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EUROPE NOW

We take you to the 28 EU member states for a series of exclusive reports and interviews with local MEPs. Produced in partnership with the European Parliament. Saturday at 12.10 pm.

Latest update : 2012-07-27

EU enlargement

Europe District takes you on a journey across the nine countries seeking to join the European Union. See how they size up.

ALBANIA
• 28 November 1912 – Independence from the Ottoman Empire
• 1945-1985 – ruled by dictator Enver Hoxha
• 1992 – Fall of Communism
• 1999 – Albania officially becomes EU candidate
• 2009 – Albania joins NATO
• Official language – Albanian
• Capital – Tirana
• Parliamentary Republic – President: Bamir Topi ; Prime Minister: Sali Berisha
• Area – 28,748 sq km
• Population – 3.5 million
• Currency – Lek
• National anthem – Hymni i Flamurit (Hymn to the Flag)


BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (BiH)
• 1st March 1992 – Independence from Yugoslavia
• 1992-95 – War in the country claims 100,000 lives
• 1995 – The Dayton Agreement puts an end to the war
• 2008 – Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU
• Official languages – Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian
• Capital – Sarajevo
• Semi-direct democracy – Head of the Council of Ministers: Vjekoslav Bevanda
• Tripartite Presidency – Željko Komšić, Nebojša Radmanović, Bakir Izetbegović
• Area – 51,197 sq km
• Population – 3.8 million
• Currency – Convertible Mark (BAM)
• National anthem – Intermeco


CROATIA
• 25 June 1991 – Declaration of independence from Yugoslavia
• 1992 – International recognition
• 1995 – War with Serbia and Montenegro ends
• 2005 – Opening of negotiations with the EU
• December 2011 – EU Member States decide to close accession negotiations with Croatia
• 2013 – Croatia expected to become the EU’s 28th member
• Official language – Croatian
• Capital – Zagreb
• Parliamentary democracy – President of the Republic: Ivo Josipović ; Prime Minister: Zoran Milanović
• Area – 56,5421 sq km
• Population – 4.4 million
• Currency – Kuna
• National anthem – Lijepa naša domovino (Our beautiful Homeland)


ICELAND
• 1944 – Independence from Denmark
• October 2008– Collapse of the Banks
• January 2009 – Resignation of the Government
• June 2010 –Start of accession talks
• Language – Icelandic
• Capital – Reykjavik
• Republic – President:Olafur Ragnar Grimsson; Prime Minister: Johanna Sigurdardottir • Area – 103,001 km2
• Population – 324,000 inhabitants
• Currency –Icelandic Krona (ISK)
• National anthem – Lofsöngur

KOSOVO
• 1998-1999 – Persecution of ethnic Albanians by Milosevic’s forces
• March 1999 – NATO intervention
• June 1999 – Kosovo is placed under UN administration
• 17 February 2008 – Kosovo unilaterally declares independence from Serbia. Recognized by 22 EU member states
• Languages – Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian and Turkish
• Capital – Pristina
• Republic – President: Atifete Jahjaga ; Prime Minister: Hashim Thaçi
• Area – 10,887 sq km
• Population – 1.8 million (estimated)
• Currency – Euro (without being a member of the Eurozone)
• National anthem – Europe


F.Y.R. of Macedonia
• 1991 – Independence
• January-August 2001 – armed conflict opposes ethnic Albanian rebels and pro-government forces
• December 2005 – FYROM officially becomes EU candidate
• Official languages – Macedonian, Albanian
• Capital – Skopje
• Republic – President: Gjorge Ivanov ; Prime Minister: Nikola Gruevski
• Area – 25,713 sq km
• Population – 2 million (estimate) 2002 census: ethnic Macedonians (64.2 %) and ethnic Albanians (25.2 %)
• Currency – Denar (MKD)
• National anthem – Denes Nad Makedonija (Today over Macedonia)

MONTENEGRO
• 3 June 2006 – Declaration of Independence and dissolution of the union with Serbia
• 17 December 2010 – Montenegro officially becomes EU candidate
• Official – Montenegrin
• Capital – Podgorica
• Area – 13,812 sq km
• Population – 630,000
• Parliamentary Republic – President: Filip Vujanović ; Prime Minister: Igor Lukšić
• Currency – Euro (without being a member of the Eurozone)
• National anthem – "Oh, Bright Dawn of May" (Oj, svijetla majska zoro)


SERBIA
• 1980 – Death of communist dictator Josip Broz Tito
• 1989-2000 – Slobodan Milosevic leads Yugoslavia on a course of conflict and violent disintegration
• 1999 – NATO strikes
• 2009 – Serbia formally submits its application to join the EU
• Official language – Serbian
• Capital – Belgrade
• President – Boris Tadić ; Prime Minister: Mirko Cvetković
• Area – 88,3611 sq km
• Population – 7.2 million
• Currency – Serbian Dinar
• National anthem – Bože Pravde (God of Justice)

TURKEY
• 29 October 1923 – Fall of the Ottoman Empire
• 1963 – EEC-Turkey Association Agreement
• 1999 – Turkey officially becomes EU candidate
• October 2005 – Formal opening of accession negotiations
• Official language – Turkish
• Capital – Ankara ; country’s largest city: Istanbul
• Parliamentary democracy – President of the Republic: Abdullah Gül ; Prime Minister: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
• Area – 783,562 sq km
• Population – 73 million
• Currency – Turkish lira
• National anthem – İstiklâl Marşı (Independence March İstiklâl Marşı)


 

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