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One of the essential requirements in the Copenhagen criteria for the 10 acceding countries is full alignment with the Community acquis communautaire. A large number of EC laws, especially in the form of directives, in the area of social policy, and in particular in the field of health and safety, have been adopted by the Community and need to be implemented by the date of accession. Full and correct transposition of the EC directives into the national laws is the first vital stage towards correct implementation. This article concentrates in particular on Framework Directive 89/391 and examines the approaches of Hungary and Poland to meeting the criteria and adapting to Community requirements in the area of health and safety. It is argued that there are still deficiencies in meeting the true requirements of the Directive in both countries and that these must be resolved before accession.