European Community is renamed European Union after Maastricht Treaty implementation

by Teresa Acklin
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   The term “European Community” (E.C.) has been changed to “European Union” (E.U.) in general reference. The change is related to the late-1993 implementation of the Maastricht Treaty.

   Officials announced in mid-December that the European Union was “now the umbrella term” that refers to the overall post-Maastricht governing structure. Although the E.C. continues to exist as a legal entity within the Union's framework, the change was made “in view of the difficulties of delineating what is strictly E.C. or Union business,” officials said.

   The E.C.'s legal authority continues to encompass all policies derived from the original treaties, including the Single Market. But two other entities have been formed to manage new policies and programs adopted under the Maastricht pact.

   These entities consist of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which encompasses defense issues, and Justice and Home Affairs, which includes cooperation among police and other authorities on crime, terrorism and immigration issues.

   Together, the E.C. and the two new entities make up the new European Union.