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The Adaptation of the Baltic States' Legal Systems

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Chapter Summary

The three Baltic States are applied for European Union (EU) accession. This set the enlargement procedure, based on Article 49 of the Treaty on EU (ex Article O), in motion. The reference to Article 6(1) EU - i.e. to the Union's foundational principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law - was included by the Treaty of Amsterdam, which entered into force on 1 May 1999. The procedure set out in Article 49 EU reveals the involvement of the Community institutions, notwithstanding the fact that the acceptance of new Member States is not an exercise of Community competence. The inclusion of political criteria for membership has a long tradition in the EU's enlargement history. Whereas the 1993 Copenhagen European Council laid down the main criteria for accession, subsequent European Council meetings supplemented or refined the Copenhagen criteria.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Baltic states; Copenhagen criteria; European Union (Eu) enlargement

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