Jan 1, 1994
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
The tortuous ratification process of the Maastricht Treaty, the turmoil in European currency markets in the autumn of 1992, the lack of political leadership ever since the Maastricht negotiation, and the recession would seem to have created a sense of disillusion about the much heralded post-1992 period for the European Community (EC). Is the Community drifting back to Europessimism? Was the impact of EC-1992 a fata morgana? What, if anything, was accomplished by EC-1992? This article shows that EC-1992 has enormous significance for the EC. There are four reasons. The first and most fundamental one is found in the induced transformation of the process of European integration in many ways. Second, EC-1992 has fulfilled a locomotive function, pulling the Community out of stagnation, bickering, and deadlock to great economic policy and political and market dynamism. Third, EC-1992 has bolstered the Community's position in the world economy and diplomacy. Fourth, the successful pursuit of EC-1992 has enabled the EC to assume the leadership in the post-Communist pan-European turmoil; although the EC role is not satisfactory, without EC-1992 and its impact, a disastrous leadership gap would have shown up.