Eastward Enlargement of the European Union – a Success Story or an Unfi nished Project? The Polish Point of View
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This article presents a concise analysis, performed from Poland’s point of view, of the genesis, effects and future prospects of the enlargement of the European Union to the east. Initially, the enlargement concerned a group of 11 post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, which became members of the EU between 2004 and 2013, and has brought about positive results for both the new members and for the EU as a whole. In the broadly defi ned east of Europe, however, there is still a group of countries aspiring to EU membership and taking various measures towards this end. The European Union supports these efforts, but has no full and clearly defi ned policy in this regard. There is much to indicate that the possibilities of further EU enlargement to the east are presently exhausted. The candidate countries are greatly hindered in their striving for EU membership by their complicated internal and international situations, while most EU Member States are distinctly unwilling to accept new members at this time. This will not change even despite the positions of such countries as Poland, which considers the enlargement of the EU to the east vital to its interests, but which so far does not have suffi cient stature for its voice to take precedence.
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