Chronological table on Member States of the European Free-Trade Association (EFTA) showing the date of their accession or withdrawal from the organisation, as well as the date of the free-trade agreements concluded between them and the European Economic Community (EEC) [to become the European Community (EC) after the Treaty on European Union came into force on 1 November 1993].
Chronological table on Member States and EU applicant countries showing the date of the agreements preceding accession (Association or Europe Agreements) as well as the various stages in the admission process.
On 31 July 1961, Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister, announces to the House of Commons his Government’s decision formally to apply for the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community (EEC).
‘Two souls, alas! reside within my breast …’ In September 1962, referring to the dilemma of Goethe’s Faust, the cartoonist Fritz Behrendt shows Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister, hesitating between the United Kingdom’s special relationship with the Commonwealth and the country’s accession to the European Common Market.
On 12 September 1963, as the Association Agreement between the European Economic Community (EEC) and Turkey is signed in Ankara, Walter Hallstein, President of the EEC Commission, gives an address in which he emphasises the historic importance of the event.
In 1967, the European Commission publishes a note on the problems of border regions and more particularly on internal borders. In the first communication on regional policy in the European Economic Community (1965), the Commission renewed its commitment to pursuing a study programme to analyse frontier regions and propose improvements to cross-border coordination. In this framework, the Study on the Liège–Maastricht–Aachen border region is a first important step in defining the methodology, the aim and the organisation of EEC work on regional policy. Furthermore, this study is a forerunner of the Meuse–Rhine Euroregion, an important Euroregion which was established in 1974 and today coordinates transnational cooperation between the five partner regions at the point where the three countries Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet (the cities of Maastricht, Heerlen, Liège, Hasselt and Aachen).
On 28 November 1969, the Belgian daily newspaper La Dernière Heure publishes an article that reports on some of the topics discussed at the symposium on ‘Border regions in the Common Market era’, organised by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and held in Brussels in November 1969. In particular, this article focuses on the problems facing the Belgian regions, especially issues of cross-border workers in the region of Hainaut (on the French–Belgian border). The cross-border issues in this area are currently managed by the INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen Joint Technical Secretariat, one of the main developers and drivers of cross-border cooperation in the area.
On 5 December 1969, the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir publishes an article that outlines the programme of a symposium on ‘Border regions in the Common Market era’, organised by the Institute for European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and held in November 1969. A month earlier the Commission sent the Council a proposal for a decision on the organisation of Community instruments for regional development, accompanied by a note on the Community’s regional policy detailing the regional problems facing the Community.
Treaty concerning the accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) of the Kingdom of Denmark, Ireland, the Kingdom of Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This document, dated 27 June 1973, shows the arrangement of regional measures after the first enlargement. Community legislation on limits to aid in the central regions of the EEC — which should not exceed 20 % — will be applied to those parts of British territory which, on 1 July 1973, do not fall into the category of assisted and intermediate areas. As for the other new Member States, the entire territory of the Republic of Ireland is designated as a peripheral region, while for Denmark the county of North Jutland and north-western parts of the counties of Viborg and Ringkøbing are recognised as peripheral regions.
The first EEC enlargement (United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark) represented a crucial passage in the activation of the EEC’s regional policy. The UK had a comparatively long history of regional policy and a solid tradition of measures to cope with the problems of declining industrial areas. The British Government had expressed its interest in regional issues since the accession negotiations. The enlargement brought about some changes in the EEC’s internal policies with the activation of the Community Regional Policy and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), but also led to changes in the UK’s domestic regional policy. This document shows the restrictions that the country was forced to accept in its domestic regional policy in order to comply with the principle of free competition and to develop the new common regional policy.
On 18 February 1976, Italian politician Renato Ruggiero sends a note to Michael Jenkins, Chief of Staff to European Commissioner George Thomson, on the meeting of the Mozer–Gerlach working group on the future of European border regions.
This report from 29 March 1976 analyses the main problems facing EEC border regions and presents conclusions on some experiences of cross-border cooperation. It also calls for the intervention of the Committee on Regional Policy in this field.
On 24 June 1976, Italian politician Renato Ruggiero sends a note to Michael Jenkins, Chief of Staff to European Commissioner George Thomson, on the preparatory work for the drafting of the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities.
This report, dated 11 September 1976 and presented in Salzburg at a conference on cross-border cooperation, addresses the socio-economic difficulties arising from the Community’s internal borders and the potential alternatives that could be found in a Community framework. It also analyses legal and administrative difficulties and proposes the deepening of bilateral or trilateral cooperation as a solution.
