Before the end of the international phase the applicant must decide whether and where he wants to proceed with the international application in the national/regional phase before the designated/elected Offices. 
If the applicant wishes to obtain a European patent he must enter what is known as "the European phase", which means that he must fulfil the requirements (see points 5.2.001 ff) for initiating the processing of his application by the EPO as designated or elected Office in due time (see point 5.1.010).

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