investment. The EU also agreed, in 1992, on the
ambitious MaastrichtTreaty on European Union, foreseeing, especially,
an Economic and Monetary Union (a single currency) by the end of the
decade and a common foreign and security policy.
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The disintegration of Yugoslavia beginning in 1990, and the several
wars it led to, posed serious challenges to the EU and NATO, apart from
signifying a tragedy for the people of the region. A further challenge to the
EU came with an unexpected Danish referendum ‘no’ to the
body of persons or states joined or associated
together for some common purpose or action; an association, league,
‘a number of states or provinces united together or incorporated into
one legislative confederacy, a confederation or federation; especially
the United States of America’.
It will not be altogether easy to determine which of these definitions
most closely fit the European Union. But the reader will agree that they
are all rather far-reaching.
The 1993 MaastrichtTreaty on European Union was the first to state
that the institution, at least
-country-one-vote’ principle in the Council of Ministers. The bigger
had hoped for a weighted voting system based on population, but the
smaller put up successful resistance.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy vaguely set out in the
MaastrichtTreaty was left nearly in the same embryonic stage in which
it had found itself previously. The Amsterdam Treaty also saw procedural
simplifications in the complicated decision-making process, the creation
of a joint planning body, and a raising of the status of the Secretary
General of the EU Council of Ministers.
One innovation of the Amsterdam
summit in Milan in June 1985. It led to the Single European Act (SEA), adopted in 1986, which entered into force in 1987.
The Single European Act is a complicated treaty (although less so than
its successor, the 1992 MaastrichtTreaty on European Union). The most
important parts are not those by which the competencies of, and interplay among, the EC’s organs were being modified.10 Rather, it was this
one article, 8.A, which was incorporated so as to amend the founding
EEC Rome Treaty: ‘The Community shall adopt measures with the aim
of progressively establishing the
apply nearly forty years later in the lead-up to the MaastrichtTreaty.’
Preceding Denmark’s and Norway’s application for EEC membership, these
countries had, together with Sweden and Finland, tried to form a Nordic
customs union, NORDEK. It never saw the light of day, however, as the
parties could not agree on a common external tariff, Denmark and Norway
were already eyeing the EEC, and the Finns were worried about the Soviet
reaction. Nordic co-operation between Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden
and Finland had already for some time been pursued within the
-Pacific Economic Forum, or APEC).
The tide was thus firmly in the direction of freer trade, the prime motor
being technological change and foreign investment, mainly through
Knocking on the EU’s door: the Austrian, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish
The Treaty on European Union, commonly known as the MaastrichtTreaty, entered into force in November 1993. However, this was only
after a second, this time positive, Danish referendum (and considerable
concessions to Denmark by the other EU members); a year-long ratification battle in the British
, north-east France,
south-west Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy – to include Berlin,
Budapest, Warsaw, Prague, Vienna and other economic centres in the
The late French President Mitterrand presumably foresaw the eastward shift in 1989, when he tried to prevent or at least considerably delay
German unification and exacted the country’s participation in the MaastrichtTreaty and especially the EMU as a price for ‘allowing’ unification
to take place. Thus in December 1989 he issued a joint declaration with
President Gorbachev stating that border changes