Collection of papers on the Treaty of Maastricht and Europe's Development Co-operation

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    The 1992 Treaty on European Union, popularly known as the Maastricht treaty, established the legal basis for the formation of a European Union. Among articles relating to citizenship, monetary policy, and the common foreign and security policy; general principles for the member states’ and the union’s development co-operation were laid down. These were summed up in the so-called ‘three Cs’; complementarity, coordination, and coherence.

    All of a sudden, they were at the negotiating table, discussed just twice and accepted as the final text in the Treaty on European Union. The three C’s, Triple C, of the Treaty of Maastricht did not incite the fierce debates as, for example, the foreign and security policy or the tasks and responsibilities of the European Parliament raised. They were just tabled, shortly discussed, minimally amended and accepted. This raises the question, if every actor in the negotia- tions did understand the significance and range of the three C’s. Or, as it is often the case with legal documents, that the significance of this three articles of this multi-interpretable texts became only manifest to all or most of the actors gradually, after some years.

    The Treaty of Maastricht has been described as an ‘opaque and complicated text’, ‘a document which finally emerged from frantic late-night compromises amongst heads of governments in a relatively obscure Dutch provincial town’.1 Its readability has been described as being similar to a ‘railway timetable’, but most probably all legal texts would by outsiders and by non-legal experts be considered that dull. It might thus not be fair to judge legal texts on their readability, but on the discussions they promote not only among law scholars but also among politicians and an interested audience. In this sense there is little to complain about the Treaty of Maastricht. 

    Photo By Chiva Congelado

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