On this page, read more about EU enlargement, the EU’s policy for its Neighbourhood and surrounding region, and its cooperation within the Council of Europe and OSCE. 

EU enlargement

Since its establishment in 1958 the European Union has been a success story, bringing peace and stability to its Member States, the number of which has continued to expand. Today the European Union (EU) is the world’s largest economic region and a community of values. EU members are committed to democracy, the rule of law, freedom and human rights. The conditions for application and membership are explained here.

Read more about the Enlargement policy of the EU

European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

The ENP was launched in 2004 to foster stability, security and prosperity in the EU's neighbouring regions, both in the South and in the East. In 2015, the High Representative and the European Commission adopted the ENP Review, which brought a change to the cooperation framework and proposed ways to build more effective partnerships in the neighbourhood.

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    EU / Council of Europe member states | © Council of Europe 2020 | Map for illustrative purposes only

The EU and the Council of Europe

The cooperation between the EU and the Council of Europe is based on our shared fundamental values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The EU works closely with and supports the Council of Europe, as part of its efforts to promote worldwide effective multilateralism, as well as uphold and extend a rules-based international order.

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Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

All EU Member States are participating States of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Altogether, the OSCE has 57 participating States from Europe, North America, and Central Asia and spans a geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

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Belgrade - Pristina Dialogue

The EU-facilitated Dialogue aims  to achieve a comprehensive legally-binding normalisation agreement between Kosovo and Serbia addressing all outstanding issues in order both Parties to progress on their respective European path, create new opportunities and improve the lives of their citizens. An agreement between the Parties is beneficial also to the security, stability and prosperity of the entire region.

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    From left to right: Albin KURTI (Prime Minister of Kosovo), Josep BORRELL FONTELLES (High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EEAS), Miroslav LAJCAK (EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues), Aleksandar VUČIĆ (President of Serbia)
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    High-level meeting of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia (15 June 2021)

Black Sea Synergy

The EU supports regional development in South-East Europe with its Black Sea Synergy initiative. By encouraging cooperation between the countries surrounding the Black Sea, the synergy offers a flexible forum for developing practical region-wide solutions to address regional and global challenges.

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Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension is a joint policy between EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland. The ND Policy was initiated in 1999 and renewed in 2006. It aims at providing a framework to promote dialogue and concrete cooperation, strengthen stability, well-being and intensified economic cooperation, and promote economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe.

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Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an inter-governmental partnership that promotes cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region through projects and initiatives addressing the three strategic objectives of regional stability, human development and economic regional integration.

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    Iceberg in an Arctic landscape.

EU Arctic policy

The vast region referred to as the Arctic is located at the northernmost part of the planet. The European Union has an important role to play in supporting successful Arctic cooperation and helping to meet the challenges now facing the region.

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