With the trend of economic globalisation, it is necessary for the European Union to secure and enlarge permanently new markets which mean stronger growth and more jobs. Enlargement of the EU is also the single most important foreign policy task in Europe today. Enlargement of the Union will strengthen European stability and security, economic welfare and development, and environmental protection. It will create great opportunities for companies, employees and consumers throughout the continent. According to the report of RFE (2003): "For the past five years, the EU has had accession talks with 13 Eastern European nations, and on 9 October in Brussels, the European Commission recommended that the 10 front-runner candidates be invited to join the EU in 2004. These countries, which are ready to conclude accession talks as scheduled in December, are: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta. Second-wave candidates Bulgaria and Romania are expected to join in 2007, but the EU has not yet set a specific timetable for their admission.
Turkey, which was given candidate status in December 1999, has failed to meet the EU's political and human rights criteria and has not yet been invited to begin membership negotiations. On 19 October, Ireland passed a referendum approving the December 2001 Nice Treaty, already ratified by all other EU nations, without which the EU could not further undergo eastward enlargement." As we can see, the step of enlarging the EU is more and more quickly. After 2004 most of the rest of European nations who are not current member states of the EU will possibly be included into the EU. In this essay, we will discuss the expansion of the EU into Eastern Europe and its implications for British companies.
Background of the European Union
The EU is the...