Offering a fresh take on a crucial phase of European history, this book explores the years between the 1980s and 1990s when the European Union took shape. Whilst contributing to existing literature on the Maastricht Treaty and European integration at the end of the twentieth century, the book also brings those debates into the twenty-first century and makes connections with longer-term issues. The transformation of the European political climate in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008, and the watershed Brexit vote in 2016, has made it all the more urgent to reconsider the way scholars and opinion-makers have looked at European integration in the past. Drawing from recently released archival documents, the authors analyse European cooperation as part of the broader international history in which it unfolded, taking into account the changes in the Cold War order and the advance of a new phase of globalisation. Comparing and contrasting the debates, objectives and achievements of the 1980s and 1990s with the current political landscape of the European Union, this book proposes a novel interpretation of the choices that were made during the Maastricht years, and of their longer-term consequences.