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Original Caption
"The number of EU members is increasing on 1 May by ten states. Poland is one of them. This sign with the national flags as well as the EU-flag not far from the Western boundary of Poland with Brandenburg expresses the mood of anticipation."

Picture Analysis
On 1 May 2004, the European Union was enlarged by ten member states. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, for the most part formerly communist countries, were accepted into the EU. The expansion thus united Western and Eastern European states in the Union and so drew a line under the Cold War political-economic division of Europe.
The example visualizes the expansion with a picture of a Polish welcome sign for car-drivers in the German-Polish border area. The sign welcomes visitors from the "new" member state Poland on their trips into the "old" member state Germany with the greeting "Zapraszamy/We invite/Wir laden ein". Since the EU-expansion 2004, the two neighbour states, Germany and Poland, have rediscovered each other as partners in the Union. The relationship between the two states carries a heavy burden from its long history of trying to draw boundaries to satisfy both sides. This history is now in a way overcome in the common EU-space.

Source: Salzburger Nachrichten, 27 April 2004, p. 6 © APA-IMAGES/dpa

Keywords: Expansion of the European Union, Expansion of the E.U. to the East, European integration, European Union, Poland

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