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The MAASTRICHT TREATY (formally, the TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION or TEU) undertaken to integrate Europe was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community
European Community
in Maastricht
Maastricht
, Netherlands
Netherlands
. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty. Upon its entry into force on 1 November 1993 during the Delors Commission , it created the three pillars structure of the European Union
European Union
and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro .

TEU comprised two novel titles respectively on Common Foreign and Security Policy and Cooperation in the Fields of Justice and Home Affairs , which replaced the former informal intergovernmental cooperation bodies named TREVI
TREVI
and European Political Cooperation on EU Foreign policy coordination . In addition TEU also comprised three titles which amended the three pre-existing community treaties: Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community , Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
, and the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community which had its abbreviation renamed from TEEC to TEC (being known as TFEU since 2007).

The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty (TEU) and all pre-existing treaties, has subsequently been further amended by the treaties of Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2001) and Lisbon (2009).

CONTENTS

* 1 Content

* 1.1 The Maastricht
Maastricht
criteria

* 2 Signing * 3 Ratification * 4 EU evolution timeline * 5 See also * 6 Further reading * 7 References * 8 External links

CONTENT

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The treaty led to the creation of the euro . One of the obligations of the treaty for the members was to keep "sound fiscal policies, with debt limited to 60% of GDP
GDP
and annual deficits no greater than 3% of GDP".

The treaty also created what was commonly referred to as the pillar structure of the European Union
European Union
.

The treaty established the three pillars of the European Union—one supranational pillar created from three European Communities
European Communities
(which included the European Community
European Community
(EC), the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community ), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar, and the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar. The first pillar was where the EU's supra-national institutions—the Commission , the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice —had the most power and influence. The other two pillars were essentially more intergovernmental in nature with decisions being made by committees composed of member states' politicians and officials.

All three pillars were the extensions of existing policy structures. The European Community
European Community
pillar was the continuation of the European Economic Community with the "Economic" being dropped from the name to represent the wider policy base given by the Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty. Coordination in foreign policy had taken place since the beginning of the 1970s under the name of European Political Cooperation (EPC), which had been first written into the treaties by the Single European Act but not as a part of the EEC. While the Justice and Home Affairs pillar extended cooperation in law enforcement, criminal justice, asylum, and immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters, some of these areas had already been subject to intergovernmental cooperation under the Schengen Implementation Convention of 1990.

The creation of the pillar system was the result of the desire by many member states to extend the European Economic Community to the areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, and judicial cooperation. This desire was set off against the misgivings of other member states, notably the United Kingdom, over adding areas which they considered to be too sensitive to be managed by the supra-national mechanisms of the European Economic Community. The agreed compromise was that instead of renaming the European Economic Community as the European Union, the treaty would establish a legally separate European Union
European Union
comprising the renamed European Economic Community, and the inter-governmental policy areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation. The structure greatly limited the powers of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice to influence the new intergovernmental policy areas, which were to be contained with the second and third pillars: foreign policy and military matters (the CFSP pillar) and criminal justice and cooperation in civil matters (the JHA pillar).

In addition, the treaty established the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). CoR is the European Union
European Union
's (EU) assembly of local and regional representatives that provides sub-national authorities (i.e. regions, municipalities, cities, etc.) with a direct voice within the EU\'s institutional framework .

THE MAASTRICHT CRITERIA

Main article: Euro
Euro
convergence criteria

The Maastricht
Maastricht
criteria (also known as the convergence criteria ) are the criteria for European Union
European Union
member states to enter the third stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and adopt the euro as their currency. The four criteria are defined in article 121 of the treaty establishing the European Community. They impose control over inflation, public debt and the public deficit, exchange rate stability and the convergence of interest rates.

1. INFLATION RATES : No more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the three best performing (lowest inflation) member states of the EU.

2. GOVERNMENT FINANCE : ANNUAL GOVERNMENT DEFICIT: The ratio of the annual government deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) must not exceed 3% at the end of the preceding fiscal year. If not, it is at least required to reach a level close to 3%. Only exceptional and temporary excesses would be granted for exceptional cases. GOVERNMENT DEBT: The ratio of gross government debt to GDP
GDP
must not exceed 60% at the end of the preceding fiscal year. Even if the target cannot be achieved due to the specific conditions, the ratio must have sufficiently diminished and must be approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace. As of the end of 2014, of the countries in the Eurozone, only Estonia
Estonia
, Latvia
Latvia
, Lithuania
Lithuania
, Slovakia
Slovakia
, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, and Finland
Finland
still met this target.

3. EXCHANGE RATE : Applicant countries should have joined the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) under the European Monetary System (EMS) for two consecutive years and should not have devalued its currency during the period.

4. LONG-TERM INTEREST RATES : The nominal long-term interest rate must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than in the three lowest inflation member states.

The purpose of setting the criteria is to maintain price stability within the Eurozone
Eurozone
even with the inclusion of new member states.

SIGNING

Stone memorial in front of the entry to the Limburg Province government building in Maastricht, Netherlands, commemorating the signing of the Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty

The signing of the Treaty of Maastricht
Maastricht
took place in Maastricht
Maastricht
, Netherlands
Netherlands
, on 7 February 1992. The Dutch government , by virtue of holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union
European Union
during the negotiations in the second half of 1991, arranged a ceremony inside the government buildings of the Limburg province on the river Maas (Meuse) . Representatives from the twelve member states of the European Communities
European Communities
were present, and signed the treaty as plenipotentiaries , marking the conclusion of the period of negotiations.

