Applicant countries

Group photo: Accession Treaty, Athens, April 2003 (Photo: European Commission)

Applicant countries

Countries that have applied to join the European Union.

On 1 May 2004 the EU was enlarged by including Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta

From April 2003 these 10 former accession countries had been observers and as such participated, but could not vote, in the meetings of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. 

Romania and Bulgaria entered the EU on 1 January 2007, Croatia on 1 July 2013.

Turkey was given pre-accession money from the EU from 1 January 2004. 

Macedonia (FYROM) applied to join the EU  in March 2004. Serbia was approved as a candidate country by February 2012, Albania in June 2014.

Iceland applied in 2009 but withdrew its application five years later following a change of government. 

See Lisbon Treaty Art. 49 TEU.



See also Enlargement.