The Maastricht Treaty


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 that followed later.

P007781033So much has happened with the EU ever since that day in 1992 and I really could fill  my whole website with only EU stories but I limiting this blog to that one day in Maastricht.



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Oh those romantic European politicians.

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (1)

I am just being a bit cheeky here but sometimes you see pictures of European leaders and you wonder “How friendly were they really?” Above and below are pictures of Kohl and Mitterand,holding hands  in Verdun, 1984

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (3)

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embraces Erich Honecker, hardline communist and general secretary of the Communist Party (SED) as members of SED applaud during the 11th SED party’s congress, on April 17, 1986 in East Berlin. The socialist fraternal kiss or socialist fraternal embrace was a special form of greeting between the statesmen of Communist countries.


That Honecker sure got around Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker change kisses after Brezhnev was honored with the title “Hero of the German Democratic Republic” and the “Karl Marx Medal”.


Europe’s odd couple, often called Merkozy.


French president François Hollande is greeted by President Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin


Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover.

Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover

Ending with one more of Honecker and Brehznev.

The Socialist Fraternal Kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker 1979 2