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Maastricht Treaty

Maastricht Treaty (February 7, 1992) Agreement on European Union (EU) signed by the leaders of 12 European nations at Maastricht, se Netherlands. The treaty included a timetable for the introduction of a single currency (the euro); a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), with the Western European Union (WEU) as a possible defence arm of the EU; a common European citizenship for nationals of all member states, and the extension of European cooperation in justice and home affairs. The treaty introduced the principle of subsidiarity, whereby decisions are taken at the most appropriate level: local, regional or national. It extended qualified majority voting in the European Council of Ministers and increased the powers of the European Parliament (EP) over the budget and the European Commission. Eleven states adopted a separate protocol on social policy (the social chapter), with the UK opting-out. The UK signed up to the social chapter in the Amsterdam Treaty (1997).

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Maastricht, treaty of

Maastricht, treaty of. Popular name for the treaty on European Union, signed on 7 February 1992 at Maastricht in the Netherlands by the twelve EEC members. The treaty amended the treaty of Rome and Single European Act, making institutional changes, increasing the competence of the European Union (EEC), and giving the European Council (meetings of heads of government) greater powers in the fields of defence and immigration. John Major, the British prime minister, obtained opt-outs for the social chapter and single currency and claimed the negotiations as a victory. This satisfied neither those who wanted full participation, nor Euro-sceptics who feared a loss of sovereignty.

Christopher N. Lanigan

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Maastricht Treaty

Maastricht Treaty a treaty on European economic and monetary union, agreed by the heads of government of the twelve member states of the European Community at a summit meeting in Maastricht in December 1991. Ratification was completed in October 1993.

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