Other objectives of the Act-economic and monetary union, social cohesion, major improvement of the environment-all will come after the end of 1992. It has been a slow pace through the '80s, but with each step, the pace increases.
How fast do matters move in Europe? In 1980 the Common Market was still the Nine. It is now the Twelve, with the door not only ajar to Austria but to Hungary. The Single European Act was drafted in November 1981, signed in February 1986, and will reach its first milestone at the end of 1992. That's when the first objective of the Single European Act will be completed: an internal European market without frontiers.
This was not the decade for political union of the European Community. Indeed it could not be. Agricultural and economic matters had to come first. But beginning January 1, 1993, political issues will begin to take center stage in discussions.
In early 1980 the European Parliament, only seven months old, was virtually an unknown entity. Ten years later it is beginning to be taken seriously. In the early years of the decade a European passport was debated. Such a passport is now a reality despite some opposition within the European Community, especially in Britain.