Objectives, Enlargement process
The main objectives of European Union are to maintain pace, to respect human dignity, democracy, liberty, equality, to respect human rights and minorities rights and to assure wellness for his citizens. More, UE will sustain the following:
- An internal market without borders and with freedom of competition (the single market was established in 1993) and monetary union (the single currency was launched in 1999)
- A solid development based on economical growth, financial stability, social progress, creating working places, decrease and eliminate the unemployment, environment protection.
- Investing in research and development for sustain scientific and technical progress
- Eliminate discrimination, protecting and security of citizens, social justice.
- Assure economic and social cohesion
The European Union (EU) was created by the six founding states in 1952 (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). It’s been six waves of accession (1973: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom; 1981: Greece; 1986: Spain and Portugal; 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden; 2004: Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary; 2007: Romania and Bulgaria).
EU totalise 27 member states from 1st of January 2007. Negotiations are also underway with other states: Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Albania.
The European Union's 27 member states covers an area of 4,322,989 km² and has approximately 500 million inhabitants.
In order to join the European Union, a state needs to fulfill the economic and political conditions generally known as the “Copenhagen criteria”:
- Stability of institutions that guarantees democracy, legal state, human rights and minorities protection.
- A fully functional market economy and capacity to concur European market
- Capacity of assuming liability as a member state, including the acceptance of political, economic and monetary union objectives.
Also, according to the EU Treaty, each current member state and the European Parliament have to agree to any enlargement.