Following "the fall of the Iron Curtain the door to enlargement to the former eastern bloc was opened. In response leaders gathered in "Copenhagen on 22 June 1993 to define entry conditions for candidate states. These criteria were later included in the "Maastricht Treaty. The following is an excerpt from the criteria;
|“||"Membership requires that the candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and, protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union."||”|
The Single European Act was signed by the foreign ministers on 17 and 28 February 1986 in "Luxembourg and the "Hague respectively. In a single document it dealt with reform of institutions, extension of powers, foreign policy cooperation and the single market. It came into force on 1 July 1987.
The act was influenced by work on what would be the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty establishing the "European Union. There had previously been plans to create a more integrated body and, spurred on by enlargement, various groups put forward plans. Building on the legitimacy of its elections, in 1984 the Parliament produced the "Spinelli plan. The draft treaty establishing a European Union, which was inspired by the failed "European Political Community, was adopted by the Parliament 237 votes to 31 (43 abstentions). It would have given a more federal structure using the community method and codecision with the parliament, however it failed to win the support of the member states. (See also: "Crocodile Club)
Similar proposals from the Commission collapsed due to arguments over the "UK rebate (secured by "British Prime Minister "Margaret Thatcher in 1984) and a German-Italian proposal resulted in the "Solemn Declaration on European Union of 19 June 1983 as a political impetus towards a Union but not itself a binding treaty. A treaty establishing the European Union was eventually agreed on 10 December 1991 and signed on 7 February of the following year. Denmark lost a referendum on ratification but succeeded in a second attempt after securing four opt-outs. The Treaty came into force on 1 November 1993.
"Jacques Delors' Commission, serving from 1985 to 1994, is regarded as the most successful in history, becoming a frequent source of comparison to his successors.
Delors presided over accession of Spain and Portugal, the fall of Communism with the reunification of Germany in 1990, the adoption of the "European flag, the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty, the beginnings of "EMU, the signing of the "Schengen Agreement (19 June 1990) and the completion of the "single market.
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