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:
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.
|•||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