Enlargement of the European Union

European integration has been one of the fundamental goals of the European Union since its establishment. Over the decades, the European Union has grown from a community of six founding countries to a union of 27 Member States.

Flag of EU and some of its member countries flags.
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Enlargement is at the heart of Finland's EU policy

Finland supports continued enlargement of the European Union on the basis of jointly approved criteria. Carefully managed enlargement is in the interest of Finland's political and economic interests and it is one of the central objectives of Finland's EU policy.

Legal matters and fighting organised crime and corruption must remain at the core of the EU's enlargement policy. Economic matters, such as growth, competitiveness, and management of general government finances as well as a well-functioning public administration belong to the three pillars of the enlargement process.

As for the accession criteria, there is no room for compromise because becoming a member state is essentially linked with the adoption of the Union’s rules and values.

Accession should not be expedited for political reasons because the best incentives for launching reforms will come up in connection with the negotiation process. It is also important that  the accession process is not hampered by political obstacles, caused by bilateral conflicts for example.

The EU must also adhere to its commitments and be prepared to accept new member states when they meet the membership criteria.

Enlargement should remain an active element of the future of European integration. The EU is not only about free trade;  it is a community of values for establishing democracy and the rule of law in a growing number of European countries.

Finland's support for the enlargement process

Finland actively supports the continuation of the enlargement process. The Union's Twinning and TAIEX activities are central instruments in efforts to strengthen aspiring candidate countries' capacity to meet the conditions of accession.

These instruments provide practical help to the candidate countries and neighbourhood countries in developing and aligning their administrations and legislations to comply with the EU standards.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs coordinates Twinning and TAIEX projects in Finland.

EU membership