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Membership benefits: How EU expansion lifted R&D

 Image: Grace Gay for Research Professional News

The EU’s 2004 enlargement transformed prospects for many researchers, with more countries jostling to join

Piotr Sankowski was a year away from completing his doctorate when the EU’s “big bang” enlargement took place 20 years ago.

On 1 May 2004, the bloc expanded dramatically when it was joined by Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia—an event that European Council president Charles Michel described on its 20th anniversary as “transformative” for the continent.

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