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EU membership: how long did it take between the start of negotiations and accession?

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EU membership: how long did it take between the start of negotiations and accession?

Ukraine has received the green light to start negotiations on joining the European Union, but this does not mean quick membership. Find out how much time passed between the start of negotiations and the actual accession of other countries to the EU

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According to preliminary forecasts, negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union are expected to begin in March 2024. According to European Council President Charles Michel, if both sides "do their homework," Ukraine could become an EU member by 2030, but the Ukrainian government hopes for a faster integration process.


So, how much time has passed between the start of negotiations and accession to the bloc for other countries is described in the article below, with reference to a study by Slovo i Dilo.


What does a country have to do to join the EU?


The European Union was founded by 6 countries: Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The history of the European Union began on January 1, 1958, and today the bloc has 27 member states.


Each country applying to join the EU has to go through 4 stages: applying, becoming a candidate, negotiating and joining the EU. In order to pass each of the accession stages, a country must receive unanimous approval from the European Commission, the European Council and EU leaders.


And the accession process takes different time for each country. The duration of this process depends not only on how quickly it can implement reforms, but also on the political will of all parties.


How long did it take for countries to join the EU from the beginning of negotiations to the end?


Austria, Finland, and Sweden were the fastest to join the European Union, with only 1 year and 11 months between the start of negotiations and accession (in 1995).


For Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, which is no longer a member of the EU, the process took 4 years and 2 months (in 1973).


Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta were able to join the EU 4 years and 2 months after the start of negotiations (in 2004). Greece (in 1981) took a little longer - 4 years and 5 months.


Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, and Cyprus took 6 years and 1 month from the start of negotiations to accession. For Romania, Bulgaria, and Spain, the process took 6 years and 10 months.


Portugal and Croatia waited the longest for accession - 7 years and 2 months and 7 years and 8 months, respectively.




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Which countries are waiting to join the EU?


Currently, the "youngest" candidates are Albania and Macedonia. They started accession negotiations in July 2022. Ukraine and Moldova are waiting for the start of the negotiation process. And, for example, Georgia is just beginning to fulfill the recommendations for obtaining the "candidate" status.


However, at the same time, there are countries that have not yet completed the negotiation process and have been waiting for the accession decision to be approved for a very long time. These are:


- Montenegro (the negotiation process has been ongoing since June 2012);

- Serbia (negotiations started in January 2014);

- Turkey (started negotiations in October 2005, but they have been frozen for 4 years).


How to support Ukraine?


Today, supporting Ukraine is important not only for Ukrainians, but also for global solidarity. And you can easily support Ukraine together with Visit Ukraine by ordering merchandise on our website.


By purchasing branded items and accessories on our website, you will have the opportunity not only to financially support Ukrainians, but also to become an ambassador of Ukraine in the world.


Don't stand aside and help Ukraine resist evil, protecting the security of the world!


We remind you! Ukraine's path to the EU continues, and the European Commission has recently released a report on Ukraine's progress towards membership. Read more about the key conclusions and further conditions necessary for Ukraine's accession to the EU in our previous article


Photo: multimedia.europarl.europa.eu


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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