40 years since the First Enlargement

London, 7-8 March 2013

2013 is the 40th anniversary of the first enlargement of the European Union. To mark the occasion, UACES organised a conference exploring the evolution of the integration project since the accession of the UK, Denmark and Ireland in 1973. The anniversary provides an opportunity to assess the impact of membership across these states and to advance the understanding of the contemporary conditions of European integration.

The conference began with a lively roundtable chaired by John Palmer (advisory council of the Federal Trust) and featuring contributions from Lord Douglas Hurd, Dame Helen Wallace (London School of Economics) and Prof Christopher Lord (University of Oslo). The session set the scene for the rest of the conference with speakers offering both reminiscences of their experience of the accession process and reflections on its impact.

Drew Scott's (University of Edinburgh) keynote speech provided delegates with a fresh insight into the economic impact of EU membership on the 1973 accession states.

The keynote and roundtable were complemented by a series of research panel sessions examining the historical lead-up to accession and evaluating its social, political and legal ramifications.




Research Papers

Read some of the papers presented in our online Archive.

Blog Posts

Read posts by participants at the conference on the UACES blog.


Browse photos from this event on our dedicated Flickr page.


Listen to the following audio recordings from our Archive:

The Impact of the First Enlargement: Transforming the States and Changing the EU? with John Palmer, Douglas Hurd, Helen Wallace and Christopher Lord

The First Enlargement in Historical Perspective with Frances Lynch, Thomas Raineau, Helen Parr and Martin Wall

The First Enlargement: Good for the EU, Good for the Acceding States? with Helen Wallace, Michael Shackleton, Simon Usherwood and Lee Miles

The Economic Impact of Accession with Simon Bulmer and Drew Scott

A Changed Legal Order: Challenges for Courts with Daniela Corona, Marlene Wind, Elaine Fahey and Tamara Hervey

The Impact of Accession on Domestic Politics & Society with Knud Erik Jørgensen, Pauline Beaugé de la Roque, Federica di Sarcina, Thorsten B Olesen and Pauline Schnapper

The Impact of Accession on Legal and Quasi-Legal Institutions with Tamara Hervey, Michael Gøtze, Daniela Corona and Catherine Donnelly

What Next for Britain and the EU? with Helen Drake, Tim Bale, Richard Whitman and Mats Persson


Publications relevant to this event


The Europeanization of British Politics by Ian Bache & Andrew Jordan (2008), ISBN: 9780230204898

The Conservatives since 1945 by Tim Bale (2012), ISBN: 9780199234370

EU Law in Ireland by Elaine Fahey (2010), ISBN: 9781905536306

Britain and the European Union by Andrew Geddes (2012), ISBN: 9780230291959

Ireland and the European Union by Brigid Laffan & Jane O'Mahony (2008), ISBN: 9781403949288

British Entry to the European Community under the Heath Government of 1970-4 by Christopher Lord (1994), ISBN: 9781855213364

Denmark and the European Union by Martin Marcussen, Anders Wivel & Lee Miles (eds) (2012), ISBN: 9780415611343

The Official History of Britain and the European Community Vol 11: From Rejection to Referendum, 1963-1975 by Stephen Wall (2012), ISBN: 9780415535601


Allen, David J. The United Kingdom: Towards Isolation and a Parting of the Ways? in The Member States of the European Union, 2nd Edition by Simon Bulmer & Christian Lequesne (eds) (2012), ISBN: 9780199544837


Auken, S., Buksti, J. and Lehmann Sørensen, C. (1975) Denmark joins Europe: Patterns of Adaptation in the Danish Political and Administrative Processes as a Result of Membership of the European Communities. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XIV(1)

Buch, R. and Hansen, K. (2002) The Danes and Europe: From EC 1972 to Euro 2000 - Elections, Referendums and Attitudes, Scandinavian Political Studies, Vol 25 (1)

Frey, C. (1968) Meaning Business: The British Application to join the Common Market, November 1966 - October 1967. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol VI(3)

Haack, W. (1972) The Economic Effects of Britain's Entry into the Common Market. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(2)

Kitzinger, U. (1968) Britain's Crisis of Identity. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol VI(4)

Lord, C. (1992) 'Sovereign or Confused?: the Great Debate on British Entry to the European Community Twenty Years On', Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XXX(4)

Petersen, N. and Elklit, J. (1973) Denmark Enters the European Communities, Scandinavian Political Studies, Vol 8 (A8)

Various (2012). '40 Years of EU Membership: The UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland', Journal
of Contemporary European Research
. 8 (4)

Wallace, H. and Wallace, W. (1973) The Impact of Community membership on the British Machinery of Government. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(4)

Zakheim, D. (1973) Britain and the EEC - Opinion Poll Data 1970-1972. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(3)

Special Issues

International Affairs, Special Issue - 'Forty years on: the UK and Europe' (2012), Vol 88(6)