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Europe

The New Europe

On May 1, 10 new countries joined the European Union, including the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta. Following the largest expansion in its history, the EU grew to a population of 450 million people, creating the largest single market in the world. It also means the EU's decision-making bodies, from the European Commission to the European Parliament, are all required to operate in a whopping 20 languages.

There are still a handful of countries waiting in the wings for EU membership, with Bulgaria and Rumania slated to join in 2007 and debate over when to start negotiations with Turkey seemingly never-ending.

What will EU expansion bring? Where do the opportunities lie, and what are the risks? DW-WORLD offers answers to the most fundamental questions in this special report.

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