The European Union (EU), with Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand as its main architects, was set up under the Maastricht Treaty on 1 November 1993 and, from that year until 2009, its legal structure consisted of what was known as The Three Pillars:
- The European Communities (multiple) were responsible for economic, environmental and social matters through the following bodies: the European Community (EEC); the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC - until 2002 when it was disbanded); and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).
- The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), which governed External Policy
- The Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCCM), which took over from the previous Justice and Home Affairs.
The last two, when part of the EEC, were not subject to the same democratic controls as the Community system.