Introduction

Eligibility for membership
Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome (1957) makes it clear that the Union is open to applicant countries whose economic and political situation are such as to make accession possible. Subject to that qualification, ‘any European state may become a member’. In 1969, a communiqué from The Hague laid down the basis on which issues of enlargement were to be approached:

In so far as the applicant States accept the Treaties and their political aims, the
decisions taken since entry into force of the Treaties and the options adopted in
the sphere of development.

These principles have remained in force ever since – acceptance of the Treaties, of the acquis communautaire and of the political aspirations of the members. However, they were updated in 1993, so that there were clear conditions for the entry of ‘new democracies’ in Central and Eastern Europe. The idea was that those countries with Europe Agreements ‘that so desire shall become members of the [European] Union’.Known as the Copenhagen Criteria, the revised guidelines required that applicant countries should have:
stable institutions that guarantee democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for minority groups (the political criterion)
a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the EU (the economic criterion)
the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union (the criterion concerning the adoption of the acquis communautaire).

In every case of enlargement, new members have had to accept the existing EU institutions and arrangements, although they might be allowed a period of transition. As yet, only Morocco has ever been turned down as an applicant, on the grounds that it does not qualify as a European country. Turkey – a future candidate for entry – has been deemed to be a European Power.

The six nations that formed the European Economic Community became the Nine, the Ten and the Twelve. In 1989, Jacques Delors publicly aired the question in his mind: ‘Is the time coming when we must start thinking about a twenty- or even a twenty-two-nation Community? Within a few years of his question, there were fifteen members. But the massive expansion in terms of number – if not size – of countries, came about in the present century. The recent enlargements have created an EU of almost 500m people. Since the

-241-

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The European Union
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Boxes vii
  • Tables viii
  • Maps ix
  • Introduction x
  • Background Information xv
  • Section One- History 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter 1 - The Drive for European Unity to 1973 5
  • Chapter 2 - From Community to Union, 1973–93 30
  • Chapter 3 - Consolidating the European Union, 1993 To the Present Day 49
  • Chapter 4 - The Movement to Integration- A Theoretical Perspective 61
  • Section Two- Institutions 73
  • Introduction 75
  • Chapter 5 - Institutions of the European Union 76
  • Chapter 6 - Policy-Making and Law-Making Processes 97
  • Chapter 7 - Democracy and the European Union 115
  • Section Three- Representation 127
  • Introduction 129
  • Chapter 8 - Elections to the European Parliament 130
  • Chapter 9 - Political Parties and the European Union 152
  • Chapter 10 - Pressure Groups and the European Union 171
  • Section Four- Policies 189
  • Introduction 191
  • Chapter 11 - The Union Budget 196
  • Chapter 12 - First-Pillar Policies 204
  • Chapter 13 - Second- And Third-Pillar Policies 230
  • Section Five- Attitudes 239
  • Introduction 241
  • Chapter 14 - Member States 250
  • Chapter 15 - Britain and Europe- A Case Study 266
  • Conclusion- the State of the Union, Past and Present 277
  • References 294
  • Further Reading 303
  • Index 307
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