The EU's enlargement policy deals with the countries currently aspiring to become members of the European Union.
There are strict conditions for membership to ensure that new members are admitted only when they are fully able to take on the obligations of EU membership. This includes compliance with all the EU's standards and rules. For the purpose of accession negotiations, these are divided into 35 different policy fields (chapters).
A number of cross-cutting policy issues are of concern to most countries aspiring to join the EU, including:
First Enlargement (Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom- 1973)
Second Enlargement (Greece - 1981)
Third Enlargement: (Portugal, Spain - 1986)
Fourth Enlargement: (Austria, Finland, Sweeden - 1995)
Fifth Enlargement: (Ten new countries join the EU: Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. - 2004)
Sixth Enlargement: (Bulgaria and Romania- 2007)
Seventh enlargement: (Croatia -2013)
Five countries are presently candidate countries : Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia,and Turkey. Iceland requested not be regarded as a candidate country. On ther hand Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates. .