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The History of the European Monetary Union

Comparing Strategies amidst Prospects for Integration and National Resistance

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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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Crisis and Possible New Start of Integration Process. Beyond the Eurozone Predicament (Franco Praussello)

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Crisis and Possible New Start of Integration Process

Beyond the Eurozone Predicament

Franco PRAUSSELLO

Concerning the link between the state of the European integration process and possible advancements on the road to an “ever closer union” of the partner countries a widespread view, which has become perhaps a platitude, says that the latter are as a rule possible only in the aftermath of a crisis of the former. Such an assumption, which finds its dignified roots, among other things, in Spinelli’s writings and federalist political efforts1, was confirmed for instance at the beginning of the process, when the need to reconstruct France and Germany’s economies during the Fifties led to the launch of the European Coal and Steel Community, but was falsified later in the same period by the collapse of the European Defence project in 1954. Similarly, the end of gold exchange standard by the beginning of the Seventies prompted a first attempt to set up a European single currency, which however failed to materialise at the first forecast deadline and was achieved only in 1999.

Nowadays we are confronted with a similar choice: the ailments of monetary union as the most advanced stage of integration could pave the way for a subsequent fiscal and political union, but might also lead to an unravelling or a stop of the process, should the euro-area crisis not be fixed and result in a break up.

In this note,...

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