Copenhagen Criteria

Copenhagen criteria are the rules that govern who (or which country) can become a member of the European Union. The Copenhagen criteria define whether a country is eligible to join the European Union. Copenhagen criteria are the European Union membership criteria.

For a country to become a member of the EU, a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria. The Copenhagen criteria were defined by the Copenhagen European Council in June 1993.

The Copenhagen criteria are defined as follows:

First, the Copenhagen criteria require the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities. This is the political criterion in the Copenhagen criteria.

Copenhagen Criteria Second, the Copenhagen criteria call for the existence of a functioning market economy. The Copenhagen criteria also requires the capacity of the EU member state to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the European Union. This is the economic criterion in the Copenhagen criteria framework.

Third, a country has the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.

Copenhagen Criteria

The European Union membership criteria are defined by the following documents:

Copenhagen Criteria 1993 The Maastricht Treaty of 1992. This document laid ground for the Copenhagen criteria from the geographical criteria and general policy criteria perspective.

The declaration of the European Council in Copenhagen in June 1993. This is the Copenhagen criteria. This document described the general policy in more details (political, economic, legislative).

Note, do not confuse with the Schengen Agreement and Maastricht Criteria.
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