Why did Latvia join the European Union

EU expansion since it was founded

General information on EU enlargement

The number of member states of the European Union is increasing. The following ten countries joined the EU on May 1, 2004: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus. since January 1, 2007 are Romania and Bulgaria Member States of the EU. since July, 1st 2013 is also Croatia Member State of the Union.

With the so-called EU-15 states (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain) the EU currently still includes a total of 28 countries.


Citizens of the new EU member state Croatia are still subject to the Aliens Employment Act (AuslBG) during the application of the transitional regime for EU enlargement (a maximum of seven years, so-called "2 + 3 + 2-year model"). You therefore need a to take up work in Austria labor market authority permit. Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are no longer subject to the AuslBG since 2014.

Historical development of the European Union (EU)

  • In 1951 the six founding states France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC Treaty). This came into force on July 23, 1952 and expired on July 23, 2002.
  • In 1957 two further contracts were signed in Rome, the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC Treaty) and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM Treaty). The so-called " Roman contracts" came into force on January 1, 1958. The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) was signed at the same time, which is why both Treaties are collectively referred to as the Treaties of Rome.
  • Signed in Brussels on April 8, 1965 Merger agreement entered into force on July 1, 1967 and set up a joint council and a joint commission of the European Communities.
  • The United Kingdom joined the European Communities together Denmark and Ireland in January 1973 at.
  • Joined in 1981 Greece the European Community.
  • 1986 followed Portugal and Spain.
  • The Single European Act came into force on July 1, 1987 and enabled the for the realization of the Internal market necessary adjustments.
  • In 1992 the Treaty on European Union signed, which came into force on November 1, 1993. Through the so-called Maastricht Treaty the integration of government cooperation into the existing community system and a new structure with three political and economic "pillars" was created. This created the European Union (EU). The European Economic Community (EEC) was renamed the European Community (EC). This treaty also introduced economic and monetary union and European citizenship.
  • Occurred in 1995 Austria, Sweden and Finland the European Union. In the referendum in Austria on June 12, 1994, 66.6 percent of the population spoke out in favor of joining the EU. Furthermore, on March 26, 1995 the Schengen Agreement in force. The aim was the gradual elimination of controls at the common borders and regulation of the free movement of persons for all nationals of the signatory states, other EU countries and certain third countries.
  • The Euro was introduced as the book currency in 11 countries (2001 in Greece) on January 1, 1999. Euro banknotes and coins were put into circulation on January 1st, 2002.
  • The Treaty of Amsterdam came into force on May 1, 1999. It expanded the use of the co-decision procedure and qualified majority voting, and simplified and renumbered the articles of the treaty.
  • The one signed in 2001 Treaty of Nice entered into force on February 1, 2003. Its main purpose should be one institutional reform so that the Union could function efficiently after enlarging to 25 Member States in 2004 and 27 Member States in 2007.
  • 2004 entered Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus the European Union.
  • 2007 followed Bulgaria and Romania.
  • The Lisbon Treaty was signed on December 13, 2007 and came into effect on December 1, 2009. The main objectives of the contract are as follows:
    • make the EU more democratic,
    • meet the expectations of EU citizens for high standards of accountability, openness, transparency and participation, and
    • and to make the EU more efficient and able to tackle current global challenges such as climate change, security and sustainable development.
  • Resigned on July 1, 2013 Croatia the European Union.
  • On June 26, 2018, the Council of the European Union decided to hold accession talks in 2019 Albania and the Republic of Macedonia to record.
  • Other candidate countries are: Montenegro, Serbia (in February 2019 the EU Commission announced that both would join the EU in 2025) and the Turkey.

Legal bases

Foreigners Employment Act (AuslBG)

Last updated: March 25, 2021

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