On 14 March 1990, the European Parliament adopts a resolution in which it emphasises, in particular, the need rapidly to transform ‘the European Community into a Political Union, on a federal basis, stretching beyond the single market and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)’, and reiterates its determination to establish the conditions for Parliament’s involvement in the work of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
On 18 April 1990, believing that the moment has come to 'transform relations as a whole among the Member States into a European Union and to give it the necessary means of action', François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl make a joint statement to the President of the European Council in which they propose launching the preparatory work for an intergovernmental conference on Political Union, alongside the work under way to prepare for the intergovernmental conference on Economic and Monetary Union.
By this Resolution of 11 July 1990, the European Parliament welcomes the convening of a Conference on Political Union and the fact that the agenda of the forthcoming reform of the Treaties is to be widened beyond economic and monetary union. Whereas the division between external economic relations and European Political Cooperation (EPC) is increasingly difficult to maintain in practice, the European Parliament calls for these two aspects of the Community's international action to be dealt with within the Community framework.
In its Opinion of 21 October 1990, the European Commission advocates a single Community that will encompass the Community policies and European Political Cooperation (EPC), making them subject to the same institutions and to the same decision-making procedures.
On 6 December 1990, French President François Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl make a joint statement to Giulio Andreotti, President of the European Council, in which they advocate the establishment of a European political union.
In its summer 1990 edition, the federalist journal L’Europe en formation reports on the Dublin European Council of 25 and 26 June 1990 and emphasises the need for the Europe of the Twelve to pursue a common foreign policy if it is to establish its presence in the world.
The Rome European Council (14 and 15 December 1990)
In its conclusions adopted on 15 December 1990, the Rome European Council provides the context for the holding of two Intergovernmental Conferences (IGC) on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and on Political Union, officially opening in Rome on the same date.
Group photo at the Rome European Council held on 14 and 15 December 1990, which sets out in its conclusions the framework within which the two Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and Political Union will be conducted.
The Luxembourg European Council (28 and 29 June 1991)
On 18 June 1991, the Luxembourg Council Presidency presents a draft Treaty on European Union, drawn up on the basis of the proceedings at the two intergovernmental conferences on Political Union and Economic and Monetary Union, which began on 15 December 1990 in Rome. This draft, which proposes the establishment of three pillars for the Union, is to be the basis for negotiations within the two conferences that will lead to the adoption of the Treaty of Maastricht on 7 February 1992.
In its summer 1991 edition, the federalist journal L’Europe en formation analyses the draft Treaty on European Union drawn up by the Luxembourg Presidency, and revives the debate on the union’s ‘federal vocation’.
In this interview, Jacques Santer, former Luxembourg Prime Minister and Finance Minister, comments on the work of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on Political Union and recalls the origins of the three-pillar institutional structure which the Luxembourg Presidency proposed on 17 April 1991 for the future Treaty on European Union.
The Maastricht European Council (9 and 10 December 1991)
'Maastricht. Political union'. On 9 December 1991, German cartoonist Walter Hanel illustrates the determination of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President François Mitterrand to use the negotiations on the revision of the European Treaties to establish a European political union, while British Prime Minister John Major is less than enthusiastic.
On 10 December 1991, the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl (centre), the Foreign Minister, Hans Dietrich Genscher (left) and the Spokesman for the German Government, Dieter Vogel (right), give a press conference on the outcome of the Maastricht European Council.
On 12 December 1991, commenting on the outcome of the Maastricht European Council, the French daily newspaper Le Monde considers the significance of the new Treaty on Political Union and analyses the new economic, monetary and social implications of European integration.
On 11 October 1991, with a view to the forthcoming Maastricht European Council, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Spain issue a joint communiqué in which they outline the main principles on which the new treaty should be based. Among other issues, they emphasise that Western European Union (WEU) is an integral part of the process leading to European Union and that it could be given the task of implementing the security and defence policy.
On 17 November 1991, one month before the meeting in Maastricht of the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve, the Spanish daily newspaper El País deplores the fact that the Spanish Government's proposals have not been accepted in the preparatory negotiations and takes a pessimistic view with regard to the conclusion of the Treaty on European Union.
‘Political Union — Sleeping Beauty and the princes.’ In 1992, inspired by the fairytale La Belle au Bois Dormant, Sleeping Beauty, written by the French author Charles Perrault, German cartoonist, Hanel, illustrates the efforts of the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, and of the President of the French Republic, François Mitterrand, to promote the implementation of a European Political Union, while the British Prime Minister, John Major, is quite lukewarm about the idea.
In this interview, Élisabeth Guigou, French Minister for European Affairs from 1990 to 1993, describes the main discussions that took place during the Intergovernmental Conferences on Political Union and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), launched on 15 December 1990 in Rome and on 9 and 10 December 1991 at the Maastricht European Council . These discussions led to the securing of an agreement on the Treaty on European Union.