Signed on 7 February 1992 the Maastricht Treaty represented a significant step forward not only for Europe in general, but also for cohesion policy in particular. The treaty brought the first reform of cohesion policy, more flexibility being created for national governments. It firmly established economic and social cohesion as one of the core objectives of the European Union, alongside the single market and the Economic and Monetary Union.
Representatives from 12 countries signed the Treaty on 7 February 1992 – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The parliaments in each country then ratified the Treaty, in some cases holding referendums. The Maastricht Treaty officially came into force on 1 November 1993 and the European Union was officially established.
Since then, a further 16 countries have joined the EU and adopted the rules set out in the Maastricht Treaty or in the treaties…
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