On 9 September 1971, the General Secretariat of the Council drafts an internal document which sets out the relations to be maintained with those member and associated States of EFTA which are not applicants for accession to the European Communities, addressing, in particular, the issues relating to the Stockholm Convention, to multilateral trade agreements and to association agreements.
On 6 February 1976, German weekly Die Zeit describes the concern felt by the Commission of the European Communities with regard to Greece's economic underdevelopment and the financial cost of Greek accession to the Communities.
In April 1977, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expresses its concern regarding the difficulties involved in a possible enlargement of the European Economic Community (EEC) towards southern Europe.
Transcription of the address by the President of the European Commission to the Council of the European Communities on 18 October 1977 regarding the economic problems associated with the enlargement of the Community.
In 1978, Gaston Thorn, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, reviews the dangers and opportunities presented by the second enlargement of the European Communities and wonders when and under what conditions the accession of Greece should take place.
On 6 February 1979, Enrique Domínguez Passier, Spanish Ambassador to Ottawa, sends to the Spanish Foreign Minister a copy of a communication from the European Community Information Service in Ottawa on the enlargement of the European Community to include Greece, Spain and Portugal.
On 17 November 1982, the European Parliament adopts a resolution in which it highlights the implications of the enlargement of the European Economic Community (EEC) to include Spain and Portugal, with particular regard to the special situation of their agriculture.
On 4 June 1992, following the Danish refusal to ratify the Maastricht Treaty, the French daily newspaper Le Monde analyses the impact that this decision will have on future enlargement of the European Communities.
On 16 June 1992, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considers a report on the enlargement of the Strasbourg organisation and lays down terms for accession and the institutional and geopolitical implications thereof.
Submitted to the Lisbon European Council of 26 and 27 June 1992 and annexed to the Presidency’s Conclusions, the European Commission report ‘Europe and the Challenge of Enlargement’ lists the conditions for accession to the European Union which applicant countries must satisfy and warns about conditions which must be fulfilled to safeguard the effectiveness of an enlarged Union.
On 2 March 1994, in an interview for the French radio station France Inter, Alain Lamassoure, French Minister Delegate for European Affairs, gives his views, in particular, on the implications of the enlargement of the European Union to include Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
On 3 March 1994, the French daily newspaper Le Monde outlines the agreement secured two days earlier in Brussels following the negotiations with Austria, Finland and Sweden on accession to the European Union.
On 15 and 16 December 1995, the Madrid European Council confirms the need to make sound preparations for enlargement on the basis of the criteria laid down in Copenhagen and as part of an intensified pre-accession strategy in order to establish the conditions for the gradual, harmonious integration of those States, particularly through the development of the market economy, the adjustment of their administrative structures and the creation of a stable economic and monetary environment.
On 28 June 1997, following the Amsterdam European Council held on 16 and 17 June, the Portuguese weekly publication Expresso emphasises the difficulties facing the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs) in their journey towards accession to the European Union.
On 30 March 1998, at the opening in Brussels of negotiations on EU accession with Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel highlights the historic nature of the European Union’s next enlargement.
On 19 November 1998, Lionel Jospin, French Prime Minister, delivers an address to students at Charles University in Prague in which he emphasises the historic nature of the enlargement of the European Union and the Czech Republic’s strong attachment to Europe.
In February 1999, the French monthly newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique analyses the implications and risks, both for the 10 new Member States and for the Fifteen, of the enlargement of the European Union to 25.
On 29 March 1999, Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for European Affairs, grants an interview to the Slovak daily newspaper Pravda in which he comments on the implications of the enlargement of the European Union to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs).
On 8 and 9 November 2000, Dick Benschop, Netherlands Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Péter Gottfried, Head of the State Secretariat for Integration in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, exchange letters concerning the latest progress in the process for the enlargement of the European Union.
On 21 June 2001, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, delivers to the Bundestag an address in which he gives a positive assessment of the outcome of the Göteburg European Council with particular regard to the enlargement of the European Union.
On 5 December 2001, the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Benelux and the Visegrad Group meet at the Kirchberg Conference Centre in Luxembourg to discuss the future of Europe in general and to consider in particular the strengthening of cooperation between the two regional groups.
On 19 November 2002, Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament, emphasises the historical significance of the debate on enlargement which is also attended by Members of Parliament from the countries applying for accession to the European Union.
On 16 December 2002, on the margins of the Copenhagen European Council, Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, holds a press conference in which he emphasises the historic significance of the decisions adopted by the Fifteen concerning the enlargement of the European Union.
