On January 01, 2007 in total membership of the bloc were 25 member states. The last two members to join were Bulgaria and Romania. These two are the poorest members of EU. They comprise less than 1% off its GDP while contributing 6% of the EU's population. But these economies are growing fast, at about 5-7% per year. (BBC News) Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have received "candidate" status as a precursor of membership. Turkey also started membership talks in October, 2005. Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia are also expected to start discussions for membership. But these countries will have to face increasing opposition to enlargement of EU from some member states. The major opposition comes from five member states - Austrian, France, Germany, Luxembourg and United Kingdom.
2.2 There was serious opposition when the idea of a European union was first broached. The main arguments offered against enlargement were: it would lead to mass immigration from poorer countries to the richer nations, with the result that poor countries would take away jobs from the richer ones and companies also would relocate to countries which offer lower labour costs and lower social protection; the poor countries would require huge subsidies from the richer member states. But several arguments were also given in favour of the enlargement. ...Show more