The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union, with the European Communities making up the first of three pillars. New additions were a common foreign and security policy as the second pillar and greater cooperation in justice and home affairs as the third. The Treaties of Nice and Amsterdam were later added to the existing set of agreements, in part due to the upcoming expansion of the EU to the east.
In 1989, a fundamental and unexpected change occurred on the continent: Hungary opened its borders to the West, and the Wall fell in divided Berlin. This was followed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Following the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, the European Union was created in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht. This treaty also introduced the three-pillar structure, with the European Communities (EC) as the first pillar, adding the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as the second pillar, and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) as the third pillar, which enhanced cooperation in the area of law enforcement and home affairs. In the first pillar the decisions of the EC were mostly made according to the principle of qualified majority voting, whereas in the second and third pillars intergovernmental cooperation was the rule and decisions were reached unanimously.