chief vows to press ahead, for 'stability', International Herald Tribune, 1 February 2006
  14. ^ Enlargement Process - Montenegro Key Events, European Commission, accessed on 2007-01-10
  15. ^ a b Germany prepares to take over EU presidency, Southeast European Times, 2006-12-19, accessed on 2007-01-10
  16. ^ http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/13/asia/serbia.php
  17. ^ http://setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2007/11/08/feature-01
  18. ^ Economist. "Ever-Expanding Union?", Economist.com, 2004-04-29. Retrieved on 2007-06-07. 
  19. ^ EUobserver article (subscription only)
  20. ^ EUobserver article (subscription only)
  21. ^ EUobserver article (subscription only)
  22. ^ EUobserver article (subscription only)
  23. ^ The EU's external relations with Belarus, European Union's official site
  24. ^ Plunkett, Richard. Masters, Tom. Lonely Planet: Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, pp. 104-105. (ISBN 1740591380)
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ [4]
  28. ^ RFE/RL Caucasus Report, Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 January 2005
  29. ^ Markarian, Atom. IMF Heaps More Praise On Armenia. Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
  30. ^ "Boom and gloom" The Economist Mar 8th 2007 http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=8819945&fsrc=RSS
  31. ^ EU membership next step for Russia after NATO, Daily Times, 28 May 2002
  32. ^ Italian PM Berlusconi confident Russia will join EU, EUbusiness, 17 November 2005
  33. ^ Do Not Adjust Your Sets, TIME Europe Magazine, 7 July 2003
  34. ^ Michael A. McFaul, West or East for Russia?, The Washington Post, 9 June 2001
  35. ^ Schroeder says Russia must find place in Nato, EU
  36. ^ (Russian)[http://www.ancentr.ru/portal/article3057.html "Four spaces" of Russia and European Union, "Special opinion" program on Russian Radio
  37. ^ (Russian)Four spaces, Rossiyskaya newspaper
  38. ^ (Russian)Interview of official Ambassador of Russian Foreign Ministry on relations with the EU
  39. ^ (Russian)Four spaces, TKS
  40. ^ Council of Europe and Kazakhstan: Yes or no?, Rashid Nugmanov, 11 October 2001
  41. ^ Kazakhstan may become full member of PACE, Ivinsky, Kazinform, 26 May 2006
  42. ^ EU's external relations with Kazakhstan, European Union's official site
  43. ^ Speech by Charles Tannock, MEP, 16 March 2005
  44. ^ 'Oldest republic' torn by poll-rig claims, The Australian, 2006-06-06
  45. ^ [5]
  46. ^ http://www.euronews.net/create_html.php?page=europeans&article=357617
  47. ^ The EU's relations with Monaco, European Commission, December 2005
  48. ^ Background Note: Monaco, Department of State, March 2006
  49. ^ BAM news (page 4), British Association of Monaco, October 2004
  50. ^ Monaco admis au sein du Conseil de l'Europe, European Navigator (originally published in Tageblatt), 2004-10-06
  51. ^ [6]
  52. ^ European Commission - Directorate-General for Enlargement: Turkish Cypriot community, retrieved on Jan 3, 2007
  53. ^ Analysis: Israel Weighing EU Membership, United Press International, 2003-05-21
  54. ^ We need to be part of EU and NATO Jerusalem Post, January 2007
  55. ^ Jewish communities split over Berlusconi, BBC, 2003-09-26
  56. ^ Two Italians, Marco Pannella and Marco Cappato of the Nonviolent Radical Party, in European Parliament campaign for Israel to enter EU, Haaretz, 2006-11-10
  57. ^ The case for a privileged partnership between the EU and Israel, Hildegard Müller, 2006-06-28
  58. ^ [7]

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