RATIFICATION

The process of ratifying the treaty was fraught with difficulties in three states. In Denmark
Denmark
, the first Danish Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty referendum was held on 2 June 1992 and ratification of the treaty was rejected by a margin of 50.7% to 49.3%. Subsequently, alterations were made to the treaty through the addition of the Edinburgh Agreement which lists four Danish exceptions, and this treaty was ratified the following year on 18 May 1993 after a second referendum was held in Denmark, with legal effect after the formally granted royal assent on 9 June 1993.

In September 1992, a referendum in France
France
only narrowly supported the ratification of the treaty, with 50.8% in favour. Uncertainty over the Danish and French referendums was one of the causes of the turmoil on the currency markets in September 1992, which led to the UK pound's expulsion from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, an opt-out from the treaty's social provisions was opposed in Parliament by the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs and the treaty itself by the Maastricht
Maastricht
Rebels within the governing Conservative Party . The number of rebels exceeded the Conservative majority in the House of Commons , and thus the government of John Major came close to losing the confidence of the House. In accordance with British constitutional convention , specifically that of parliamentary sovereignty , ratification in the UK was not subject to approval by referendum.

EU EVOLUTION TIMELINE

Signed: In force: Document : 1948 1948 Brussels Treaty 1951 1952 Paris Treaty 1954 1955 Modified Brussels Treaty 1957 1958 Rome Treaty & EURATOM 1965 1967 Merger Treaty 1975 1976 Council Agreement on TREVI
TREVI
1986 1987 Single European Act (founded Schengen) (implemented Schengen) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+ (founded: JHA+CFSP) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA) (amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU) (abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU) (founded EU as an overall legal unit with Charter of Fundamental Rights , and reformed governance structures ">Three pillars of the European Union:

European Communities
European Communities
(with a single Commission ">European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)

European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
(ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002

European Union
European Union
(EU)

European Economic Community (EEC)

European Community
European Community
(EC)

Schengen Rules

Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI) Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)

European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO) Western European Union
European Union
(WEU)

Treaty terminated in 2011

* v * t * e

SEE ALSO

* European Union
European Union
portal

* Treaty of Rome (1957) * Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) * Treaty of Nice (2001) * Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
(2007)

FURTHER READING

* Christiansen, Thomas; Duke, Simon; Kirchner, Emil (November 2012). "Understanding and assessing the Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 685–698. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726009 . * Smith, Michael (November 2012). "Still rooted in Maastricht: EU external relations as a ‘third-generation hybrid’". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 699–715. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726010 . * Monar, Jörg (November 2012). "Justice and Home Affairs: the treaty of Maastricht
Maastricht
as a decisive intergovernmental gate opener". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 717–734. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726011 . * Monar, Jörg (November 2012). "Twenty years of co-decision since Maastricht: inter- and intrainstitutional implications". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 735–751. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726012 . * Wessels, Wolfgang (November 2012). "The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty and the European Council: the history of an institutional evolution". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 753–767. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726013 . * Caporaso, James A.; Kim, Min-hyung (November 2012). "The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty at twenty: a Greco-European tragedy?". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 769–789. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726014 . * Dyson, Kenneth (November 2012). "‘ Maastricht
Maastricht
plus’: managing the logic of inherent imperfections". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 791–808. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726015 . * Kohler-Koch, Beate (November 2012). "Post- Maastricht
Maastricht
civil society and participatory democracy". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 809–824. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726016 . * Weiler, J.H.H. (November 2012). "In the face of crisis: input legitimacy, output legitimacy and the political Messianism of European integration". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 825–841. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726017 . * Dinan, Desmond (November 2012). "The arc of institutional reform in post- Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty change". Journal of European Integration , special issue: The Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years. Taylor and Francis . 34 (7): 843–858. doi :10.1080/07036337.2012.726018 .

REFERENCES

* ^ "1990-1999". The history of the European Union
European Union
- 1990-1999. Europa . Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ "1991". The EU at a glance - The History of the European Union. Europa. Retrieved 9 April 2010. * ^ "1993". The EU at a glance - The History of the European Union. Europa. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2010. * ^ A B . Hubbard, Glenn and Tim Kane. (2013). Balance: The Economics of Great Powers From Ancient Rome to Modern America . Simon & Schuster. P. 204. ISBN 978-1-4767-0025-0 * ^ "Treaties and law". European Union. Retrieved 7 December 2011. * ^ "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". ec.europa.eu. * ^ Havemann, Joel (4 June 1992). "EC Leaders at Sea Over Danish Rejection: Europe: Vote against Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty blocks the march to unity. Expansion plans may also be in jeopardy.". LA Times. Retrieved 7 December 2011. * ^ "In Depth: Maastricht
Maastricht
Treaty". BBC News. 30 April 2001. Retrieved 4 May 2013. * ^ "Lov om Danmarks tiltrædelse af Edinburgh-Afgørelsen og Maastricht-Traktaten (*1)" (in Danish). Retsinformation. 9 June 1993. * ^ Goodwin, Stephen (23 July 1993). "The Maastricht
Maastricht
Debate: Major \'driven to confidence factor\': Commons Exchanges: Treaty issue \'cannot fester any longer\'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 May 2013.

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