Timeline of new states joining the union
■ 1958: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands. The original signatories of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
■ 1973: Denmark, the UK, Ireland.
■ 1981: Greece joins.
■ 1986: Portugal, Spain: These enlargements also consolidated democracy in these three countries.
■ 1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden.
■ 2004: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia: Aimed at reuniting the continent after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, this enlargement was launched by the European Council meeting of December 1997. Negotiations were conducted separately with each country, based on a single negotiating framework.
■ 2007: Bulgaria, Romania: The pace of reform in Bulgaria and Romania did not allow them to join in 2004. A “cooperation and verifi- cation mechanism” in key areas — judicial reform, the f ight against corruption and the fight against organised crime (the latter applying only to Bulgaria) — continues monitoring progress after accession.
■ 2013: Croatia: Accession talks with Croatia were subject to the stricter conditionality instituted in December 2006 by European Council’s “renewed consensus on enlargement”.