European Union member state

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The member states of the European Union highlighted in light brown.

A European Union member state is any one of the twenty-seven countries that have joined the European Union (EU) since it was found in 1958 as the European Economic Community (EEC). From an original membership of six states, there have been five successive enlargements. The largest happened on 1 May 2004, when ten member states joined.

Following the addition of Croatia in 2013, the EU's membership now stands at twenty-eight. Negotiations are also under way with other states. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration. However, this term is also used to refer to the intensification of cooperation between EU member states as national governments allow for the gradual centralising of power within European institutions. Before being allowed to join the European Union, a state must fulfill the economic and political conditions generally known as the Copenhagen criteria: these basically require that a candidate member state must enjoy a secular, democratic system of government, together with the corresponding freedoms and institutions, and respect the rule of law. Under the terms of the Treaty on European Union, enlargement of the Union is conditional upon the agreement of each existing member state as well as approval by the European Parliament.

Bulgaria and Romania make up the second part of the EU's fifth enlargement, and joined the EU on 1 January 2007. This date was agreed upon at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, confirmed at Brussels on 18 June 2004, and affirmed by the country reports of October 2004 and the final report delivered on 26 September 2006. Bulgaria and Romania signed their Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005 at a ceremony held at Neumünster Abbey in Luxembourg.

List of members[change | change source]

The European flag flies outside Leeds Town Hall in Leeds, England.

Current members[change | change source]

Flag State Official name Accession Population Capital MEPs
Austria Austria Republic of Austria January 1, 1995 8,169,929 Vienna 18
Belgium Belgium Kingdom of Belgium March 25, 1957 10,274,595 Brussels 24
Bulgaria Bulgaria Republic of Bulgaria January 1, 2007 7,679,290 Sofia 18
Croatia Croatia Republic of Croatia July 1, 2013 4,290,612 Zagreb 12
Cyprus Cyprus Republic of Cyprus May 1, 2004 835,000 Nicosia 6
Czech Republic Czech Republic Czech Republic May 1, 2004 10,256,760 Prague 24
Denmark Denmark Kingdom of Denmark January 1, 19732 5,368,854 Copenhagen 14
Estonia Estonia Republic of Estonia May 1, 2004 1,415,681 Tallinn 6
Finland Finland Republic of Finland January 1, 1995 5,157,537 Helsinki 14
France France French Republic March 25, 1957 59,765,983 Paris 78
Germany Germany Federal Republic of Germany March 25, 19571 83,251,851 Berlin 99
Greece Greece Hellenic Republic January 1, 1981 10,645,343 Athens 24
Hungary Hungary Republic of Hungary May 1, 2004 10,075,034 Budapest 24
Republic of Ireland Ireland Ireland January 1, 1973 4,234,925 Dublin 13
Italy Italy Italian Republic March 25, 1957 58,751,711 Rome 78
Latvia Latvia Republic of Latvia May 1, 2004 2,366,515 Riga 9
Lithuania Lithuania Republic of Lithuania May 1, 2004 3,382,041 Vilnius 13
Luxembourg Luxembourg Grand Duchy of Luxembourg March 25, 1957 448,569 Luxembourg 6
Malta Malta Republic of Malta May 1, 2004 397,499 Valletta 5
Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands March 25, 1957 16,318,199 Amsterdam 27
Poland Poland Republic of Poland May 1, 2004 38,625,478 Warsaw 54
Portugal Portugal Portuguese Republic January 1, 1986 10,084,245 Lisbon 24
Romania Romania Romania January 1, 2007 21,698,181 Bucharest 35
Slovakia Slovakia Slovak Republic May 1, 2004 5,422,366 Bratislava 14
Slovenia Slovenia Republic of Slovenia May 1, 2004 1,932,917 Ljubljana 7
Spain Spain Kingdom of Spain January 1, 1986 44,708,964 Madrid 54
Sweden Sweden Kingdom of Sweden January 1, 1995 9,090,113 Stockholm 19

1 On 3 October 1990, the states of the former German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Rebulic of Germany, automatically becoming part of the EU.
2 Greenland left the Community in 1985.

Former members[change | change source]

Flag State Official name Accession Withdrawal Population Capital MEPs
United Kingdom United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland January 1, 1973 January 31, 2020 60,201,000 London 78