Enlarging the European Union

Enlarging the European Union


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Construction of Europe
Relations with non-member countries
Target audience: General public



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Language English
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E n l a r g i n g > t h eE u r o p e a nU n i o n
E n l a r g i n g t h eE u r o p e a nU n i o n
The European Union is preparing for its most ambitious enlargement ever. The aim is to reunite Europe, consolidating peace, democracy and prosperity throughout the continent. In this folder you can read about the cultures and the geography of the 13 countries that have applied to become members of the EU.
Enlargement for a stronger and wider Europe
TheEuropeanUnionispreparing foritsmostambitiousenlargement ever.Theaimistoreunitethe Europeancontinentandthusto consolidatepeaceanddemocracy andenableitspeoplestosharethe benefitsofprogressandwelfare generatedbyEuropeanintegration.
The13countriesdescribedinthis folderhaveappliedtobecomeEU members,and10ofthemhopeto joinin2004.
BeforeitcanjointheEU,acountry musthaveastabledemocracy guaranteeingtheruleoflaw, humanrightsandtheprotectionof minorities.Itmustalsohavea marketeconomyandapublic administrationthatcanapplyEU laws.
TheEUishelpingallthecandidate countriesmeettheserequirements.
News,documentsandother informationabouttheenlargement oftheEuropeanUnioncanbe foundat europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement
Bulgaria [B˘algarija] BG
C a p i t a l :Sofia[Sofija ] L a n g u a g e :Bulgarian[bulgarski ] C u r r e n c y :lev[lev ]
Foundedin681,Bulgariaisone ofEuropesoldestStates.Some 85%ofthepopulationare ChristianOrthodox,13%are Muslim.Around10%areof Turkishoriginand3%are Roma.
Nesebur,witharchitectural treasuresspanning3000years, liesonthefamousBlackSea coast.ItisaUnescoworld heritagesite.
Bulgariasexportsincludewine, androseoilfortheworlds perfumeindustry.
Itissaidthatmorepeoplelive totheageof100inBulgaria thananywhereelse—perhaps becausetheyeatplentyof yoghurt.
Czech Republic ˇ [CeskáRepublika] C Z
C a p i t a l :Prague[Praha] L a n g u a g e :Czech[cˇesˇtina] C u r r e n c y :Czechkoruna ˇ [Ceskákoruna]
BeforetheSecondWorldWar, thiswasoneofthe10most industrialisedStatesinthe world,andtheonlycentral Europeancountrytoremaina democracyuntil1938.
Itscapitalcity,Prague,ismore than1000yearsoldandhasa wealthofhistoricarchitecture ofdifferentstyles.
Hillsandmountainscovermore than95%ofthiscountry— idealforskiing,mountain bikingandhillwalking.
TheCzechRepublicproduces world-famousbeeraswellas mineralwaterfrommorethan 900naturalsprings(aworld record).
Estonia [Eesti] ES T
C a p i t a l :nillaTn[Tallinn] L a n g u a g e :Estonian[eestikeel] C u r r e n c y :Estoniankroon [eestikroon][eek]
Estonia,amostlyflatcountry ontheeasternshoresofthe BalticSea,has1400lakesand 1521islands.Muchoftheland isfarmedorforested.The Estonianlanguage,relatedto Finnish,hasbeenspokenfor thousandsofyears.
Thecapital,Tallinn,isoneof thebest-preservedmediaeval citiesinEurope,andtourism accountsfor15%ofEstonian GDP.
Estonianslovetakingsaunas, enjoyingthebenefitsofintense heatduringthelong,dark wintermonths.
Estoniaisnowoneofthemost Internet-connectedcountriesin theworld.
Cyprus [Kypros —Kıbrıs] C Y
FOTOstock ©
C a p i t a l :Nicosia [LefosiaLefk]aok¸s L a n g u a g e s :GreekandTurkish [ellinika — Türkçe] C u r r e n c y :Cypruspound [lirakyprou — kıbrıslirası]
Cyprushaslongbeena crossroadsbetweenEurope, AsiaandAfricaandstillhas manytracesofsuccessive civilisations—suchasthegreat sanctuaryofAphrodite(Venus) thatoncestoodatKouklia.
Open-airclassicaltheatreand ancienttraditionslikethe famouswinefestivalremainas livelyasever.
Theislandsmaineconomic activitiesaretourism,clothing andcraftexportsandmerchant shipping.Traditionalcrafts includeembroidery,potteryand copper-work.
SinceTurkeyoccupiedthenorth oftheislandin1974,the TurkishCypriotcommunityhas beenseparatedfromtheGreek Cypriotcommunityinthe south.
Latvia [Latvija] L V
C a p i t a l :Riga[Riga] L a n g u a g e :latvian[a]odlavuˇseivtal C u r r e n c y :lats[LS — lats]
Latvia,ontheBalticcoast,isa low-lyingcountrywithlarge foreststhatsupplytimberfor theconstructionandpaper industries.Latviaalsoproduces manyconsumergoods,textiles andmachinetools.
Theenvironmentisrichin wildlife,andfishingisamajor activity.
Ethnically,thepopulationis 56%Latvianand30%Russian, andmorethanathirdliveinthe capitalRiga.
Foundedin1201,Rigaisthe largestcityintheBalticStates. ItsStatueofLibertyisthe higheststatueinEurope,at43 metres.
Lithuania [Lietuva] L T
FOTOstock ©
C a p i t a l :Vilnius[Vilnius] L a n g u a g e :Lithuanian[lietuvu] C u r r e n c y :litas[litas]
Lithuania,largestoftheBaltic States,hasathousandyearsof history.Ithasdozensoflakes, riversandforests,and99 kilometresofsandyseashore thatincludesimpressivedunes.
Around80%ofthepopulation areLithuanian,11%Polishand 7%Russian.
Thecapital,Vilnius,isa picturesquecityonthebankof theRiverVilnia.Itsuniversity, foundedin1579,isa Renaissance-stylecomplexwith countlessinnercourtyards, formingacitywithinthecity.
Hungary [Magyarország] H
C a p i t a l :Budapest[Budapest] L a n g u a g e :Hungarian[magyar] C u r r e n c y :forint[forint]
ThewestofHungaryishilly; theeastflatandfertilea paradiseformigratingbirds. LakeBalaton,apopulartourist resort,isthelargestlakein centralEurope.
Thecapitalcity,Budapest, straddlestheRiverDanube.Itis richinhistoryandcultureand famedforitscurativesprings.
TheHungarianlanguageis unlikeotherneighbouring languagesandisonlydistantly relatedtoFinnishandEstonian.
Hungaryisahighlymusical countrywhosetraditionalfolk musicinspireditsgreat composerssuchasLiszt,Bartok andKodaly.
Malta [Malta] M
C a p i t a l :Valletta[Valetta] L a n g u a g e s :MalteseandEnglish [Malti—English] C u r r e n c y :MalteseLira[LiraMaltija]
Malta,intheheartofthe Mediterranean,isameltingpot ofcivilisationswithahistory stretchingbackthousandsof years.Itsmassivefortifications bearwitnesstotheMaltese peoplesbravedefenceoftheir islandoverthecenturies.
TourismisimportantinMalta buttheservicessectorisnow boomingtoo,thankstoMaltas adaptableworkforceandtheir willingnesstoembracechange.
Thenationallanguageis MaltesebutEnglishisalso recognisedasanofficial language,andmanyMaltese alsospeakItalian.