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The European Union continues to grow: and so does the compliance burden!

3 December 2013

The growth of the European Union has been rapid since its creation. The addition of new member countries has potentially far-reaching legal and regulatory implications for those doing business in the EU since it expands the remit of EU rules and legislation. This offers many protections not previously available in states that have recently joined the EU but also presents additional compliance burdens that it pays to stay on top of.

Since the birth of its ancestor the European Economic Community (formed by six founder member states) in 1958, the European Union (as it has been known since 1993) has continued to grow and currently comprises 28 Member States. These are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

In addition, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey are "on the road" to EU membership.

Other potential candidates include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Besides its full members, the EU also shares extensive trade and customs links with fellow European Economic Area states, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

If Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom, it will be removed from the EU and have to apply to join for which it will need approval of all member states!

The fast-evolving nature of the EU, and its various projects and initiatives for boosting and modernising its economic development, will impact heavily on its legal and regulatory landscape. It is therefore becoming more important than ever before to remain up-to-date.

For more information please contact Robert Bond, Partner

T: +44 (0)20 7427 6660