The accession of 10 new countries into the European Union in May 2004 was undoubtedly a major event for the alliance. The addition of such a large number of new member states at one time is certainly unprecedented. However, while the celebrations of May had a justifiably upbeat feel to them, the benefits both to the new nations and the existing 15 members are expected to be seen more in the medium to long term rather than immediately. This management briefing looks at: where we can expect economic expansion; the new EU spirits, wine and beer markets; cross-border issues; variations in policy; and gives you a country by country breakdown of the new markets.