See Copenhagen criteria. (See enlargement)
In 1993 the Copenhagen European Council recognised the right of the Central and Eastern Europe countries (CEECs) to join the Union on satisfying three criteria: Political - institutional stability to guarantee democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the rights of minorities; Economic - a functioning market economy; Legal - adoption of the body of Community law, the acquis communautaire, including the political, economic and monetary goals of the Union. The Union reserves the right to decide when it considers itself ready to accept new members
Sometimes known as the Copenhagen criteria, because they were agreed by EU leaders in Copenhagen in June 1993, they recognise the right of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to join the European Union when they have fulfilled three criteria: political: stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for minorities; economic: a functioning market economy; incorporation of the acquis communautaire: adherence to the various political, economic and monetary aims of the European Union. However, the Union reserves the right to decide when it will be ready to accept new members.