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Ongoing enlargement


The enlargement process is based on a certain number of principles and instruments which have been drawn up gradually, especially in the context of the fifth enlargement. Its objective is to prepare the candidate countries to assume the obligations deriving from Member State status. The Copenhagen criteria determine the conditions to be respected by the candidate countries: the political and economic criteria and the adoption and application of European legislation (acquis). This process requires considerable effort on the part of the candidate countries, which are judged on their own merits, especially in terms of strengthening institutions and reforms. The EU has therefore established various instruments to support and assist them and to evaluate their preparation and needs at each stage of the enlargement process.

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