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Treaty of Nice 2001

European Union (Accessions) Act 2003

European Arrest Warrant (EAW)

EU enlarged
1 May 2004

Proposes enlargement of the EU.

In all, 12 countries are currently negotiating accession to the European Union:

Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

In addition, Turkey has been recognised as a candidate for membership.


The Treaty of Nice enhances Parliament’s role as co-legislator.


The Treaty of Nice creates a new legal basis which will allow the Council to lay down regulations governing political parties at European level, particularly as regards their funding.


Looking ahead to the enlargement of the Union, the Treaty of Nice limited the number of MEPs to a maximum of 732 and allocated seats between Member States and candidate countries.

Other changes include restricting the size of the institutions to prevent them becoming unmanageable with the enlargement of the EU.  For example the ECJ will sit with a maximum of 13 judges and not the full court in plenary session.

1. Implements in UK law the EU Accession Treaty It provides a power to grant citizens of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia the right to work in the UK from 1 May 2004. A copy of the Act, together with Explanatory Notes.

2. Provides for the accession of

  • Estonia,

  • Latvia,

  • Lithuania,

  • Poland,

  • the Czech Republic,

  • Slovakia,

  • Hungary,

  • Slovenia,

  • Cyprus and

  • Malta

to the EU on 1 May 2004, and sets out the terms and conditions of their membership. The 15 current Member States and the ten new Members must all ratify the Treaty by 30 April 2004 in order for it to enter into force in all 25 states on 1 May 2004. Now that the new Act has become law, the UK Government will proceed to ratify the Treaty by the end of 2003.

3. Under the EU Accession Treaty, citizens of all ten new Member States will enjoy the same right to travel freely across the EU as is enjoyed by citizens of the current Member States, for all but one of the purposes envisaged by the EC Treaty. The Accession Treaty allows the 15 current Member States to impose temporary restrictions on the right of citizens of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia to travel freely across the EU for the purpose of work. These restrictions may last, at the most, until 30 April 2011. Cypriot and Maltese citizens will enjoy free movement for work across the EU automatically on accession.

4. The UK Government intends to granted citizens of the eight states affected by temporary restrictions the right to work freely in the UK labour market since 1 May 2004, the Government retains the right to impose safeguards until 30 April 2011.

Commenced 1st January 2004

  1. Cyprus,

  2. the Czech Republic,

  3. Estonia,

  4. Hungary,

  5. Latvia,

  6. Lithuania,

  7. Malta,

  8. Poland,

  9. the Slovak Republic and

  10. Slovenia.

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