I am delighted that Dr. Mazzucelli has written a book devoted to the role of France and Germany at Maastricht.
The relationship between Paris and Bonn has been a major feature of the process of European construction practically since its very beginning in the very late 1940s. The negotiations that made possible the conclusion of the Treaty creating a European Union are an example—possibly the best up to now—of both the ambiguities and indispensable character of what has often been called—not without bitterness by some of the other partners of the European Community—the Franco-German “axis.”
It is fortunate that, so soon after the signing (February 7, 1992) and the ratification (France, November 1, 1992—Germany, October 13, 1993) of the Maastricht Agreement, such a complete, well-documented, clear, and intelligent volume should be published on this most important but intricate subject. The fact that it comes out during the 1996 Revision Conference, convened to revise the European Treaties, with the goal of creating a closer and closer union among the peoples of Europe gives it an additional importance and dimension. The Presidency’s Conclusions of the Turin European Council of March 24, 1996 describe the Revision Conference’s agenda as follows:
The European Council has defined in Madrid the agenda of the Union for the end of the century. The convening of the Intergovernmental Conference, which will today begin its examination of the revision of the Treaties with the purpose of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, constitutes the first step in this direction. We welcome it.
In a Union firmly committed to the full implementation of the Treaties, including its provisions on economic and monetary union, the Conference will provide the opportunity for dealing more effectively with the internal and external challenges of the coming years.
These challenges stem in particular from: changes in the international situation; globalization of the economy and its consequences for employment, competitiveness and job creation within the Union; terrorism, drug trafficking and international crime; migratory pressure; ecological imbalances.