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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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From Pringle to Gauweiler. The Difficult Years of European Monetary Union and Their Impact on the EU Legal System (Francesco Munari)

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| 245 →

From Pringle to Gauweiler

The Difficult Years of European Monetary Union and Their Impact on the EU Legal System

Francesco MUNARI

1. Introductory Considerations: Problems of Interpretation in EU Law following the Euro Crisis

Several years have passed since the onset of the so-called sovereign debt crisis and the turbulence that marked the European Monetary Union (EMU). In spite of the laudable efforts made above all by the European Central Bank (ECB) to prevent irrevocable damage to European Monetary Union (EMU), and the agreement reached in August 2015 over the third Greek bailout, I believe that the need for reform of the current legal framework of the EMU is patently obvious together with probably the economic and political constitution of the European Union as a whole. Moreover, without reforms it is unrealistic to imagine that further serious systemic risks can be avoided even though European institutions and Member States have managed, some more than others, to stave off the danger and avert the disintegration of the European legal system. Apart from the essentially political question of Greece, one has only to think of the European Court of Justice’s decision in the Gauweiler case1, which legitimised the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions (hereinafter OMT) in the face of the German Constitutional Court’s rhetorically worded reference2. ← 245 | 246 →

It is true that recent important works by scholars have sought to go beyond a mere reassessment of the constitutional system of...

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