The Role of Member States in EU Enlargement Policy: The Eastern Enlargement and Turkey’s Accession Process

 Introduction

The European Union’s (EU) Eastern enlargement [1] was the most challenging enlargement for the EU, both in terms of the number of countries involved and the political, social and economic differences between EU member states and the new members. For the first time in the EU’s history it accepted ten candidate countries at the same time in May 2004 with the accession of eight Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs), Cyprus and Malta. On 1 January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members, followed on 1 July 2013 by Croatia, which had started its accession negotiations with the EU on the same day as Turkey, on 3 October 2005. Turkey, meanwhile, had only been able to provisionally close one chapter of the EU acquis.

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