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Glossary of summaries

Glossary of summaries


The EU currently comprises 28 countries. Following the first 6 countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - a further 22 countries have joined the EU:

  • 1973: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom (1);
  • 1981: Greece;
  • 1986: Spain and Portugal;
  • 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden;
  • 2004: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia;
  • 2007: Bulgaria and Romania;
  • 2013: Croatia.

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey have the status of candidate countries.

Accession negotiations with Iceland started in July 2010 and were then put on hold by the Icelandic government in May 2013. In March 2015, Iceland withdrew its application to join the EU.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo (as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244) have the status of potential candidate countries.


(1) The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union and becomes a third country (non-EU country) as of 1 February 2020.