Café Europa special podcast series on the Maastricht Treaty
On 9 and 10 December, it will be 30 years since the Maastricht Treaty was established during a summit of European government leaders. The Café Europa podcast reflects on this anniversary with a mini-series on the Maastricht Treaty. In four episodes, professor Mathieu Segers and journalist Annette van Soest take listeners to places that were significant during the creation of the treaty.
30 years of the Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty marks a milestone in the history of the European Union. The signing of the treaty on 7 February 1992 in the Limburg provincial government building led to the creation of the European Union and laid the foundation for the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
Meaningful places Euro Summit ’91
The mini-series visits places that played an important role during the summit. They include Château Neercanne, the Gouvernement aan de Maas provincial building and the MECC. Besides discussing the birth of the Maastricht Treaty and the role the Netherlands played in it, Café Europa also reveals lesser-known stories. For instance, the lunch organised by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix (at the time Queen of the Netherlands) that paved the way for the introduction of the euro is discussed. It also tells the story of a British diplomat who, under (!) the negotiating table, embodied the always difficult relationship between the British and Europe.
Listen to the episodes below.
— disclaimer — the podcast Café Europa is only available in Dutch
Episode 1: The Origins
In this episode, we go to Château Neercanne. You’ll hear how a lunch at the castle paved the way for the Maastricht Treaty; and how thirty years ago – and still today – everything revolves around the Franco-German axis.
Episode 2: The Negotiations
In this second episode of the mini-series, Annette and Mathieu take you to the Gouvernement aan de Maas, Limburg’s provincial government building and the site of the negotiations.
You will hear what exactly was agreed to in the Maastricht Treaty, and what changes – 30 years on – are imminent. And how a British diplomat embodied the always difficult relationship between the British and Europe under the negotiating table.
Episode 3: The Role of the Netherlands
In this third episode, Annette and Mathieu take you to the MECC; the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre was the press centre during the summit.
This episode explores the important role the Netherlands had as host to the treaty negotiations. You also hear how differently the Netherlands looked at Europe under Ruud Lubbers than under Mark Rutte.
Episode 4: Tensions in and around Europe
In this fourth episode, Annette and Mathieu walk through the centre of Maastricht where there were major demonstrations at the time. The final episode discusses how Europe’s search for a new role in a changing world led to a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty among the population about what the future would bring. Tensions that are being felt again today.
Mathieu Segers on the importance of the Maastricht Treaty for Europe
The Maastricht Treaty is more topical than ever. Cooperation in Europe, established then, has been challenged in an unprecedented way in recent years: by the euro crisis, the migration crisis, the Brexit and the corona pandemic. The only way to find a way forward in a future of continuing cooperation is to know where we are coming from and thus to delve into the agreements of the time, hold them up to the light, see where points of leverage are, but also where things need to change.
In Café Europa, a podcast from Haagsch College and Studio Europa Maastricht, professor Mathieu Segers and journalist Annette van Soest, together with well-known guests, discuss the backgrounds of European news. They delve into the intrigue, power and chess game between European leaders. How does the EU really work? What do we notice about it?
Earlier this year, Café Europa was selected for the Prinsjes Podcastprijs in the category ‘politics’.