On 13 September 1976, Gommaar van der Auwera, an official in the Directorate-General for Regional Policy at the European Commission, sends a note to Renato Ruggiero in which he analyses the impact of the creation of the European Regional Fund on border regions and its influence on regional economic development.
This resolution, dated 18 November 1976 and approved by the European Parliament, analyses the increasing European regional imbalances arising from the existing territorial structure. It also addresses the challenges of the cross-border circulation of workers, business activities in the private sector and the cross-border transport infrastructure. This resolution suggests that in many cases the creation of a cross-border joint authority could be the best option to optimise the potential for cooperation. In this respect, this proposal prefigures future European territorial cooperation networks.
On 10 October 1977, Gommaar van der Auwera, an official in the Directorate-General for Regional Policy at the European Commission, reports on the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regarding cross-border cooperation.
On 13 October 1977, Pierre Mathijsen, Director-General of Regional Policy in the Commission of the European Communities, sends a document to Roland de Kergolay, Deputy Director-General for External Relations, which highlights the political and institutional difficulties in the drafting of the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities.
In 1978, in a communication to the Council, the Commission of the European Communities presents the main principles of its action programme for the introduction of differentiated transitional periods enabling Greece, Portugal and Spain to adapt to the European acquis communautaire.
In March 1985, the federalist journal L’Europe en Formation welcomes the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Communities and calls for a change in the decision-making process in order to ensure the viability of the Community system.
The enlargement to the South provided the basis for the adoption of Integrated Mediterranean Programmes (IMPs), instituted by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2088/85 in 1985. IMPs were introduced in response to Greek threats to veto the accession of Portugal and Spain over fears that their membership would be harmful for the Greek economy. The launch phase for IMPs was managed by Grigoris Varfis, Greek Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy in the first Commission chaired by Jacques Delors from 1985 to 1989. In recognition of Greece’s concerns, the European Council held in Brussels in 1985 accepted the IMP scheme to compensate Greece, as well as Italy and France, also potentially affected by the accession of the Iberian countries.
On 9 October 1985, Richard Balfe, British Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur for the European Parliament’s Political Affairs Committee, submits his report on the human rights situation in Turkey.
Le 30 juin 1986, le quotidien espagnol El País publie un article sur le processus d'intégration de l'Espagne dans le CEE et plus particulièrement sur les effets de cette adhésion sur la politique environnementale commune.
Le 14 avril 1987, Turgut Özal, Premier ministre de la République de Turquie, adresse à Leo Tindemans, ministre belge des Affaires étrangères et président en exercice du Conseil des Communautés européennes, une lettre dans laquelle il demande l'adhésion de la Turquie à la Communauté économique européenne.
On 18 June 1987, the European Parliament adopts a resolution on a political solution to the Armenian question and asks the Council to secure from the Turkish Government an acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide of 1915–1917, thereby enabling a political dialogue to be established between Turkey and the representatives of the Armenian people.
On 9 November 1989, Rudolf Seiters, Head of the German Federal Chancellery, welcomes the announcement made by Günter Schabowski, Spokesman for the Government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), of the adoption of a more relaxed law on travel which allows crossing points along the Berlin Wall to be opened.
On 20 December 1989, in response to Turkey’s application for accession to the European Communities submitted on 14 April 1987, the European Commission delivers a negative opinion on the opening of accession negotiations, citing both economic and political reasons.
The fourth enlargement of the EU in 1995 saw the accession of Finland, Sweden and Austria. Their entry significantly expanded EU territory and introduced a new type of large, sparsely populated region. In particular, the northernmost parts of Finland and Sweden, characterised by their harsh climate, low population density, peripheral location, long distances between communities and small local markets, were very different from other EU regions. The negotiations for the fourth enlargement occurred while the regional policy was undergoing a new reform. The new regulatory framework also took into consideration regional issues raised by the entry of Austria, Finland and Sweden and incorporated three concessions: part of Austria (the Burgenland region) gained Objective 1 status; a new Objective 6 was created for peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Finland and Sweden; and EU competition policy rules were adapted to accommodate the subsidy practices of the Nordic states.
On 13 June 1995, the French daily newspaper Le Monde considers the reasons behind the fears provoked by each successive enlargement of the European Communities and, subsequently, of the European Union.
In 1998, the European Parliament publishes a paper on the situation of women in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, candidate countries to the EU. This paper particularly studies the evolution of equal opportunities and treatment for men and women in these three countries as a fundamental socio-economic frontier to be eliminated as part of the consolidation of accession negotiations with these states.
