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Eligible Candidates And Procedural Steps To Accession

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Chapter Summary

Since the inception by the original six Member States of the first Communities - the foundations of today's European Union - six Accession Treaties and accompanying Acts of Accession have been signed to bring a total of nineteen new Member States into the Union bringing the total number of Member States to twenty-seven today. The Treaties have given scant insight into what is required of any country aspiring to membership of the European Union. One single Article in the Treaties establishes the conditions of eligibility to apply for EU membership as well as the procedure for becoming a member of the Union: Article 49 TEU. This chapter traces how the Union has developed the criteria that apply to countries aspiring to membership as well as the procedural steps to follow. This involves a brief comparative analysis of the relevant accession treaty practice and procedure on accession generally.

Keywords: accession; accession treaties; eligibility; EU membership; European Union (EU); member states



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