EU expansion: New members in the east?

The EU spends the biggest chunks of its budget on regional development and agriculture.

Those member states that are less well-off get more money from the EU than they pay in. The eight countries currently in line for joining are all poorer than the current member states. 

Turkey is the ninth EU candidate country, but its accession process has been suspended. 

With a population of just 630,000, Montenegro is a small country like many in the Western Balkans. It wouldn't be much of a strain on the EU's budget.

Most Western Balkan countries have been EU candidates for over a decade. North Macedonia even for two.  

Ukraine  received candidate status in June 2022.

According to an internal investigation by the European Council, admitting all candidates would cost the EU €256 billion, with Ukraine alone estimated to receive €186 billion over seven years, not including reconstruction expenses.

Deutsche Welle 23 april 2024

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