Volume 44 (2007) / Issue 2
On 1 January 2007 the European Union expanded to twenty seven Member States. In political terms the accession of Bulgaria and Romania is an important step in the unification of Europe, bringing the post war divisions of the continent to the end. However, it also raises questions of the future of the European Union and its unity. The sixth enlargement has been overshadowed by the economic and legal preparedness of the newcomers. The Accession Treaty makes this wave of enlargement possible; the question remains if it will be sufficient to secure smooth integration of the two least developed and poorest members of the European Union. This article provides an overview of the key provisions of the Accession Treaty. It starts with the analysis of the structure and institutional provisions of the Treaty. This is followed by parts devoted to safeguard clauses and transitional periods. Finally, the legal implications for the EU’s external commitments are taken on board.
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