What Happened At The End Of The Maastricht Agreement

October 14, 2021 | Category: Uncategorized

What happened after the TEU was drafted was very unexpected. Given the good public opinion of the 1980s on the 1992 draft and the enthusiastic commitment of national governments to the EC, it would have been reasonable to think that the ratification process should have proceeded smoothly. Nevertheless, the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty took almost two years and proved to be a rather difficult process with many obstacles (Vanhoonacker in Laursen and Vanhoonacker, 1994:3). Firstly, the economic crises that hit Europe between 1992 and 1993 hampered the development of EMU, with currencies devalued one after the other, leading to a partial collapse of the ERM. Stagflation followed throughout the EC, and “economic problems had a negative impact on popular support for further European integration” (Vanhoonacker in Laursen and Vanhoonacker, 1994:6). The eurozone crisis has undermined the belief that EU membership, whatever its shortcomings, is good for the Uk economy. In other words, Maastricht has come back to persecute us. Today we can say that the Treaty of Lisbon is the most important document of the European Union (EU). It is the last, most recent, treaty and it determines the functioning of the European institutions. However, previous contracts should not be considered less important. If we think about the development of the EU and how it arrived, one could say that each treaty shares the recognition of what happened.

Nevertheless, some treaties have had more influence on European integration than others. The Treaty on European Union (TEU) signed in Maastricht was one of the most important agreements in the history of the EU. In fact, it not only reformed the structure of the European Community (EC) by creating a political union and strengthening economic integration with the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but also allowed the stabilisation of political tensions within Europe at the end of the Cold War and integrated a united Germany into the EU. Under this treaty, the EC could no longer be described as such and was now to be called the European Union. With the Maastricht Treaty, the EC has taken a step forward in European integration and the unification of its Member States. Although governments were very enthusiastic about it, public opinion was very concerned about the direction that this integration would ultimately take, which would make ratification of the treaty more difficult. This essay will first focus on what the TEU actually says and on the main innovations of the Treaty. It will then examine the impact it has had, as well as the response of Member States, and determine why the ratification process has been so long. Finally, we will try to understand why the Treaty was so important to the EC and what were the catalysts that led the Member States to agree on the Maastricht Treaty. TEN-T – the trans-European transport network (disclaimer: under the Withdrawal Agreement, EU law will continue to apply to and against the UK until the end of the transition) Another important EU development brought about by the TEU has been the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union. It was considered “the strongest form” and the last step towards full economic integration (Healey, 1995:7).


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