About: Country Briefing

EU Elections 2019 16-05-2019

EU country briefing: UK and Brexit

Britain was never supposed to participate in the European Parliament (EP) elections as its planned exit from the European Union was originally to be concluded on March 29, well ahead of the May poll.
EU Elections 2019 14-05-2019

EU country briefing: Estonia

Estonia was the smallest continental European country that joined the EU during the major enlargement round in 2004 (with only the island of Cyprus being smaller).
EU Elections 2019 10-05-2019

EU country briefing: Lithuania

Lithuanians enthusiastically voted to join the EU in 2003, with 91% in favour, and the southernmost Baltic state became a member the following year, along with nine other countries. It was a historic step in consolidating the independence Lithuania gained in 1991, after having been a part of the Soviet Union.
EU Elections 2019 10-05-2019

EU country briefing: Finland

Finland joined the EU together with its neighbour Sweden in 1995, turning away from its former foreign policy of  Finlandisation, in which it was forced to accept certain measures of Soviet influence on their domestic governance and foreign policy to maintain sovereignty.
EU Elections 2019 09-05-2019

EU country briefing: Latvia

Like for its fellow Baltic states Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia’s EU accession was a milestone for a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union until 1991.
EU Elections 2019 06-05-2019

EU country briefing: Luxembourg

Once reliant on its strong steel industry, Luxembourg is now best known for its thriving financial centre, which has turned it into one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
EU Elections 2019 06-05-2019

EU country briefing: Malta

Malta joined the EU in 2004’s “big bang” enlargement round only by a knife-edge, as just 53.6% of people voted in favour of joining the year before in a confirmation referendum due to the opposition of the (currently ruling) Labour Party (PL) - which rejected the results.
EU Elections 2019 03-05-2019

EU country briefing: Belgium

The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. Belgium has been at the very centre of the European project since its creation, as one of the original...
EU Elections 2019 02-05-2019

EU country briefing: Czech Republic

The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. The Czech Republic, shortened to Czechia since 2016, was the second most developed country (after Slovenia) of the eight Central...
EU Elections 2019 02-05-2019

EU country briefing: Hungary

Hungary became part of the EU during the 2004 “big bang” enlargement. The country is also part of the Visegrád Group, a cultural and political alliance, together with fellow EU states Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
EU Elections 2019 25-04-2019

EU country briefing: The Netherlands

A founding member of the European project, the Netherlands has been a strong proponent of regional cooperation since the end of World War II, as shown by the then-created Benelux customs union.
EU Elections 2019 24-04-2019

EU country briefing: Slovakia

Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 as part of the big enlargement round that saw 10 new countries join that year. But it almost missed out, as things looked very different while the country was ruled by the authoritarian leader Vladimír Mečiar in 1992-1998.
EU Elections 2019 19-04-2019

EU country briefing: Germany

Containing Germany has been the European project’s main raison d'être since its creation. This was symbolised by the fact that cooperation started with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1950, primarily aimed at avoiding another European war.
EU Elections 2019 18-04-2019

EU country briefing: Bulgaria

Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, together with Romania. The country’s accession made Cyrillic the EU’s third official alphabet aside from the Greek and Latin alphabets.
EU Elections 2019 15-04-2019

EU country briefing: Poland

Poland was the most populous country and biggest economy joining the EU in the 2004 “big bang” enlargement. The Polish citizens confirmed their will to join the Union in a referendum in June 2003.
EU Elections 2019 12-04-2019

EU country briefing: Cyprus

The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. Cyprus joined the EU during its big enlargement round of 2004, as the only EU member state with part...
EU Elections 2019 12-04-2019

EU country briefing: Ireland

The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. Following an emphatic referendum result which saw 81.3% voting in favour of membership, Ireland joined the EU (then the...
EU Elections 2019 04-04-2019

EU country briefing: Romania

The following article is a part of a series of brief country profiles for the EU-28 ahead of the European elections in May. Romania, together with Bulgaria, missed the first wave of the EU’s eastward expansion in 2004. The two joined the...
EU Elections 2019 28-03-2019

EU country briefing: Denmark

Denmark was the first Nordic country to join the EU. It did so in 1973, together with the UK and Ireland, after a referendum in which 63.3% of people voted in favour. Its application to join came mainly out of a practical necessity to maintain close trade relations with the UK.
EU Elections 2019 27-03-2019

EU country briefing: Greece

Greece was the first southeast European country that joined the EU (then EEC) in 1981, and the poorest one to have joined by then. While the European Commission suggested a ten-year pre-accession period at the time, other member states overruled it for geopolitical reasons.
EU Elections 2019 20-03-2019

EU country briefing: France

France spearheaded the European Project with its proposal for a European Coal and Steel Community in 1950, and its centrality to the project remains undiminished, with the French playing a key role in the creation of the eurozone in 1999.
EU Elections 2019 19-03-2019

EU country briefing: Slovenia

Slovenia was the first Balkan country to join the EU, during 2004’s big enlargement round, after this was supported by a double referendum on both EU and NATO membership, which were supported by 89.6% and 66% respectively.
EU Elections 2019 14-03-2019

EU country briefing: Croatia

Croatia is the EU´s youngest member, having only joined in 2013 following a referendum in the country in which 66% voted in favour. Its membership was considered an important step for stabilising the Balkan region that experienced war and conflict between 1991-2001.
EU Elections 2019 13-03-2019

EU country briefing: Italy

Italy was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1952, which paved the way for the EU. It joined the Schengen in 1997 and eurozone in 1999, despite not meeting the euro convergence criteria, and its economic performance has remained a source of concern.

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