Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Five years from the fifth enlargement

Adelina Marini, May 1, 2009

1st of May is not only the Labour day, which will be celebrated accordingly in Bulgaria - with 6 days vacation, but it is also the fifth anniversary of the biggest enlargement in the history of the EU - the first part of the fifth enlargement. On the 1st of May 2004 8 ex-communist states from Central and Eastern Europe joined the Union and another 2 - Malta and the Greek part of Cyprus.

And, maybe, five years later not exactly the size of the enlargement is what matters but its content because actually then the Union accepted for the first time countries from the ex-Soviet block. How close were the ties of those countries to the ex-Soviet Union is an issue for another conversation, but the relative success of the first part of the fifth enlargement encouraged the EU to finish it with the admission of Bulgaria and Romania three years later, which is not worth commenting.

In other words, today is a day of deliberations for the EU and for some - Labour day. Which one you choose is a matter of values after all.