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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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On the Metamorphosis of the Crisis and the Prospects for European Economic Governance (Adriano Giovannelli)


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On the Metamorphosis of the Crisis and the Prospects for European Economic Governance1


1. EMU under Threat, the Bailout Funds and the Troika

The concluding article of this volume, devoted to the history of the Economic and Monetary Union, focuses on the most recent events, starting from the turbulent final years of the first decade in the new millennium and stopping just before the Brexit referendum.

The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the new microeconomic scenarios, juridical instruments, policies and perspectives of the common economic governance, giving account of the sometimes hard debates which accompany each step forward and of the problems arisen, while the crisis progressively changes its nature and cracks open in the walls of the European building.

Since the second half of the 1990s, the concept of “governance”2 has spread in European documents. Its origin is closely linked to a North American corporate culture, the prevalence of the term being a good illustration of the current dominance of managerial logic on the need for representation and legitimacy. The European integration process has helped to introduce the concept of multilevel governance into scientific and political debate.

In some countries, use of the term “governance” has met with decreasing resistance. The French were the last to surrender, and at ← 277 | 278 → the end of 2012 they became resigned to replacing the original term “pilotage”, in the definitive text of...

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