Eurozone Dystopia

Eurozone Dystopia

Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale

William Mitchell

Eurozone Dystopia traces the origin of the Eurozone and shows how the historical Franco-German rivalry combined with the growing dominance of neo-liberal economic thinking to create a monetary system that was deeply flawed and destined to fail. It argues that the political class in Europe is trapped in a destructive groupthink which prevents it from seeing their own policy failures. Millions are unemployed as a result and the member states are caught in a cycle of persistent stagnation and rising social instability.

Chapter 3: The Werner Report and the collapse of Bretton Woods

William Mitchell

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, post-keynesian economics, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, political economy


The follow up meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Six Member States in Paris on 6 March 1970 placed the creation of an economic and monetary union at the top of their agenda. This meeting formalised the rather vague statements in the Final Communiqué of the Hague summit about union by appointing an expert group under the direction of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Pierre Werner, which would flesh out the details of how this union would be achieved. The so-called Werner Plan was submitted to the Commission as an interim report on 20 May 1970 with the Final Report (Werner Report, 1970) presented on 13 October 1970. It outlined a comprehensive timetable for the creation of a full economic and monetary union by the end of the decade. The Council of Ministers formally endorsed Werner’s three-stage implementation plan on 22 March 1971. Willy Brandt told the Bundestag on 6 November 1970 that the Werner proposal was the ‘great common task of the 1970s’ and that it represented a ‘new Magna Carta for the Community’ (Deutscher Bundestag, 1970: 4269).

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