Maastricht Agreement 1992

The creation of the Economic and Monetary Union was another important development of the EU that the TUE brought about. It was seen as the “strongest form” and the last step towards full economic integration (Healey 1995: 7). Many agreements were reached as a result of the SEA, which highlighted continued cooperation. The plan, which had already emerged in the 1980s, was described as a 1992 project. The idea was essentially a European internal market in which all barriers to trade would be removed and in which it was to “lead to a more united Community” (Delors to Cecchini, Catinat and Jacquemin, 1988: xi). The aim of the plan was to develop more efficient trade and stimulate growth and development within the COMMUNITY (Construction, 1995: 608). Many agreements had already been concluded before 1992, the Maastricht Treaty has just made these commitments “legally binding” (Best in Laursen and Vanhoonacker, 1994a: 28). Therefore, the TUE statements were “more a matter of legitimization than innovation” (ibid.), but would be the final touch for the single market (Europe, 2007). As a result, economic integration with the union in the 1990s would be a non-return. The consequences of an SEM and the creation of a single currency would be irreversible measures for the EU (ibid.: 17). What makes EMU so important today is the knowledge that each Member State acknowledged in 1992 that it would be in a sustainable situation where European integration would advance its policy and that the decisions taken in the development of the treaty would be irrevocable; No State would be able, after ratification, to return to its previous relative economic and political independence, but they nevertheless agreed with it. The main change to the treaty, which brought all the other further innovations, was the structure of the “three pillars” EU organisation. The three pillars are the Single European Act (SEA), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and judicial and domestic policy.

This is why, within this structure, a new political union has emerged thanks to the second and third pillars and a monetary union by the first pillar (Europe, 2007). The peculiarity of this organization is that, even if each pillar were designed independently of each other, “bridges” could be established (Best in Laursen and Vanhoonacker, 1994a: 28), because the action of one community would create problems in another. For example, the creation of a European Single Market (EMS) necessitated the opening of borders, which necessitated a change in visa policy throughout the EU area (ibid.).