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Glossary

COPENHAGEN CRITERIA


In June 1993, EU leaders meeting in Copenhagen set three criteria that any candidate country (see above) must meet before it can join the European Union. First, it must have stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for minorities. Second, it must have a functioning market economy. Third, it must take on board all the acquis (see above) and support the various aims of the European Union. In addition, it must have a public administration capable of applying and managing EU laws in practice. The EU reserves the right to decide when a candidate country has met these criteria and when the EU is ready to accept the new member.

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