The 2004 enlargement countries passed through a rigorous accession process entailing constraints and demands never before asked of applicant states (Goetz 2005: 255-256). Many of these demands centred on the adoption of the acquis on or before membership as well as the Copenhagen Criteria which included action to address the administrative capacity of states considered as either too small (Cyprus and Malta) or too ‘new’ to democracy (the former Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe). In this way, the potential impact of EU membership began before the date of accession.