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Judging by the Copenhagen-related documents that regulated the preparation of the 5th enlargement of the European Union, the role played by the Council of Europe in the pre-accession was only minimal. This paper poses a question whether it would be beneficial to continue regulating enlargements along the same line. Alternatively to the presently adopted practice, the Council of Europe, which has its own effective system of human rights protection monitoring, might be invited to play a more active role in the preparation of the enlargements to come, which would make the application of the principle of conditionality more effective. Such a development would be in line with the recent moves towards closer cooperation between the two organisations and, especially, the Guidelines on the Relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union, appended to the Council of Europe Warsaw Summit Action Plan (2005), the recommendations contained in the recent Junker Report on the European Union – Council of Europe relations and the conclusions of the Brussels European Council (2006).