On 30 March 1998, commenting on the opening of the accession negotiations with the first six applicant countries, the German daily newspaper Die Welt considers the implications of the latest enlargement of the European Union.
Timetable for negotiations on accession to the Union European, concerning the 31 chapters of the Community acquis, started on 31 March 1998 with the six countries of the Luxembourg group (Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Cyprus), then on 15 February 2000 with the six countries of the Helsinki group (Romania, the Slovak Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Malta), and brought to a close in December 2002 with 10 countries (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia) and in December 2004 with Bulgaria and Romania.
In February 1999, the French monthly newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique analyses the implications and risks, both for the 10 new Member States and for the Fifteen, of the enlargement of the European Union to 25.
On 10 and 11 December 1999, the Helsinki European Council decides that Turkey is an applicant country that is destined to join the Union on the basis of the same criteria as applied to the other applicant countries.
On 16 December 1999, following the Helsinki European Council of 11 and 12 December, the French daily newspaper Le Monde analyses the potential geopolitical consequences of Turkey’s possible future accession to the European Union.
In this document, dated 3 February 2000, Suzanne Frigren, Director of Directorate C for nuclear safety and civil protection, addresses the question of nuclear energy and nuclear safety. She makes particular reference to strategies for improving nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and to the impact of the Chernobyl accident in the continent.
In the framework of the fifth enlargement, this Communication proposes a series of specific measures aimed at strengthening the economic competitiveness of European Union regions bordering the acceding countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
On 28 November 2002, Philippe Raynaud, Professor of Political Science at Panthéon-Assas University, Paris, throws light on the debate on Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union and on the borders in Europe by identifying three potentially conflicting concepts of Europe and calls for the development of a new form of cooperation between the EU and Turkey.
On 11 March 2003, the European Commission sets out the principles of the European Union’s new neighbourhood policy with Russia, with the Western New Independent States (WNIS) and with the Southern Mediterranean countries.
On 7 May 2003, commenting on the forthcoming accession of 10 new Member States to the European Union, the French daily newspaper Le Monde describes how the European Parliament and the Council welcome observers sent by those countries with a view to preparing their political and administrative staff for the Community structure.
On 27 October 2003, Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enlargement, delivers an address at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow in which he outlines the implications of the fifth enlargement of the European Union and the principles of its new Neighbourhood Policy.
In 2004, the Czech cartoonist, Pavel Matuska, takes an ironic look at the European Union’s ability effectively to manage the accession of 10 new Member States, bringing the total number of Member States to 25.
In 2004, the Austrian Chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel, considers the implications of the enlargement of the European Union and emphasises that Austria is ready to seize the opportunities afforded by the accession of 10 new Member States.
On 24 March 2004, on the eve of the Brussels European Council, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian Foreign Minister, emphasises the importance for Austria of Croatia’s accession to the European Union (EU) and considers future relations between the EU and its neighbouring countries.
On 30 April 2004, during an interview granted to the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir, the historian Bronislaw Geremek, former Polish Foreign Minister, analyses the implications of and challenges inherent in the fifth enlargement of the European Union and declares his opposition to an unending expansion of the organisation.
On 1 May 2004, the day of the accession to the European Union of 10 new Member States, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, the Polish Prime Minister, Leszek Miller, and the Czech Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla, meet in Zittau — a German town situated at the intersection of the borders of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic — and symbolically mark the enlargement.
On 1 May 2004, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, makes a speech in Dublin in which he welcomes the historic significance of the enlargement of the European Union to include ten new Member States, emphasising the international implications of European integration.
On 12 May 2004, the European Commission presents a strategy paper which marks an important stage in the achievement of good neighbourly relations between the European Union and the countries of Eastern Europe and of the Mediterranean region.
On 17 and 18 June 2004, the Brussels European Council welcomes the Commission proposals on a European Neighbourhood Policy and on a strategic partnership between the European Union and the countries in the Mediterranean region.
On 23 September 2004, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister, meets Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, to discuss the opening of negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the European Union. This meeting was an opportunity to address any remaining obstacles preventing the European Commission from making a recommendation on the date for the opening of the accession negotiations.
On 6 October 2004, the Conference of Presidents on Turkey’s application for accession comments on the position of the European institutions on Turkey’s application for accession to the European Union. From left to right: Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner responsible for the enlargement negotiations, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles, President of the European Parliament, Julian Priestley, Secretary-General of the European Parliament, Harald Rømer, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Parliament, and Brigitte Stensballe, Director in the European Parliament Secretariat.
