Political consequences of the Maastricht Treaty
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 6 October 1992 (19th Sitting) (seeDoc. 6668, report of the Political Affairs Committee, Rapporteur :Mr Pangalos). Text adopted by the Assembly on 6 October 1992 (19th Sitting).
1. The Assembly considers that the Treaty on European Union signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992 constitutes a major step in the progress of member states of the European Community towards union.
2. The achievement of economic and monetary union, the adoption of common policies for realising the Single Market while guaranteeing economic and social cohesion, the institution of a common citizenship and formulation of a common foreign policy are the fundamental components of European union.
3. Implementation of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union faces the Community with three main issues : enlargement to include new members, negotiations concerning new financial prospects and the establishment of a foreign and security policy.
4. Despite the Danish ‘‘no'' vote, the Twelve confirmed at the European Council meeting in Lisbon their determination to comply with the commitments undertaken in Maastricht and to work in the spirit of the new treaty in order to achieve European union. The date of 1 January 1993 has been set for the entry into force of the treaty, but how Denmark will participate in the union still remains to be decided.
5. The Twelve decided in Lisbon that negotiations for enlargement of the Community to include applicant countries which are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) could begin as soon as the treaty on union had entered into force and agreement reached on the future financing of the Community. No timetable was set for considering other applications, but the European Council instructed the Commission to present precise proposals relating to measures for the accession of the central and east European countries.
6. Future financing of the Community poses a problem for the so-called ‘‘rich'' and ‘‘poor'' countries. The latter fear that resources for the structural funds and the Cohesion Fund will not reach the level fixed at Maastricht.
7. The ‘‘subsidiarity'' principle, according to which the Community is to take action in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence only if the objectives of the proposed action cannot be achieved by the member states, should allow Community bureaucracy to be reduced and the Community to be closer to its citizens.
8. Absence of agreement between all twelve member states on the social policy of the Community creates difficulties for the implementation of the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers and, consequently, the progress of the ‘‘social dimension'' of the future European union.
9. As shown by the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, the establishment of a common foreign and security policy is the most difficult task facing the member states of the Community. Furthermore, the fact that this policy has been placed outside the institutional framework of the Community excludes control and political initiative by the European Parliament.
10. The entry into force of the Treaty on European Union will have political consequences not only for the Twelve but for all European states.
The Assembly invites the parliaments of member states to assess the consequences of the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty particularly with regard to :
11.1 the establishment of a foreign and security policy that is common to the Twelve ;
11.2 the enlargement of the Community and relations between the enlarged Community, Western European Union and the Council of Europe ;
11.3 European citizenship, which is restricted at present to nationals of the Twelve ;
11.4 the role and powers of the European Parliament and the European Commission ;
11.5 economic and social cohesion throughout the continent.