History of European Integration 1987-2016

Process of European Integration

Treaty on European Union (signed in Maastricht 1992)


x Monetary Union (based upon SEA=Single European Act)
x political union

Accession of Sweden, Finland & Austria


Treaty of Amsterdam


Modest treaty (did not involve any groundbreaking institutional reform)
x increase in the power of the EP

Introduction of the euro in certain MS


In Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Portugal & Spain
But only after strict convergence criteria were met by each of these MS
2002: introduction of notes & coins
Greece had not met the convergence criteria and did thus not get the euro
Britain and Denmark had opt-outs
Sweden declared not being eligible for the euro

Nice Treaty


It solves the institutional reform and replaced the IGC that was charged with this task:
x From 2005 onwards: 1 Commissioner per Country
x strengthening of the position of the President
x Extentsion of the co-decision procedure of the EP
x Change in the allocation of seats + Max. MEP's = 732
x less occassions for vetoes, instead QMV
x Harder to reach QMV majorities, from 2005 onwards: triple majority

The big enlargement


Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Cypris, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia

Failure of the ratification of the European Constitution


Lisbon Treaty


Treaty amending the TEU and the TEC (Treaty on the European Community; later TFEU)
x contained 95% of the failed Constitution

Greece's financial deficit appears to be bigger than thought (>3% GDP)


Consequently national creditworthiness downgraded --> 'gifts" from the EU + IMF BUT certain conditions

Downgrading of the national creditworthiness of Ireland, Portugal, Spain & Italy

2010 - 2011

x rescue packages of the EU/IMF + implementation of austerity measures

Spain requests financial assistance for the recapitalization of its bank


First MS to do so, this happens and is accompanied by the ESM (reform & more regulations for the banking sector)

The EU receives a Nobel peace prize


Accession of Croatia


Cyprus requests financial help from the EU/IMF


Treaty on Stability Co-Ordination & Governance (TSCG)


x Upon Germany's initiative
x intergovernmental treaty (not EU --> UK had withdrawn its support for a treaty change
x focus on the principle of balanced budget



External events

Start of the financial crisis


x mortgages were sold to individuals with low levels of creditworthiness
x as soon as inflation hit --> defaulting on the loans
x both in the US as in certain MS of the EU