On 20 October 2004, Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Enlargement, delivers an address in Istanbul in which he outlines the policy pursued by the European Commission with regard to future relations between the European Union and Turkey.
On 16 and 17 December 2004, in a Declaration annexed to the conclusions of the Brussels European Council, the Heads of State or Government of the Twenty-Five give their views on the political situation in Ukraine.
On 16 and 17 December 2004, at the Brussels European Council, the Heads of State or Government of the Twenty-Five welcome the prospect of Bulgarian and Romanian accession to the European Union in January 2007 and call on the Council to reach an agreement with a view to the opening of accession negotiations with Croatia on 17 March 2005 and with Turkey on 3 October 2005.
Turquía, siendo ya candidato para la adhesión aunque sin haber comenzado todavía las negociaciones para su integración, a pesar de que parece haber superado la grave crisis económica de 2001 y superará el 8% de crecimiento, se encuentra en una situación en la que su renta per cápita representa un tercio de la media de los 25 estados miembros de la UE. El primer ministro turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ante sus anhelos de integrar a Turquía en la Unión Europea, ha reformado la Constitución, el Código Penal y casi toda la legislación económica. Como respuesta, Erdogan espera que reciba de Bruselas el apoyo necesario para este proceso de integración turca. Como afirma un catedrático de la Universidad de Ankara, y teniendo en cuenta el pulso que se mantiene en el país entre integrismo y modernidad, “no es tan malo que Bruselas siga imponiendo los cambios que necesita Turquía para anclarse en la modernidad y librarse de la amenaza del integrismo”. Turquía aún debe consolidar el respeto a los derechos humanos, especialmente los de los 15 millones de kurdos del sureste del país; y mejorar los niveles de desarrollo económico y de educación. Además, en un país donde se han producido tres golpes militares en los últimos 40 años, las embajadas occidentales instan a Turquía a “armonizar las relaciones entre el poder civil y el militar”.
On 18 December 2004, commenting on the outcome of the Brussels European Council held on 16 and 17 December, the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung emphasises that the decision to open negotiations for accession to the European Union with Turkey does not prejudice the country’s actual accession to the European Union in the long term.
In this interview on 10 April 2005, Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Foreign Minister and President-in-Office of the Council of the European Union, gives his views on the implications of the possible opening of negotiations for Croatia’s accession to the European Union.
On 9 May 2005, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reports on the apprehension of European citizens with regard to the future enlargements of the European Union and comments on the growing opposition to the policy pursued in this field by the European governments.
On 20 June 2005, in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, emphasises how important it is for Europe to expand its role on the international stage.
In this interview, Gaston Thorn, former Luxembourg Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and, subsequently, President of the European Commission, emphasises the significance and the implications of Turkey's accession to the European Union.
In this interview, Leo Tindemans, former Belgian Prime Minister and Minister for External Relations, criticises the European Union’s attitude, which he considers to be ambiguous, towards Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union.
In this interview, Catherine Lalumière, former French Junior Minister for European Affairs and former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, emphasises the political, economic, geostrategic and religious implications of Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union.
In this interview, Charles Rutten, former Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the European Communities, discusses the negotiations on the Association Agreements between the EEC and Greece and Turkey and recalls the position of the United States on this subject.
In this interview, Bronislaw Geremek, Polish historian and politician, former member of the social movement Solidarnosc, former Foreign Minister and former Member of the European Parliament, discusses the question of the European Union’s borders from a historical perspective.
This article refers to the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), its constitutive elements and the state of play, its role in territorial cohesion and cooperation, as well as the political context and the policy agenda behind the EGTC Regulation.
In this interview, Edmund Wellenstein, Director-General for Foreign Trade at the Commission of the European Communities from 1967 to 1970, describes the strategic importance of the European Communities’ relations with Greece and Turkey in the 1960s, particularly highlighting the external influence of the United States.
In this interview excerpt, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities from 1985 to 1995, gives his thoughts on the success of the EU's enlargements, seen from a historical perspective that will continue to develop, and explains that he is therefore of the view that negotiations should be held for Turkey's accession.
In this interview, Carlos Bru, Chairman of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement from 1986 to 1996 and since 2004, discusses the cultural and geographical boundaries of the European Union, the role of Turkey in the Middle East and in Europe, the neighbourhood policy and the globalist vision of a ‘cosmopolitan democracy' which needs to come about through a process of ‘global regionalisation'.
Map illustrating the European Union’s changing composition following the successive enlargements of the European Communities, from the six founding countries to the Union of 28 Member States. This map also shows the candidate countries currently in accession negotiations, the other candidate countries and the potential candidates.