The EU's enlargement policy deals with the countries currently aspiring to become members of the European Union.
There are strict conditions for membership to ensure that new members are admitted only when they are fully able to take on the obligations of EU membership. This includes compliance with all the EU's standards and rules. For the purpose of accession negotiations, these are divided into 35 different policy fields (chapters).
A number of cross-cutting policy issues are of concern to most countries aspiring to join the EU, including: