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Relations with other members

Between 2004 and 2007, twelve new countries joined the EU: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

New EU donors

Once aid recipients, the new members have now emerged as donors, having collectively doubled - and in some cases tripled or quadrupled - their aid levels since joining the EU.

They have also pledged - under the Monterrey Consensus - to increase official development aid as a share of their gross national income (GNI) to:

  • 0.17% of GNI by 2010, and
  • 0.33% of GNI by 2015.

Experience as transition economies

These new donors will be able to play a significant role in the EU's development strategy, thanks to their valuable practical experience in transitional economy and democratisation processes.

Benefiting from the EU's past experience, the new countries can already start using the most innovative development instruments, such as division of labour between donors.

And the EU is providing them with practical assistance to help them become more effective in development work.

The European Transition Compendium

The newest members states have a wealth of experience and know-how gathered over two decades of managing "transition" (from centrally-planned economy to market economy and from communist rule to western-style democracy). This transition entailed fundamental and wide-ranging reforms to virtually every aspect of a country's political, economic and social development. The experience gained in this process, and in using foreign assistance to support it, could prove invaluable for many other countries and regions benefitting from the EU's development cooperation. 

The ETC contains over 300 pages of information on transition management,  based on replies to a questionnaire from the newest member states, as well as on the analysis of many relevant documents and publications, and additional information and documents obtained during brief country visits. The document is divided into six main chapters:

  • I. Democracy, human rights and institutional reforms
  • II. Economic reforms
  • III. Human development (Health, Education, Employment)
  • IV. Agriculture, land issues and environment
  • V. Regional and local development
  • VI. Management of External Aid

You will also find an executive summary of the document , and a summarised list of best practice  examples taken from the main document.

Launching of the European Transition Compendium Database.

Within the current context of countries in transition, the European Transition Compendium (ETC), a collection of information from Member States' experiences in transition becomes a valuable tool for external assistance. The online version of this new tool was launched officially on 23 November 2011 . 

The European Transition Compendium (ETC) website is available on 

Regionally focused aid

Traditionally, these countries focus their aid in their immediate neighbourhood:


Last update: 03/02/2014 | Top