A history of European monetary integration

16-03-2015

European monetary integration began almost a decade after the Treaty of Rome, as European Economic Community Member States sought to protect themselves better from international economic turbulence and loosen their ties to the US dollar. This process, in which a multitude of stakeholders (Member States, European institutions) was involved, developed from looser forms – such as the 'Snake in the tunnel' mechanism – to Monetary Union and a common currency with an international role and importance. Although the Monetary Union brought many benefits to Member States during its first decade of existence, the crisis that began in 2008 has led many to call into question its usefulness. Despite the controversy, it is useful to recognised that much has been achieved, that monetary integration is still a 'work in progress' and that its ultimate success or failure will depend on many factors, not only economic, but also political.

European monetary integration began almost a decade after the Treaty of Rome, as European Economic Community Member States sought to protect themselves better from international economic turbulence and loosen their ties to the US dollar. This process, in which a multitude of stakeholders (Member States, European institutions) was involved, developed from looser forms – such as the 'Snake in the tunnel' mechanism – to Monetary Union and a common currency with an international role and importance. Although the Monetary Union brought many benefits to Member States during its first decade of existence, the crisis that began in 2008 has led many to call into question its usefulness. Despite the controversy, it is useful to recognised that much has been achieved, that monetary integration is still a 'work in progress' and that its ultimate success or failure will depend on many factors, not only economic, but also political.