Today in International Law: February 7th
By Fatma Ezzahra Sassi
On February 7, 1992, the Member States of the European Community signed the Maastricht Treaty. This treaty constituted a turning point in the history of European integration: it formally established the European Union and added a political vocation to the European project. Indeed, going beyond the realization of a common market, the Maastricht Treaty aimed to mark “a new stage in the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.”
The Treaty established a European Union (EU) based on three pillars: the three European Communities, a Common Foreign and Security Policy, and cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs. It also introduced the concept of European citizenship and set a three-phase scheme for the creation of a single currency, the Euro.
The ratification process of the Treaty took longer than expected due to the negative vote in the Danish referendum. Nevertheless, after negotiations, the Treaty finally entered into force in November 1993. Most recently, the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a June 2016 referendum, with the so-called Brexit scheduled for March 2019.