From its inception in the 1950s until the early 1990s, the European Union (EU) was largely the creation of politicians, jurists, and technical experts. Its effective sphere of operations was confined for the most part to economic matters. The Single European Act, which entered into force in 1987 and called for the completion of the economic integration project by 1992, marked the end of what might be termed the first, or economic, phase of European integration. With the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union (Treaty of Maastricht) in 1993, a second, or political, phase of European integration has begun. Due to the sensitive matters involved in this second phase of European integration--such as justice and home affairs, common foreign and security policy, and the creation of a common currency and a European Central Bank--the people of EU Member States are increasingly asking fundamental questions about the direction and character of the European integration project itself as well as seeking greater participation in EU affairs, at both the national and EU levels.
Martin A. Rogoff,
European Integration: Past, Present, and Future,
33 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vjtl/vol33/iss5/5