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Understanding Maastricht

Mitchell, James (1996) Understanding Maastricht. Contemporary European History, 5 (2). pp. 243-257. ISSN 0960-7773

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How are we to interpret the Maastricht Treaty on European Union? H ow significant will it prove to be in the move towards 'ever closer union'? W h at today does it mean to be a member-state as distinct from a nation-state? These are questions which can only be addressed by inter-disciplinary enquiry. Indeed, more than that is required. Historians, political scientists, economists, international relations scholars and lawyers all have a contribution to make but we must also n o te the differences within each of these disciplines and the different approaches which may be adopted within each member-state to the European Union and beyond. The books reviewed here offer a wide range of perspectives on Maastricht and the process of European integration but even they only offer a modest contribution to the interpretation of events. Though some do not address Maastricht, strictly speaking, they all contribute in some way to our understanding of the process of European integration at this point in time.