The Treaty of Maastricht or the Maastricht Agreement (The Treaty of Maastricht) is the following the document signed on February 7, 1992, in Maastricht (Netherlands), which was the beginning of the formation of the European Union.
Aims of signing the Maastricht Treaty
- Maastricht Treaty was designed to transform the then existing European Community into a political, economic and monetary bloc.
- It is in the Maastricht Treaty that the criteria for a state's accession to the EU are established: inflation growth rate, interest rate level, state budget deficit, size of state debt and others.
- The Maastricht Agreement also established the procedure for the introduction of a single European currency, the euro, and provided for the creation of a financial regulator (European Central Bank).
- The Treaty significantly expanded the powers of the European Parliament, which was given the right to participate in the formation of EU legislation, approve the composition of the European Commission, formulate the EU's position on important international treaties and others. The Treaty also established EU citizenship.
Signing of the Maastricht Treaty
Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty caused a number of difficulties in individual countries. In France, approximately half of the citizens (51,05%) supported the treaty. The referendum held in Denmark showed a negative result, which forced the European Council to make certain concessions to Denmark. The UK government also declared a "special position" on EU membership. In Germany, after the treaty was approved by both houses of parliament, an additional decision of the Constitutional Court was needed on the legitimacy of delegating some of the powers of the German parliament to the EU bodies.
The Maastricht Treaty came into force on November 1, 1993. It was from that moment that the bloc of member states was called the European Union. Twelve states became members of the EU: Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Maastricht Treaty was updated in 1997 in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Treaty).