On 1 January the Single European Market takes effect - the objective of the first European treaties. Trade tariffs are scrapped but Duty Free shopping manages to cling on until 1999.
In November, the Maastricht Treaty comes into force, two years after it was negotiated.
The Treaty had a rocky ride as several member states faced opposition to its ratification. In Denmark it was initially rejected in its first referendum but scraped through the second time round. France also voted by a whisker to adopt it in its national referendum and it only just squeezed through the British parliament under strong pressure.