Treaty On European Union

Treaty on European Union

History of the European Union: Treaty on European Union

Introduction to Treaty on European Union

The Treaty on European Union (often called the Maastricht Treaty) founded the EU and was intended to expand political, economic, and social integration among the member states. After lengthy negotiations, it was accepted by the European Council at Maastricht, Netherlands, in December 1991. Of particular significance, the treaty committed the EU to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Under EMU the member nations would unify their economies and adopt a single currency by 1999. The Maastricht Treaty also set strict criteria that member states had to meet before they could join EMU. In addition, the treaty created new structures designed to promote a more integrated foreign and security policy and to encourage greater cooperation on judicial and police matters. The member states granted the EU governing bodies more authority in several policy areas, including the environment, education, health, and consumer protection.

The new treaty aroused a good deal of popular opposition among EU member states. Much of the concern centered on EMU, which would replace national currencies with a single European currency. The United Kingdom refused to endorse some aspects of the treaty and gained exemptions from them, called opt-outs. These included not joining EMU and not participating in the Social Chapter, a section of the Maastricht Treaty outlining goals in social and employment policy, including a common code of worker rights. Danish voters rejected the treaty in a referendum, while French voters favored the treaty by only a slim majority. In Germany, a challenge to the treaty lodged with the country’s supreme court contended that membership in the EU violated the German constitution. In an emergency meeting of the European Council, Denmark gained substantial concessions and exemptions, including the right to opt out of EMU and any future common defense policy. Danish voters then approved the treaty in a subsequent referendum. Because of these difficulties, the EU was not formally inaugurated until November 1993.” (1)

Description of Treaty on European Union (TEU)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes treaty on european union (teu) in the following terms: [1] The 1992 Maastricht Treaty was formally entitled the Treaty on European Union. From the constitutional standpoint it came in two parts:

Amendments to the Treaty of Rome (the Treaty establishing the European Community), principally to institute EMU

The creation of the European Union, principally through the addition of the two intergovernmental ‘pillars’, the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Justice and Home Affairs.

The 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam amended the Treaty on European Union and further amended the Treaty of Rome (see more in this European encyclopedia). It also added a new Title on ‘closer co-operation’, which was constitutionally important because it cut across the previously clear distinction between Community activities and intergovernmental relations. As a broad guide to this complex structure, the much revised Treaty of Rome, of which the judge and interpreter is the Court of Justice, constitutes the supranational institutional part of the EU governing EMU, the single market, the CAP, citizenship, free movement of persons, competition, social policy, employment, external trade, and so forth: whereas the remainder of the Treaty on European Union covers arrangements between governments, including foreign and security policy, police and judicial co-operation and the right of member states to integrate more closely without necessarily involving all the other member states. The Union today is essentially constituted by those Treaties together with the various national Accession Treaties. Given the furore which the Maastricht Treaty caused in 1992 and the extent of the subsequent alterations and additions made at Amsterdam, it is convenient to refer to the original Treaty as Maastricht, leaving the name Treaty on European Union to denote the consolidated and amended version, incorporating the Treaty of Rome (see more in this European encyclopedia). (See also Common Foreign and Security Policy, EMU, Justice and Home Affairs, Maastricht Treaty, Treaty of Amsterdam and Treaty of Rome.)

Maastricht Treaty and Treaty on European Union and the European Union


See Also

  • Treaty of Maastricht


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

See Also


Notes and References

  • Information about Treaty on European Union in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  • Guide to Treaty on European Union

    More Topics about the European Union

    European Economic Area, European Union, European Union History (including European Union Early Cooperation, Benelux Customs Union, European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community, European Community, Expansion of the EC, Single European Act, Creation of the European Union, Treaty on European Union, Amsterdam Treaty, Treaty of Nice, Treaty of Lisbon, Monetary Union and EU Growing Accountability), EU Pillar System, EU Major Bodies Structure, European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, European Central Bank, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions, European Union Policies, Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy,

    EU Economic Differences, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Investment Bank, European Monetary System, Economic and Monetary Union, EU International Relations, EU Expansion,

    EU and Non-European Nations and European Union Future.

    Content about Treaty On European Union from the publication “The ABC of European Union law” (2010, European Union) by Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.

    The Treaty on European Union (EU Treaty – ‘TEU’) has been completely restructured into the following six titles: Common provisions (I), Provisions on democratic principles (II), Provisions on institutions (III), Provisions on enhanced cooperation (IV), General provisions on the Union’s external action and specific provisions on the common foreign and security policy (V) and Final provisions (VI).

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