The Treaty of Maastricht
Was the Treaty of Maastricht important in creating a political union?
“Europe will not be made at once.” - Robert Schuman
In the early 1980’s Altiero Spinelli came up with the idea of creating a political union. The idea was at the time very controversial and got rejected first, because many people considered it as a threat of the national sovereignty and the focus was more on the economy also. Back then two important economic concerns were for example, removing the physical and fiscal barriers to free movement of capitals and people and creating an internal market. In 1988 talks regarding the creation of an Economic and Monetary Union (UMU) started, as well as the development of a political union started. Those talks resulted in the Intergovernmental Conferernces (IGC’s) in 1990, which would eventually led to the Treaty of Maastricht.
In 1992 the Treaty of Maastricht (TEU) was signed. Due to the TEU the international organization European Communities (EC) got renamed to the European Union (EU). The accent was now on integration instead of cooperation. There were three major changes for the European countries. The first change involved the creating of three pillars as the main European institutions. The first pillar gathered the three already existing communities; the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), the European Coal and Steel Communicty (ESCS) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The members of the European Union shared their sovereignty via the Community institutions in this domain. The second pillar was dedicated to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The European countries were now enable to take join action in the field of foreign policy. This was one big step towards a political union, but is also helped with putting the EU on the international stage. The third and last pillar involved Justice and Home Affairs. Each citizen in the EU was offered protection from the European Union as a...
Bibliography: - Dehouse, Franklin & Ghemar, Katelyne (1994) ‘Europe and the world. The Post-Maastricht interface’, European journal of international law, viewed on 27-5-2013
- McCormick, John (2008) ‘Understanding the European Union’: A coincise introduction, viewed on 28-5-2013
- Nugent, Neill (2006) ‘The creation of the European Community’: The government and politics of the European Union, viewed on 28-5-2013
- Wincott, Daniel (1996). ‘Federalism and the European Union: The scope and limits of the Treaty of Maastricht’ International political science review, viewed on 27-5-2013
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