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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

Candidate countries

European Commission - Enlargement - Candidate countries

An applicant country for European Union membership* may be granted candidate country status by the European Council on the basis of a recommendation by the European Commission.

Candidate country status does not give a right to join the Union automatically. The Commission examines the application in light of the accession criteria (Copenhagen criteria)* and draws up an opinion, while the European Council decides to open accession negotiations* with the candidate country.