Study by Carmela Martín, Director of the European Economy Group at the Complutense University of Madrid, and Jaime Turión, Research Assistant in the same Group, to evaluate the nature and scope for the Spanish economy of the accession of ten new Member States to the European Union.
Working document published by the European University Institute in Florence in which Lorena Ruano, Doctor in International Relations, compares the problems encountered during the negotiations for the accession of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to those currently facing Spain. The document particularly focuses on the redistribution of aid provided under the common agricultural policy.
On 19 February 2003, the European Commission delivers a favourable opinion on the accession to the European Union of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.
On 11 March 2003, the European Commission sets out the principles of the European Union’s new neighbourhood policy with Russia, with the Western New Independent States (WNIS) and with the Southern Mediterranean countries.
On 16 April 2003, at the Informal European Council in Athens, the Austrian Chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel, refers to the historic scope of the Treaty of Accession of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs) to the European Union.
On 27 October 2003, Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enlargement, delivers an address at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow in which he outlines the implications of the fifth enlargement of the European Union and the principles of its new Neighbourhood Policy.
On 25 November 2003, as the bill authorising the ratification of the Treaty of Athens is scrutinised in the French National Assembly, the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, emphasises the historic nature of the enlargement of the European Union to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs).
In its communication dated 10 February 2004 entitled Building our Common Future: Policy challenges and budget resources in the enlarged Union 2007–2013, the Commission considers the Union’s policy guidelines and priority objectives for the period 2007–2013 and the budget resources which need to be implemented to comply with them.
On 26 February 2004, two months before the fifth enlargement of the European Communities, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister and Finance Minister, delivers an address at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Paris in which he considers the progress made by the countries of Europe along the road towards European integration.
In this interview, Jacques F. Poos, Member of the European Parliament and former Luxembourg Foreign Minister, comments on the implications of the fifth enlargement of the European Union, due to take place on 1 May 2004, and focuses on the question of Turkey’s application.
On 17 and 18 June 2004, the Brussels European Council welcomes the Commission proposals on a European Neighbourhood Policy and on a strategic partnership between the European Union and the countries in the Mediterranean region.
On 23 September 2004, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enlargement. The visit of the Turkish Prime Minister is an opportunity to address any remaining obstacles preventing a favourable response by the European Commission on the opening of negotiations with Turkey for accession to the European Union.
In this interview, Jacques Santer, former President of the European Commission, recalls the difficulties faced and the strategy adopted by the Commission in the late 1990s in the preparations for the enlargement of the European Union to include the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs).
In this interview, Catherine Lalumière, former French Junior Minister for European Affairs and former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, emphasises the political, economic, geostrategic and religious implications of Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union.
On 17 October 2006, following the European Commission’s final Monitoring Report issued on 26 September, the Council of the European Union decides to welcome Bulgaria and Romania as Member States of the European Union as from 1 January 2007.
Transcription of the interview with Bronislaw Geremek (1932–2008), Polish historian and politician, former member of the Solidarnosc social movement and former Polish Foreign Minister, carried out by the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE) on 11 June 2008 at the studios of the Council of the European Union in Brussels. The interview was conducted by Serge Thines, an assistant researcher at the CVCE, and particularly focuses on the following subjects: Bronislaw Geremek’s youth and training, the creation and work of Solidarnosc and the peaceful transition in Poland, Poland’s accession to the European Union and the limits and identity of the European Union.
In this interview, Carlos Bru, Chairman of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement from 1986 to 1996 and since 2004, speaks about the transfer of national sovereignty to the European Union through the enlargement processes and the ‘opt-in' and ‘opt-out' systems, and also discusses strengthened cooperation and the implications of a constitutional treaty for an enlarged Europe.
In this interview, Carlos Bru, Chairman of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement from 1986 to 1996 and since 2004, discusses the cultural and geographical boundaries of the European Union, the role of Turkey in the Middle East and in Europe, the neighbourhood policy and the globalist vision of a ‘cosmopolitan democracy' which needs to come about through a process of ‘global regionalisation'.
In this interview, Manuel Marín, First Vice-President of the European Commission from 1993 to 1999, gives his views on the emergence of a new era following the end of the Cold War. He also compares Spain’s ‘return to Europe’ with that of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and discusses the impact on Spain, in terms of ‘budgetary solidarity’, of this enlargement to the East.