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The History of the European Monetary Union

Comparing Strategies amidst Prospects for Integration and National Resistance


Edited By Daniela Preda

The financial and economic crisis that hit Europe in 2009 brought out the precariousness of the monetary union, accentuating the economic disequilibrium among European nations and strengthening Euro-skepticism.

The crisis served as a catalyst for long-standing and unresolved problems: the creation of a singly monetary area with intergovernmental control, the final act in the construction of a Europe economically united but without a government and a state; the consequent discrepancy between forming a consensus that remains in large part national and the political dynamics in Europe; the sustainability of a monetary union in the absence of an economic-social union, which presents again the long-standing debate between "monetarist" countries and "economist" countries.

This book aims at placing current events within a long-term framework composed of a mosaic of multidisciplinary contributions that can provide the reader with keys which are adequate for an understanding of these events and useful for opening up new horizons.

The book begins with a look at 20th-century monetary unification projects in an attempt at reconstructing the long road toward the single currency: the first monetary unification projects in the 1950s and 1960s; the turbulence of the 1970s; the new impetus given by the European Monetary System to the cohesion among European countries; the causes of the 1992 crisis; and the long struggle for the Monetary Union, which would end at Maastricht. Finally, it focuses on the most recent events – the creation of the Eurozone and its crisis – starting from the turbulent years of the first decade of the new millennium and ending on May 31, 2016, just before the Brexit referendum.

The book focuses on analyzing the strategies undertaken during the monetary unification process, underscoring, on the one hand, the conviction of the Founding Fathers of the EMU that a single currency would favor further progress toward a more stringent economic and political integration, and on the other the continuing national resistance to the transfer of sovereignty from the national states to the European Union.

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The Role of Giulio Andreotti in the Birth of the EMS and of the Monetary Union (Daniela Preda)


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The Role of Giulio Andreotti in the Birth of the EMS and of the Monetary Union

Daniela PREDA

Giulio Andreotti played an important role in the European monetary unification process, whose key moments occurred when he was head of the Italian government. He was Prime Minister in two consecutive governments, from 1972 to 1973, at the time the Snake was born and during the instability of the Bretton Woods system and the international monetary disarray following the Nixon Administration’s decision to suspend the convertibility of the U.S. dollar into gold in August of 1971. He was Prime Minister again from July 1976 to August 1979, when the EMS was born, as well as foreign Minister during the Craxi governments and the successive Fanfani, Goria and De Mita governments, from August 1983 to July 1989, during the negotiation and approval of the Single European Act. Finally, he was Prime Minister from July 1989 to June 1992, when the Economic and Monetary Union was launched.

He was a key player as both Prime Minister and foreign Minister in the various European negotiations leading to the creation of the EMS; while steadfastly defending Italy’s interests, he gave priority to European political integration, remaining faithful to De Gasperi’s line, even though he adopted different methods and strategies.

This paper will focus on Andreotti’s role in the birth of the European Monetary System (EMS) – including an appendix on the inception of the Monetary Union...

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