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The European Union comprises 27 member states. Each of these EU member states is a sovereign nation that has joined the European Union and follows a supranational system in which EU members' combined sovereignty is delegated by each EU member to the EU's institutions in return for representation within those institutions. All EU member states have representation in the institutions of the European Union. From an original EU member states list of six countries in 1951, a total of six enlargements have been taking place over the years, including the largest on 1 May 2004, when 10 EU countries joined.

The EU aims to increase cooperation between EU member states. All European Union members must fulfil specific economic and political conditions, including enjoying a democratic system of government and respecting human rights and the rule of law, before being allowed to join the list of EU members. Through membership, EU member states enjoy increased economic prosperity and the advantages of a large internal market.
EU Members
To become a member of the European Union, EU candidates must meet the Copenhagen Criteria for EU membership. EU candidates must meet political and economic criteria for EU membership, and a criterion concerning adoption of the European Community acquis. The Copenhagen European Council (1993) defined the accession criteria for EU candidates as: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU; and the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union. EU candidates must fulfil these requirements in order to secure EU membership.

The EU candidate countries are Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Turkey. EU candidates and accession negotiations are part of the EU enlargement process. The EU candidates Croatia and Turkey began negotiations for EU accession in 2005, while FYROM is a candidate country whose negotiations for EU membership have not yet started.
EU Candidates
EUcommerz profiles of EU member states and EU candidates provide detailed business and investment information for each European Union member state and candidate. This is the perfect resource for companies looking to discover more about potential business locations in EU member states. Each of the 27 EU members is examined in detail, as well as the three EU candidates.

Investing in EU members and EU candidates offers businesses the opportunity for EU integration and cooperation. All you need to know about these EU countries and candidates is detailed in each EUcommerz profile.