In December 2002 a meeting in Copenhagen took place where the expansion deal with ten candidate countries was reached. Among these countries four are ex-Soviet satellites (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland and Hungary), three belonged to Soviet Union before (Baltic Republics: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) and two are small countries from outside the Eastern Europe (Malta and Cyprus).
The President of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, Romano Prodi said with pride, "Accession of 10 new member states will bring an end to the divisions in Europe."
But the deal was not easily accepted and the outcome was not certain till the end especially in the case of Poland, the biggest country-candidate. Poland is the most populous from the candidate-countries, having 38 million people which is about a half of the whole population of new candidates (75 millions). As a matter of fact Poland was a last country which agreed (after additional discussions and compromise) with the conditions proposed by European Union.
I recommend a book written by Hernando de Soto, entitled: The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else